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Environmental factors influencing the distribution of agricultural terraces: Case study of Horný Tisovník, Slovakia

Abstract

The cadastral district of Horný Tisovník represents a traditionally managed Carpathian mountain agricultural landscape with extensive terraces. It was historically governed by two counties with different feudal economic systems - agricultural and industrial. This paper aims to enrich traditional methods in environmental history. We applied geospatial statistics and multivariate data analysis for the assessment of environmental factors influencing the distribution of agricultural terraces. Using linear models, the hypothesis was tested that the terrace distribution is functionally related to selected factors (affiliation to the historic counties; average altitude and slope; distance from water, buildings and settlements; units of natural potential vegetation; and current land use). Significantly greater amounts of terraces were located in the agricultural county compared to the industrial county. A principal component analysis showed the coincidence between the current agricultural land use and higher concentrations of terraces occurring in lower altitudes, closer to settlements and buildings, and within the unit of Carpathian oak-hornbeam forests. These findings regarding the most significant factors influencing the distribution of terraces are used in proposals for incentives to improve the management of the traditional agricultural landscape.

Open access
Seismic Isolation of Bridges Using the Principle of Electromagnetic Attraction and Repulsion

Abstract

This paper presents a new type of seismic isolator that uses the principle of electromagnetic attraction and repulsion, to control the friction force between two electromagnets during earthquakes. The two electromagnets are used in conjunction with a secondary high friction dissipating and damping mechanism composed from a 10mm thick neoprene ring layer and two steel surfaces coated with Si3N4 that are used to dissipate the kinetic energy in the bridge deck at some maximum ground accelerations. The isolator utilizes tri-axial accelerometers embedded in the abutments, high current rechargeable batteries and an automated controlling unit. The presented isolator was developed specifically for a concrete bridge deck with a span of 36 meters and simple supported on two abutments, using time history electromagnetic and structural analyses. The paper presents the advantages of using this active seismic isolation system, compared to classical passive devices and the important results obtained in terms of decreasing internal forces on the substructure elements cross sections together with the reduction of relative displacements between the two electromagnets.

Open access
The English Peak District (as a potential geopark): mining geoheritage and historical geotourism

Abstract

The Peak District is an upland region in central Britain with a rich mining geoheritage. It was established as the UK’s first National Park in 1951. It was the region, due to its widespread loss quarries and mines sites to inappropriate remedial measures, which led to the recognition and promotion of the modern geotourism paradigm. It is the birthplace of British geotourism with the earliest recorded instances of leisure travellers purposefully choosing to visit mines and caves. Metalliferous mining in the region can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Gangue minerals, especially fluorspar and barites, later became significant primary extraction activities and underpinned a small-scale semi-precious stone industry. It is home to the World Heritage inscribed site of the Derwent Mills, significant in the development of early Industrial Revolution textile technology and manufacturing practices. The almost equally significant mining geoheritage has yet to be similarly recognised and, indeed, its survival is still threatened because most tourism and many mining geoheritage stakeholders have a limited understanding of geo-history and the geo-interpretive significance of the individuals and geosites that shaped historical geotourism and geological exploration in the Peak District; their exploits and the legacy of their publications, alongside its superbly exposed and well researched geology and associated mining geoheritage, could underpin a bid for the region’s recognition as a geopark. Hence, this introductory paper summarises the key aspects of the region’s geology and major mining geoheritage sites, together with the major works and influence of some key individuals that should be included as a very minimum in such a bid.

Open access
Economic and Social Sustainability of Real Estate Market and Problems of Economic Development – a Historical Overview

Abstract

Real estate market development and its sustainability are closely associated with history and development. Numerous problems have existed in society in the course of the years, including socio-economic problems. Real estate market development is also closely related to economic development, philosophical issues, and the analysis of these issues over the course of time makes it possible to explore both the historical development of these issues and the problems. The objective of the study is to analyze the main economic and real estate market development problems in the course of history by placing special emphasis on the economic development cycle and sustainability issues. Analysis, induction, deduction, historical and logical access methods were used in the research. Economic problems affect also the real estate market development, so the analysis of these problems is necessary in order to find possible solution opportunities.

Open access
Measuring the Value of the Assets of the Monument Building When Assessing the Insured Value of an Object

Abstract

The forthcoming transfer of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg being a UNESCO World Heritage Site to the Russian Orthodox Church ignites a heated debate within the Russian society. The cathedral being part of the State Museum Complex stands out as a pearl of the world’s iconic architecture. Furthermore, it is the second most visited museum after the Hermitage, boasts an outstanding exhibition potential, and it regularly hosts church services and ritual events. Museum collections exceed twenty-four thousand items of storage, and they continue to be replenished with found rarities and newly restored objects with the status of a relic to be protected. The aim of the article is to measure the value of the assets of the monument building, assessing the insured value of the object. Uncertainty of the future use of the disputed object, however, allows us to consider the calculation capabilities and methodical tools of valuation activities to measure the market and insurance value of such a real estate object and land plot, for example, in order to practice damage compensation and transfer the object from the balance sheet of one owner to balance of another owner. The latter circumstance determines the main discourse of this study. The present article is devoted to questions of an expert estimation of the insured value of the object of research in the form of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. The article is a continuation of a series of previously published works by the author.

Open access
Conservation of the ‘Piast’ Cinema in Słubice: An Architectural, Urban or Moral Problem?

Abstract

For many years, attempts have been made to remove the relic of the ‘Piast’ Cinema in the western town of Słubice from Poland’s monuments register. This would allow for its demolition and construction of a modern commercial building on the site. The majority of the building has already be demolished, with only the front elevation remaining. The façade of the cinema has unique artistic value, representing a rare example of the art deco style in the region. The building also forms an important part of the cultural landscape of this border town, representing the history of both Słubice and nearby Frankfurt. With its total demolition, Słubice would lose a unique monument and the entire frontage of the street on which it is located would be downgraded.

Open access