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A. Townsend Peterson, Monica Papeş and Jorge Soberón

Abstract

The suite of factors that drives where and under what conditions a species occurs has become the focus of intense research interest. Three general categories of methods have emerged by which researchers address questions in this area: mechanistic models of species’ requirements in terms of environmental conditions that are based on first principles of biophysics and physiology, correlational models based on environmental associations derived from analyses of geographic occurrences of species, and process-based simulations that estimate occupied distributional areas and associated environments from assumptions about niche dimensions and dispersal abilities. We review strengths and weaknesses of these sets of approaches, and identify significant advantages and disadvantages of each. Rather than identifying one or the other as ‘better,’ we suggest that researchers take great care to use the method best-suited to each specific research question, and be conscious of the weaknesses of any method, such that inappropriate interpretations are avoided.

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Agnieszka Stec and Daniel Słyś

. [11] Study of Conditions and Directions of Spatial Development for the Town of Przemyśl. http://www.przemysl.pl/65/gospodarka_przestrzenna/studium_uwarunkowan_i_kier_zagospodar/ [12] US Environmental Protection Agency, SWMM v.5.018. http://www.epa.gov/ednnrmrl/models/swmm/ [13] Słyś D, Dziopak J. Development of mathematical model for sewage pumping-station in the modernized combineg sewage system for the Town of Przemyśl. Polish J Environ Stud. 2011;3:743-753. [14] Słyś D, Dziopak J, Hypiak J. Hydrodynamic simulation

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Annett Steinführer, Antonín Vaishar and Jana Zapletalová

. (2009). Changes in small town social capital and civic engagement. Journal of Rural Studies 25(2), 185-193. [7] Burdack, J. (2010). Lokal basierte Kleinstadtentwicklung im östlichen Europa: Potenziale, Probleme und Praktiken - eine Einführung. In: Borsig, A., Burdack, J., Knappe, E., eds.: Small towns in Eastern Europe: local networks and urban development (pp. 5-12). Leipzig: Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde. [8] Bürk, T. (2013). Voices from the Margin. The Stigmatization Process as an Effect of Socio- Spatial Peripheralization in

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S. Musienko, O. Lyalin, L. Tkach, V. Babenko and M. Sułkowska

Abstract

The main aim of our study was to examine the current state and to analyse the prospects of the development of urban forests in the city of Kharkiv. Modern methods of assessment and forest resources ranking were used in the evaluation process. The data from the last basic forest inventory and the electronic database of the ‘Ukrderzhlisproekt’ Production Association are used.Conducted investigation enables to assess the state of the urban forests in Kharkiv, to show the division of forest resources by the land category, to list the species composition according to the forests stakeholders as well as to compare the existing and optimal division subject to the age group and to calculate the average forest valuation indicators. Our results indicated that the urban forests have different indicators in the context of permanent users. The existing division of the forest stands by the age group and average forest valuation indicators do not satisfy the optimal ones. Thereby, the vital problem in solving the issue of the conducting forestry in the urban forests transferred to the scientific base for the provision of their optimal growth, development and carrying out of their functions in full exists to date.

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Sołjan Sołjan

The sanctuary as a means of organizing urban space: a case study of selected sanctuaries in Poland

This paper attempts to show that a sanctuary can alter urban space. A sanctuary is a very special place because of its religious nature and attracts both pilgrims and tourists. The spatial structure of a sanctuary is determined largely by changes in the volume and nature of pilgrim ‘traffic’. Modern pilgrimage centres are becoming more open to visitors who wish to take part in the life of a sanctuary, even if this involves non-religious activities. The sanctuary's religious offering is supplemented with typical tourism attractions. The establishment of a sanctuary affects the development and spatial organization of a city in a variety of ways. Large sanctuaries favour the development of sanctuary service zones that cater for pilgrims. This is also true in Poland. There are, however, some large and midsize sanctuaries that have no additional facilities designed for pilgrims and this is almost always true of regional and national sanctuaries in Poland.

Open access

Joanna Angiel

Abstract

This paper presents the perception of the Vistula river, the most important of Poland’s rivers, by high-school students from selected Vistula towns and cities. The study of the perception of this river, conducted in 2006-2007, concerned, among other things, the symbolism of the Vistula, its role in nature and landscape of Poland, as well as the course of the river flowing through Poland. It was ascertained that most students perceive the Vistula as a symbol of Poland or the longest river in Poland, but they do not notice, for instance, its ecological role, although they are aware of its role in the landscape of Poland. The results of the study determine the direction and the topics of the geographic education concerning the Vistula river in Polish schools.

Open access

Mariusz Czupich

Abstract

Social participation enables citizens to take part in the decision-making process. It is an increasingly popular instrument in Poland. The effectiveness of participation is the most important issue in this context. In accordance with the Act of 9 October 2015, urban regeneration mainly applies to mitigating negative social phenomena. The social aspect is also important at the stage of establishing urban regeneration programmes. Extensive social participation in the process of creating these programmes is one of the main requirements. The aim of the article is to present the scale of the involvement of local communities in the procedure of creating regeneration programmes in selected small towns in Poland. Conclusions from the analysis include an assessment of participation success rate in regeneration activities.

Open access

Gordana Ristovska, Dragan Gjorgjev, Aziz Polozhani, Mihail Kočubovski and Vladimir Kendrovski

Environmental Noise and Annoyance in Adult Population of Skopje: A Cross-Sectional Study

The aim of this study was to identify noise exposure indicators during day and night in the city of Skopje and to see if there is an association between these noise exposure indicators and annoyance. We have performed noise measurements and interviewed 510 adult subjects, using a questionnaire, prepared according to the ISO/TS-15666 standard. Average noise level over the day (Lday) was (62±6.45) dB(A) and over night (Lnight) (56±6.52) dB(A). Thirteen percent of subjects reported a high level, and 33.5% moderate level of annoyance. The most annoying noise sources were construction activities (34% of the subjects), road traffic (24%), and leisure/entertainment activities (18%). We found a significant association between exposure to Lday in the range 61 dB(A) to 65 dB(A) and annoyance in the exposed population (chi-square = 86.14; p<0.001; Spearman's R=0.45; p<0.05). During the night time annoyance was reported with exposure to Lnight above 46 dB(A). Levels of annoyance in Macedonia are similar to levels in developed European countries. Differences are in the source of noise. This study has shown that environmental noise is a significant hazard in urban environments, and assessment of annoyance may prove a useful tool for town planners and public health policy makers.

Open access

Roman Matykowski

The Electorate in Poland's Large and Medium-Sized cities and Towns and its Influence on the Results of the 2007 Parliamentary Elections

Urbanization is regarded among the most significant factors affecting election-related behaviour in Poland. In order to identify the importance of Poland's municipal electorate, a procedure of reverse elimination was applied to the electorates of successive largest cities in Poland, followed by a structure of supporting the strongest political parties at each stage of the cities' rank elimination. Whenever each successive elimination is followed by dwindling support for a given party, this party is referred to as pro-metropolitan.

Open access

Katarzyna Pukowiec and Wojciech Kurda

Abstract

Nature’s resources having a usability attribute are nature values – if they are able to provide for human demands that are being exploited. This article relates to the environmental potential of mining and post – mining areas as well as possibilities of its use in the development of tourisms and recreation. An original typology of the nature value and the assessment of the tourist usability of environment of chosen mining towns of the Rybnik Coal Area – Wodzisław Śląski, Radlin, Rydułtowy, and Pszów are presented in this work. The Rybnik Coal Area is situated in the southern Poland, in a south-west part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. A geological substratum consists of Carboniferous rocks with a hard coal layer exploited from the end of 18th century, but more intensively in the last half-century. In all of the researched towns, hard coal mining is still running and anthropogenic processes changing the environment are taking place. An inventory of natural resources was performed during the direct field work in the years 2010-2011. The nature values were catalogued in a typological way according to the elements of the environment from which they result, focusing on the mining character of the research areas. Therefore, geologic, geomorphologic, hydrologic and biotic (of flora and fauna) have been highlighted, while climatic values have been omitted intentionally due to the vast issue of the assessment of the bioclimatic zone potential. Additionally, natural and anthropogenic elements were distinguished in each group of the values. Due to a significant degree of anthropogenic transformations of the environment, the analysed area is characterised by low environmental attractiveness; tourism and recreation play a marginal role there. Among the nature values of the analysed towns, the geologic qualities are the most significant ones. Therefore, geotourism is the form of tourist activity suggested to revive the region. The greatest potential for the development of geotourism is shown by Pszów, Radlin, Rydułtowy. The development and popularisation of geoturism should be included in the planning documents of the towns mentioned above. In order to increase tourist movement, it is suggested to mark up so-called academic-didactic paths and to mark geotourist object with appropriate information signs and more importantly with the development of infrastructure serving tourism and recreation.