Assessing environmental fragility in a mining areafor specific spatial planning purposes

Open access

Abstract

Environmental fragility in a mining area is evaluated both in terms of its biophysical (natural) and socio-economic components and their anthropogenic interactions. We identified multiple criteria and indicators for this task, but then reduced these according to responses given by 60 experts in domains related to spatial planning. We used the selected criteria and indicators to develop environment fragility indices for each territorial administrative unit (LAU2) in Gorj County in south-western Romania. The resulting indices reveal quite large spatial variations in fragility and evidence that highly fragile human and physical environments are to some extent intertwined. In this respect, such environmental components as climate, soils, ecosystems, natural hazards and economic issues provide constraints on human activities, whilst humans themselves can, without sufficient care, increase fragility and adversely affect the quality of living environments for present and future generations. We also explore how such estimates of natural and anthropogenic fragility might enable better specific planning for local and regional development that aims to ameliorate both environmental and human adversity in an integrated way.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • ARONSON J. CLEWELL A. F. BLIGNAUT J. N. MILTON S. J. (2006): Ecological restoration: A new frontier for nature conservation and economics. Journal of Nature Conservation 14(3): 135–139.

  • BALIAMOUNE-LUTZ M. MCGILLIVRAY M. (2008): State fragility: Concept and measurement. Research Paper No. 2008/44. Helsinki UNU-WIDER.

  • BAŃSKI J. DEGÓRSKI M. KOMORNICKI. T. ŚLESZYŃSK P. (2018): The delimitation of areas of strategic intervention in Poland: A methodological trial and its results. Moravian Geographical Reports 26(2): 84–94.

  • BATHRELLOS G. D. GAKI-PAPANASTASSIOU K. SKILODIMOU H. D. PAPANASTOSSIOU D. CHOUSIANIDIS K. G. (2012): Potential suitability for urban planning and industry development using natural hazard maps and geological–geomorphological parameters. Environmental Earth Sciences 66(2): 537–548.

  • BONNEFOUS E. (1970): L’homme ou la nature? Paris Hachette.

  • BRAGHINĂ C. DRĂGHICI C. PEPTENATU D. PINTILII R. (2008): Rural changes in restructuring mining areas within Gorj County. The Annals of Valahia University of Târgovişte Geographical Series 8: 151–158.

  • BRAGHINĂ C. TĂLÂNGĂ C. ZAMFIR D. CEPOIU A. L. (2010): Entrepreneurial initiative and regional development. Case study of Gorj County (Romania). Human Geographies-Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geographies 4(1): 79–88.

  • BRAGHINĂ C. PEPTENATU D. DRAGHICI C. PINTILII R. D. SCHVAB A. (2011): Territorial management within the systems affected by mining. Case study the South-Western Development Region in Romania. Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering 8(4): 343–352.

  • CARVALHO F. P. (2017) Mining industry and sustainable development: time for change. Food and Energy Security 6(2): 61–77.

  • CASCHILI S. DE MONTIS A. TROGU D. (2015): Accessibility and rurality indicators for regional development. Computers Environment and Urban Systems 49: 98–114.

  • CERDAN O. GOVERS G. LE BISSONNAIS Y. VAN OOST K. POESEN J. SABY N. GOBIN A. VACCA A. QUINTON J. AUERSWALD K. KLIK A. KWAAD F. J. P. M. RACLOT D. IONITA I. REJMAN J. ROUSSEVA S. MUXART T. ROXO M. J. DOSTAL T. (2010): Rates and spatial variations of soil erosion in Europe: a study based on erosion plot data. Geomorphology 122(1–2): 167–177.

  • CLEWELL A. F. ARONSON J. (2013): Ecological Restoration. Principles Values and Structure of an Emerging Profession. Washington/Covelo/London Island Press.

  • COCHECI R. M. (2015): Individualisation of deprived areas in Romania’s South West region Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis 7(2): 161–176.

  • COCHECI R. M. (2016): Analysis of Fragile Environments in the South-West Oltenia Development Region. Urbanism. Architecture. Constructions 7(2): 21–240.

  • COCHECI R. M. (2017): Models of territorial planning in the restrictive environment. University Publishing House Bucharest.

  • COCHECI R. M. DOROBANTU R. H. SARBU C. N. (2015): Environmental Degradation in Rural Areas with High Anthropic Pressure – Impact and Planning Models. Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 10(3): 25–36.

  • COMMONER B. (1971): The closing circle: nature man and technology Knopf New York.

  • CONSTANTINESCU I. P. (2012): Shrinking Cities in Romania: Former Mining Cities in Valea Jiului. Built Environment 38(2): 214–228.

  • CUCULICI R. MITRICĂ B. GRIGORESCU I. MURĂTOREANU G. (2011): A Diachronic Approach of the Build-Up Areas in the Motru-Rovinari Coal Field. The Annals of Valahia University of Târgovişte Geographical Series 11: 163–174.

  • DOUGLAS I. (2013): Cities – an environmental history. London I.B. Tauris.

  • DOUSTE-BLAZY P. RICHERT P. (2000): La ville à bout de souffle – Pollution urbaine et santé publique. Paris Plon.

  • DRUMMOND M. A. STIER M. P. AUCH R. F. TAYLOR J. I. GRIFFITH G. E. RIEGLE J. L. HESTER D. J. SOULARD C. E. MCBETH J. L. (2015): Assessing Landscape Change and Processes of Recurrence Replacement and Recovery in the Southeastern Coastal Plains USA. Environmental Management 56: 1252–1271.

  • DUMITRACHE L. (2004): Health state of Romanian Population – a geographical approach. Bucharest University Publishing House (in Romanian).

  • DUMITRESCU B. (2008): Mono-industrial towns in Romania: between forced industrialisation and economic decline. Bucharest University Publishing House.

  • EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY (EEA) (2010): Mapping the impacts of natural hazards and technological accidents in Europe. Technical Report Luxembourg Publications Office of the European Union Vol. 13.

  • FERREIRA I. A. (2017): Measuring state fragility: a review of the theoretical groundings of existing approaches. Third World Quarterly 38(6): 1291–1309.

  • FIGUEROA F. SÁNCHEZ-CORDERO V. (2008): Effectiveness of natural protected areas to prevent land use and land cover change in Mexico. Biodiversity and Conservation 17(13): 32–23.

  • FRANTÁL B. KUNC J. KLUSÁČEK P. MARTINÁT S. (2015): Assessing Success Factors of Brownfields Regeneration: International and Inter-Stakeholder Perspective. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences 11(44): 91–107.

  • GELDMANN J. COAD L. BARNES M. CRAIGIE I. D. HOCKINGS M. KNIGHTS K. LEVERINGTON F. CUADROS I. C. ZAMORA C. WOODLEY S. BURGESS N. D. (2015): Changes in protected area management effectiveness over time: A global analysis. Biological Conservation 191: 692–699.

  • GLADE T. (2003): Landslide occurrence as a response to land use change: a review of evidence from New Zealand. Catena 5(3): 297–314.

  • GLIKSON A. (1971): The ecological basis of planning. Hague Martinus Nijhoff.

  • GRAZIANO P. RIZZI P. (2016): Vulnerability and resilience in the local systems: The case of Italian provinces. Science of the Total Environment 553: 211–222.

  • GYOURKO J. KAHN M. TRACY J. (1997): Quality of Life and Environmental Comparisons Handbook of regional and urban economics Vol. 3: 413–1454.

  • HADDAWAY N. R. STYLES D. PULLIN A. S. (2013): Environmental impacts of farm land abandonment in high altitude/mountain regions: a systematic map of the evidence. Environmental Evidence 2(1): 18.

  • HARDEN C. P. CHIN A. ENGLISH M. R. FU R. GALVIN K. A. GERLAK A. K. MCDOWELL P. F. MCNAMARA D. E PETERSON J. M. LEROY POFF N. ROSA E. A. SOLECKI W. D. WOHL E. E. (2014): Understanding Human-Landscape Interactions in the “Anthropocene”. Environmental Management 53(1): 4–13.

  • HOLLING C. S. (1973): Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 4(1): 1–23.

  • IANĂŞI L. (2008): Priorities for a legislative agenda in urban planning. In: Sârbu C. Pascariu G. [eds.]: Recent preoccupations in spatial planning. Bucharest “Ion Mincu” University Publishing House.

  • IANOŞ I. (2000a): Less favoured areas and regional development in Romania In: Horvath G. [ed.]: Regions and Cities in the Global World Essays in Honour of Gyorgy Enyedi (pp. 176–191). Pecs Centre for Regional Studies HAS.

  • IANOŞ I. (2000b): Territorial systems – A geographical approach (in Romanian). Bucharest Technical Publishing House.

  • IANOŞ I. (2016): Causal relationships between economic dynamics and migration. Romania as case study. In: Dominguez-Mujica J. [ed.]: Global Change and Human Mobility Series title: Advances Geographical and Environmental Sciences (pp. 249–264). Dordrecht Springer.

  • IANOŞ I. HUMEAU J. B. TĂLÂNGĂ C. BRAGHINĂ C. ANCUŢA C. BOGDAN L. (2010): Ethics of space and the treatment of most disadvantaged areas. Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 5(2): 203–210.

  • IANOŞ I. PETRIŞOR A. I. ZAMFIR D. CEPOIU A. L. STOICA I. V. TĂLÂNGĂ C. (2013): In search of a relevant index measuring territorial disparities in a transition country. Romania as case study. Die Erde 144(1): 69–81.

  • IANOŞ I. MERCIU C. SORENSEN A. (2017). Incoherence of urban planning policy in Bucharest: its potential for land use conflict. Land Use Policy 60(1): 101–112.

  • IANOŞ I. SĂGEATĂ R. SORENSEN A. (2018). Simion Mehedinţi’s Contribution to Modern Romanian Geography. Professional Geographer 70(3): 504–512.

  • IOJĂ I. C. (2008): Assessment methods and techniques of environmental quality in the Metropolitan area of Bucharest (in Romanian). Bucharest University Publishing House.

  • KLEIN J. JARVA J. FRANK-KAMENETSKY D. BOGATYREV I. (2013). Integrated geological risk mapping: a qualitative methodology applied in St. Petersburg Russia. Environmental earth sciences 70(4): 1629–1645.

  • KUNC J. MARTINÁT S. TONEV P. FRANTÁL B. (2014): Destiny of Urban Brownfields: Spatial Patterns and Perceived Consequences of Post-Socialistic Deindustrialization. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences 41E: 109–128.

  • LANG D. MOLINA-PALACIOS S. LINDHOLM C. BALAN S. (2012). Deterministic earthquake damage and loss assessment for the city of Bucharest Romania. Journal of Seismology 16(1): 67–88.

  • SALVIA A. L. LEAL FILHO W. BRANDLI L. L. GRIEBELER J. S. (2019). Assessing research trends related to Sustainable Development Goals: Local and global issues. Journal of cleaner production 208: 841–849.

  • MAC I. (2003): Science of the Environment (in Romanian). Cluj-Napoca Europontica.

  • MACEDO D. R. HUGHES R. M. KAUFMANN P. R. CALISTO M. (2018): Development and validation of an environmental fragility index (EFI) for neotropical savannah biome. Science of the Total Environment 635: 1267–1279.

  • MARINICĂ I. MARINICĂ A. F. (2013): Pluvial Hazards in Oltenia in May 2012. Riscuri si Catastrofe 13(2): 21–34.

  • Master Plan of Gorj County (2011): Master Plan of Gorj County. Târgu Jiu: County Council.

  • MCCLINTOCK N. (2012): Assessing soil lead contamination at multiple scales in Oakland California: Implications for urban agriculture and environmental justice. Applied Geography 35(1–2): 460–473.

  • MINISTERUL ECONOMIEI(2017): Mining Strategy of Romania 2017–2035 (in Romanian) [online]. Available at: http://economie.gov.ro/images/resurse-minerale/STRATEGIE.pdf

  • MINONIU A. S. (2011): Provisions for floods prevention and control in Gilort Hydrographic basin. Riscuri si Catastrofe 9(2): 237–246.

  • MOCANU I. GRIGORESCU I. MITRICĂ B. POPOVICI E. A. DUMITRASCU M. (2018): Regional disparities related to socio-economic determinants of agriculture in the Romanian Plain. Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis 10(1): 79–99.

  • NILSSON C. GRELSSON G. (1995): The fragility of ecosystems: a review. Journal of Applied Ecology 32(4): 677–692.

  • ODUM E. P. ODUM H. T. ANDREWS J. (1971): Fundamentals of ecology. Philadelphia Saunders.

  • OIKONOMOU V. DIMITRAKOPOULOS P. G. TROUMBIS A. Y. (2011): Incorporating Ecosystem Function Concept in Environmental Planning and Decision Making by Means of Multi-Criteria Evaluation: The Case-Study of Kalloni Lesbos Greece. Environmental Management 47(1): 77–92.

  • OMERNIK J. M. GRIFFITH G. E. (2014): Ecoregions of the Conterminous United States: Evolution of a Hierarchical Spatial Framework. Environmental Management 54(6): 1249–1266.

  • ONGLEY E. D. BOOTY W. G. (1999): Pollution remediation planning in developing countries: Conventional modelling versus knowledge-based prediction. Water International 24(1): 1 31–38.

  • PAPATHOMA-KÖHLE M. NEUHÄUSER B. RATZINGER K. WENZEL H. DOMINEY-HOWES D. (2007): Elements at risk as a framework for assessing the vulnerability of communities to landslides. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 7: 765–779.

  • PAVEL A. MOLDOVAN B. A. (2016): The effect of Access to Grants and Transport Infrastructure on Local Economic Development in North-West Region’s Rural Areas. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences 39(2): 140–152.

  • PĂTROESCU M. IOJĂ C. ROZYLOWICZ L. VÂNĂU G. NIŢĂ M. PĂTROESCU-KLÖTZ I. IOJĂ A. (2012): Integrated assessment of environmental quality in the residential spaces (in Romanian). Bucharest University Printing House.

  • PETRIŞOR A. I. IANOŞ I. TĂLÂNGĂ C. (2010). Land cover and use changes focused on the urbanization processes in Romania. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal 9(6): 765–771.

  • PETROSILLO I. ZURLINI G. GRATO E. ZACCARELLI N. (2006): Indicating fragility of socio-ecological tourism-based systems. Ecological Indicators 6(1): 104–113.

  • POPESCU R. C. (2000): Romanian Industry during the XX Century. A Geographical Analysis (in Romanian). Bucharest Oscar Print.

  • POPOVICI E. A. BALTEANU D. KUCSICSA G. (2013): Assessment of changes in land-use and land-cover pattern in Romania using Corine Land Cover database. Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 8(4): 195–208.

  • PRIMACK R. PĂTROESCU M. ROZYLOWICZ L. IOJĂ C. (2008): The fundaments of biological diversity conservation (in Romanian). Bucharest AGIR.

  • RAMOS R. SURINACH J. ARTÍS M. (2012): Regional economic growth and human capital: The role of over-education. Regional Studies 46(10): 1389–1400.

  • ROBINSON J. (2004): Squaring the circle? Some thoughts on the idea of sustainable development. Ecological Eonomics 48(4): 369–384.

  • SALVATI L. ZITTI M. (2007): Territorial disparities natural resource distribution and land degradation: a case study in southern Europe. GeoJournal 70(2): 185–194.

  • SANCHEZ P. A. (2002): Soil fertility and hunger in Africa. Science 295(5562): 2019.

  • SĂGEATĂ R. (2012): Inter-communal cooperation and regional development: The case of Romania. Quaestions Geographicae 31(2): 95–106.

  • SHENGFA L. XIUBIN L. (2017): Global understanding of farmland abandonment: A review and prospects. Journal of Geographical Sciences 27(10): 1169–1184.

  • SONG Y. HOU D. ZHANG J. O’CONNOR D. LI G. GU Q. LI S. LI P. (2018): Environmental and socio-economic sustainability appraisal of contaminated land remediation strategies: A case study at a mega-site in China. Science of the Total Environment 610: 391–401.

  • SORENSEN A. (2017): Community Development in an Age of Mounting Uncertainty: Armidale Australia In: Halseth G. [ed.]: Transformation of Resource Towns and Peripheries: Political economy perspective (pp. 249–267). Oxford and New York Routledge.

  • SPASIĆ N. PETOVAR K. JOKIĆ V. (2007): Transformation of Settlements and Population in Large Lignite Basins. Belgrade Institute of Architecture and Urban and Spatial Planning of Serbia.

  • STAMATIS G. PARPODIS K. FILINTAS A. ZAGANA E. (2011): Groundwater quality nitrate pollution and irrigation environmental management in the Neogene sediments of an agricultural region in central Thessaly (Greece). Environmental Earth Sciences 64(4): 1081–1105.

  • STANILOV K. [ed.] (2007): The Post-Socialist City: Urban Form and Space Transformations in Central and Eastern Europe after Socialism. Dordrecht Springer.

  • TALEB N. (2012): Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder. London Penguin.

  • TÁNAGO I. G. URQUIJO J. BLAUHUT V. VILLAROYA F. DE STEFANO L. (2016): Learning from experience: a systematic review of assessments of vulnerability to drought. Natural Hazards 80(2): 951–973.

  • TITU A. BALAZSI K. (2007): Implications of coal mining exploitation in morphology change. Case study: the Motru and Baraolt Mining Basins. Lucrările Seminarului Geografic “Dimitrie Cantemir” 27: 161–170.

  • VĂDINEANU A. (1998): Sustainable Development. Theory and Practice. Bucharest University Publishing House.

  • VOJVODÍKOVÁ B. (2005): Colliery Brownfields and the Master Plan of Ostrava. Moravian Geographical Reports 13(2): 49–56.

  • WASYLYCIA-LEIS J. FITZPATRICK P. FONSECA A. (2014): Mining communities from a Resilience Perspective: Managing Disturbance and Vulnerability in Itabira Brazil. Environmental Management 53(3): 481–495.

  • WYANT J. G. MEGANCK R. A. HAM S. H. (1995): A planning and Decision-Making Framework for Ecological Restoration. Environmental Management 19(6): 789–796.

  • YASKAL I. MAHA L. V. PETRASHCHAK O. (2018): Spatial Distribution of Economic Activities and Internal Economic Integration in Romania. Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis 10(2): 217–240.

  • YU Q. YUE D. WANG Y. KAI S. FANG M. MA H. ZHANG Q. HUANG Y. (2018): Optimization of ecological node layout and stability analysis of ecological network in desert oasis: a typical case study of ecological fragile zone located at Deng Kou County (Inner Mongolia). Ecological Indicators 84: 304–318.

  • ZHANG J. FU M. HASSANI F. P. ZENG H. GENG Y. BAI Z. (2011): Land Use-Based Landscape Planning and Restoration in Mine Closure Areas. Environmental Management 47(5): 739–750.

  • ZOBRIST J. SIMA M. DOGARU D. SENILA M. YANG H. POPESCU C. ROMAN C. BELA A. FREI L. DOLD B. BĂLTEANU D. (2009): Environmental and socio-economic assessment of impacts by mining activities – a case study in the Certej River catchment Western Carpathians Romania. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 16(1): 14–26.

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.870
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.858

CiteScore 2018: 2.07

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.445
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.877

Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 37 37 17
PDF Downloads 59 59 23