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Open access

Joana Sender and Weronika Maślanko

ABSTRACT

The Łęczna-Włodawa Plain, known also as the Łęczna-Wlodawa Lakeland, lies within the territory of the largest subregion of the Polesie region, covering over 1,300 km2. The main interest of the Łęczna-Włodawa Lakeland is that it is the oldest in the Central European Lowlands group of about 68 lakes. Among such a large number of lakes there exist all trophic types. However, since the late 1950’s, enormous dynamics of change associated with the disappearance of oligo- and mesotrophic lakes and their transformation into eutrophic, even hypertrophic, lakes have been observed. One of the biocenotic elements of the lakes, which are indicators of these changes, is aquatic plants. The aim of this study was to determine the macrophyte structure of Piaseczno Lake and changes of land use in its surroundings. Piaseczno Lake still represents very high natural values. A reduction in the number of macrophyte communities, which occurred especially in 2008, was a consequence of the fast-growing recreation infrastructure.

From 1976 until 2010 an area of recreation infrastructure in the studied area increased more than 3.5 times, and in the built-up area more than five times, as well as a doubling of the total length of the roads. Meanwhile the surface area of wetlands and peatbogs significantly decreased - more than 11 times.

Long-term changes in the structure of the macrophyte communities show that the number of communities has varied in each year, probably as a consequence of changes in landuse. Analysis showed changes to the surfaces inhabited by macrophytes, which have decreased significantly over only four years, by more than 25%. However, the proportion of rush communities has increased.

Open access

Stefania Środa-Murawska, Leszek S. Dąbrowski and Paweł Smoliński

Abstract

Social participation allows public authorities to learn about communities’ views and thus to jointly work out satisfying solutions. The pre-1989 law in Poland generally prevented the possibility of citizens taking part in the making of decisions about the use of public areas. Over the following years participatory decision-making was adopted, which evolved and expanded as new tools were introduced which encourage citizen involvement. The municipality of Toruń adopted a participatory approach to budgeting in 2014 so that the city’s residents could influence the use of public land in their neighbourhoods according to their needs. The total amount of funding spent on participatory budgets between 2014 and 2017 exceeded PLN 26 million. The aim of the study is to prepare a typology of desired changes in the city of Toruń and to identify the level of social participation on the basis of projects nominated for financing from the participatory budget. To this end, the types of projects and the turnout of the residents who voted were analysed by place of residence. The study showed that both the number of nominated projects and the number of voters increased in the years covered by the survey, thus pointing to the success of participatory budgeting, a form of schooling in local democracy, in Toruń.

Open access

Al-Amin D. Bello, Noor B. Hashim and Ridza M. Haniffah

Abstract

Abundant rainfall areas promote sediment yield at both sub-watershed and watershed scale due to soil erosion and increase siltation of river channel, but it can be curtailed through planned urbanization. The urbanization of Skudai watershed is analysed from historical and future perspective. A GIS-based model (Hydrological Simulation Programme-FORTRAN-HSPF) is used to modelled sediment flow using basin-wide simulation, and the output result is utilized in evaluating sediment yield reduction due to increased urbanization by swapping multiple temporal land-use of decadent time-steps. The analysis indicates that sediment yield reduces with increase urban built-up and decrease forest and agricultural land. An estimated 12 400 tons of sediment will be reduced for every 27% increase in built-up areas under high rainfall condition and 1 490 tons at low rainfall. The sensitivity analysis of land-use classes shows that built-up, forest and barren are more sensitive to sediment yield reduction compared to wetland and agricultural land at both high and low rainfall. The result of the study suggests that increased urbanization reduced sediment yield in proportion to the rainfall condition and can be used as an alternative approach for soil conservation at watershed scale independent of climate condition.

Open access

Debashish Kumar Ghosh, Anukul Ch Mandal, Raja Majumder, Poly Patra and Gouri Sankar Bhunia

Abstract

Present study investigated mapping and monitoring urban land areas from Landsat8 satellite data using remotely sensed indices. The normalized difference built-up index (NDBI), Enhanced Built-Up and Bareness Index (EBBI), Index-based built-up index (IBI), urban index (UI), normalized difference bareness index (NDBaI) were used to extract the built-up area. The NDBI was more effective at discriminating built-up areas and at increasing accuracy (overall accuracy of 76.45 % and kappa accuracy of 57 %) of the built-up density percentage than other remotely sensed indices. Evidence on built-up area change geographically would permit urban planner and decision makers to comprehend and appraise urban growth pattern in regards to land cover dynamics.

Open access

Anna Pawlikowska-Piechotka

Urban greens and sustainable land policy management (case study in Warsaw)

This paper examines the changes of meaning of public greens in the contemporary urban landscape. Although the value and preservation of green areas have become important land use policy topics, still little attention is paid to family gardens and their tenants. As a part of tradition and history, allotments have been present on the European landscape for over one hundred years. At first, they were located in the suburbs during the nineteenth century, scattered on the fringes of towns. However, as the gardens are now located on sites found close to city centres, they have recently come under the threat of being overtaken by developers. In Poland, local authorities are responsible by law for the provision and management of allotments, yet there are usually long waiting lists, at least several years in Warsaw. If there is shortage of allotments why not create more ‘family gardens’? What role do allotments play in official spatial planning policy? What is the statistical picture of allotments in Poland? This paper not only examines the tradition of urban allotments and their contemporary picture as a public green space, it juxtaposes two sub-themes: the story of allotment gardens in Poland and the story of a single Warsaw allotment site, where our field studies were carried out. The empirical results of our field surveys show that urban inhabitants are very interested in gardening. First, these gardens represent important source of recreational activity to males and females, regardless of their age and social status. Second, these gardens represent urban and family tradition, as contemporary tenants are often representatives of the third or even the fourth generation of the users of a particular plot. Third, for thousands of low-income families, allotments are both essential as a source of fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) and also as an opportunity to enjoy holidays free of charge. All in all our research results suggest that allotment gardens in the contemporary built environment not only improve the urban climate but also play an important role in strengthening family and community connections. Moreover, by providing the opportunity for various recreational, outdoor activities such as gardening, sports and games considerably help to promote ‘healthy life style’. This paper is based on the author’s field experience and on empirical studies, both of which strongly support the notion that contemporary urban allotments play a crucial role in town green systems and provide a significant contribution to life quality of urban inhabitants, especially for the elderly and low income citizens. It seems that a growing interest in urban ecology and sustainable planning policy should lead to the idea of saving allotments (along with other urban green spaces). The paper concludes that, when considering the future of urban allotments, the main problems can be seen in the present institutional context of urban planning policy, land use concepts, and attitudes of the local authorities towards allotments. The allotments, which often occupy the city’s prime locations, are accused of limiting urban development possibilities and are criticised for ugliness and poor management. However, as it seems, as the leisure value of allotments has increased in recent decades, their role in urban space, new plot layouts and garden design should consequently be revised.

Open access

Jozef Varga, Radoslava Kanianska and Ján Spišiak

Abstract

The aim of the study was to analyse the impact of land use and altitudinal gradient including geological conditions on selected soil physical properties with subsequent effect on earthworms as important soil organisms. The research was conducted at three study sites (Očová – OC, Tajov – TA, Liptovská Teplička – LT) situated in the different climatic and natural conditions of Slovakia each with 3 plots differing in land use (arable land - AL, permanent grasslands – PG, forest land – FL). During 2014 over two periods, we measured soil penetration resistance (PR) with total depth of the measurement (DP) and soil moisture (SM). Earthworms were hand sorted counted and weighed. We found out high variability of measured parameters conditioned by time, space (altitudinal gradient) and land use. PR values of all measurements ranged from 0.19 to 5.00 MPa, DP values from 0.02 to 0.80 m and soil moisture from 2 to 50%. Paired samples test confirmed differences between different land use types mainly between AL and FL plots. There were confirmed significant differences between three ecological gradients in all observed properties with one exception. Correlations among observed variables under different altitudinal gradients and land use types were found. The earthworm density and biomass was significantly higher in permanent grasslands compared to forest and arable land. In arable land, the earthworm density and biomass negatively correlated with the penetration resistance and positively with the depth of the total measurements. In permanent grasslands earthworm biomass positively correlated with soil moisture.

Open access

Łukasz Kulesza and Ryszard Florek-Paszkowski

Abstract

One of the assumptions of the draft of the Act on Urban Planning and Construction Code is to strengthen social participation in creating spatial policies at all levels of planning. As part of the conducted research, a questionnaire was designed for the purposes of this article. The research was carried out on people who took part in the expositions of Local Spatial Development Plans (LSDP) and public discussions taking place in the communes of Siemianowice Śląskie and Pszów. The conducted questionnaire inquiry pointed to the low level of public awareness regarding procedures, as well as the lack of understanding of these documents due to the illegible form of the presentation of the approved local plans provided by the Act on planning and spatial development. Only 26% of the respondents declared to have good knowledge of the procedures for developing and approving local plans. The draft of the Urban and Construction Code Act, which is to replace the mentioned act, provides for a substantiation of the LSDP that may contain a visualization presenting the local plan regulations in a graphic manner, understandable to people who do not have technical knowledge, including digitally excluded persons. The conducted inquiry has shown that more than half of all respondents admitted that the usage of both a large-scale map and an orthophotomap as a cartographic background for the visualization of LSDP findings was by far the most legible. The proposed solutions can be introduced directly into the regulation on the detailed rules for the preparation of spatial planning acts. The statutory delegation for its issue was included in article 243 of the Act on Urban Planning and Construction Code draft published on 23rd November 2017 on the website of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction.

Open access

Adrienn Horváth, Anita Morvai and Győző F. Horváth

Abstract

This study investigated the dietary niche of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) in an intensively farmed landscape, based on pellet samples from 12 nesting pairs containing 25 animal taxa and 1,994 prey items after the breeding season in 2016. Based on land use categories of the buffer area around each nest, three landscape types (agricultural, mosaic, urban) were considered, to analyse the diet composition and food-niche parameters. Niche breadth was calculated at the local and landscape level. Small mammals were the most frequent in the diet than other prey in each of the landscape types. The Common Vole (Microtus arvalis), considered to be an important agricultural pest was the most numerous prey in all landscape groups. The trophic niche of Barn Owl varied between 0.69 – 0.86 at the local level, and the overall value of niche breadth was significantly higher in the urban than in the other two landscape types. Our results showed that the increase of Common Vole frequency lead to a decrease in niche breadth; significantly negative relationship was detected between these parameters. Despite differences in niche breadth, similarly high niche overlaps were detected by the randomisation test in the three landscapes. Our results suggest that the diet composition of Barn Owls, mainly their food-niche pattern, reflected prey availability in the comparison of the studied landscapes, which pointed out that it is necessary to examine the dietary difference of Barn Owls at the finer scale of land use.

Open access

Fredrick Ao Otieno, Olumuyiwa I Ojo and George M. Ochieng

Abstract

Land cover change (LCC) is important to assess the land use/land cover changes with respect to the development activities like irrigation. The region selected for the study is Vaal Harts Irrigation Scheme (VHS) occupying an area of approximately 36, 325 hectares of irrigated land. The study was carried out using Land sat data of 1991, 2001, 2005 covering the area to assess the changes in land use/land cover for which supervised classification technique has been applied. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) index was also done to assess vegetative change conditions during the period of investigation. By using the remote sensing images and with the support of GIS the spatial pattern of land use change of Vaal Harts Irrigation Scheme for 15 years was extracted and interpreted for the changes of scheme. Results showed that the spatial difference of land use change was obvious. The analysis reveals that 37.86% of additional land area has been brought under fallow land and thus less irrigation area (18.21%). There is an urgent need for management program to control the loss of irrigation land and therefore reclaim the damaged land in order to make the scheme more viable.

Open access

Tímea Árgyelán

Abstract

In the last century, rapid transformations, industrialization, urbanization, tertiarization, the boom in services, modern counter-urbanization trends, social mobility, and bigger transport infrastructures could have been seen. The eastern Mediterranean area, located next to the Mediterranean Sea, was one of the most significantly changed parts of the agrarian lands in Europe. The recession left its mark everywhere in Europe. This paper focuses now on the land-use changes of the east coast of Spain, on the Huerta de Valencia. The objective of this paper is to assess spatial changes and to analyse the land-use changes between 2008 and 2013.