Rural-Urban Relations and Territorial Development in Central and Eastern Europe

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 7609

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Human Geography Department, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, 023993 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: regional development & territorial planning; human & regional geography; settlements systems; urban & rural geography; political geography & geopolitics

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Guest Editor
Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Institute for Regional Studies, Liszt Ferenc u. 10, 9022 Győr, Hungary
Interests: regional development & territorial planning urban environment; environmental impacts of urbanization along the urban-rural gradient; environmental economics; cross-border area development

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Guest Editor
Department of Human and Economic Geography, Faculty of Geography and Interdisciplinary Center of Advanced Research on Territorial Dynamics (CICADIT), University of Bucharest, 050663 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: deindustrialization and tertiarization; urban regeneration; functional-economic reconversions; built heritage and territorial identity; preservation of local identity values; creative industries; graffiti and street art
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
GIS and Environmental Geography Department, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, 023993 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: interdisciplinary research on man–environment interactions; local and regional development; urban–rural relationships and synergies; land use/land cover changes; urban geography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Knowing and evaluating the impact of the phenomena generated by globalisation  are paramount for understanding contemporary spatial dynamics and implementing appropriate territorial development policies. Central and Eastern Europe have experienced a rapid transition from Soviet-inspired, centralised development policies to those based on free competition, which has led to a cascade of phenomena impacting territorial development and the relationships between villages and cities: deindustrialisation, labour migration, depopulation, changes in the functional zoning of human settlements and land use, the expansion and development of peri-urban and metropolitan areas, etc.

For this Special Issue, we are interested in contributions that connect the changes and dynamics of rural–urban relations with territorial development, as well as with the research of phenomena enabling these connections. The studies can be both theoretical in nature, aimed at improving the theoretical–methodological framework, or in the form of empirical research and regional case studies targeting the key phenomena that facilitate these connections. The proposed research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Regional development and the resilience of rural and urban systems;
  • Rural–urban relations and the post-pandemic social-economic context;
  • Management of urban–rural interfaces;
  • Poverty and social risks;
  • Social risks and the adjustment of rural and urban communities to climate change;
  • The impact of environmental changes on the structure and dynamics of land cover;
  • Land cover changes in peri-urban and ex-urban areas and their environmental effects;
  • Disadvantaged and/or monofunctional areas;
  • Rural–urban relations in border and/or cross-border areas;
  • Changes in urban and rural functional zoning;
  • Deindustrialisation and tertiarisation and the impact on urban and rural communities;
  • Counter-urbanisation and city–village migration perspectives;
  • Depopulation and its social-economic consequences;
  • Suburbanisation, metropolisation and gentrification;
  • The impact of the Russian–Ukrainian conflict on the system of human settlements in Romania.

Dr. Radu-Dănuț Săgeată
Dr. Tamás Hardi
Dr. Andreea-Loreta Cercleux
Dr. Ines Grigorescu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • rural–urban relations
  • territorial development
  • resilience
  • poverty
  • migrations
  • functional areas
  • metropolisation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 2099 KiB  
Article
An Overview of Population Dynamics in Romanian Carpathians (1912–2021): Factors, Spatial Patterns and Urban–Rural Disparities
by Ionel Muntele, Marinela Istrate, Haralambie Athes and Alexandru Bănică
Land 2023, 12(9), 1756; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091756 - 9 Sep 2023
Viewed by 769
Abstract
Our paper aims to analyze the tendencies of population dynamics in the area of the Romanian Carpathians, as well as the factors and spatial processes that can explain the disparities, discontinuities and tensions of demographic evolution. Starting from the hypothesis of an existing [...] Read more.
Our paper aims to analyze the tendencies of population dynamics in the area of the Romanian Carpathians, as well as the factors and spatial processes that can explain the disparities, discontinuities and tensions of demographic evolution. Starting from the hypothesis of an existing set of well-known particularities of the three areas of the Romanian Carpathians (Eastern, Southern and Western), in close connection with the specific manner of using natural and human resources of each area, the main objective of our study is to pinpoint the significant aspects of depopulation and population redistribution. The database was established resorting to censuses from 1912 to the present time. Coupled with a typology of population evolution, a regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between population size changes through time and other variables. The results highlight the contrast between the sustained dynamic in the first part of our study period and the subsequent decline, particularly in the case of establishments specialized in industrial extraction activities. Despite all this, clear signs and tendencies of revitalization and dynamism can be observed, especially where urban and rural settlements are well adapted to the natural environment and can benefit from a significant tourism potential. Full article
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0 pages, 3247 KiB  
Article
Deindustrialization, Tertiarization and Suburbanization in Central and Eastern Europe. Lessons Learned from Bucharest City, Romania
by Radu Săgeată, Bianca Mitrică, Andreea-Loreta Cercleux, Ines Grigorescu and Tamás Hardi
Land 2023, 12(9), 1731; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091731 - 6 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1120 | Correction
Abstract
This paper intends to delve deeply into the current understanding of the ways in which the transition from a central-based economy to an economy relying on free competition has led to changes in the big urban centers, bringing about a change in the [...] Read more.
This paper intends to delve deeply into the current understanding of the ways in which the transition from a central-based economy to an economy relying on free competition has led to changes in the big urban centers, bringing about a change in the relationships with the suburban areas. The authors take into account the high population density, the lack of space, and the elevated price of land within the big cities, which leads to urban functions migrating beyond the administrative boundaries, thus favoring the process of suburbanization. Given the context, commercial forces shift, migrating from the center to the urban peripheries or even outside them. This research is based on a comprehensive process of participative investigation (2012–2022) in Bucharest, Romania’s capital city. The research relies on field investigation, statistical and quantitative analyses and bibliographical sources. The conclusions rely primarily on the idea that political changes cannot be separated from economic, cultural and environmental ones, highlighting globalizing flows and the development of big cities. Industrial activities, strongly developed within a central-based economy, have significantly declined, which is partly compensated for by the development of the tertiary sector and, in particular, of commercial services leading to a functional reconversion of the urban peripheries and of suburban areas. The conclusions suggest that it is very important to be highly careful regarding the dilemmas and challenges ensuing from uncontrolled urban growth; therefore, several measures of urban planning should be taken with a view to achieving a better cooperation between urban stakeholders and those from the metropolitan areas so as to attain some common objectives in infrastructure in order to reach an integrated regional development. Full article
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20 pages, 7439 KiB  
Article
Changes in the Patterns of Population Distribution and Built-Up Areas of the Rural–Urban Fringe in Post-Socialist Context—A Central European Case Study
by János Pénzes, László Dávid Hegedűs, Kanat Makhanov and Zoltán Túri
Land 2023, 12(9), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091682 - 28 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
The rapid and significant expansion of urban areas is observed worldwide; however, considerable differences are detected within the characteristics of the process. The rural–urban fringe is changing most dynamically from the aspect of land use and this tends to be relevant in the [...] Read more.
The rapid and significant expansion of urban areas is observed worldwide; however, considerable differences are detected within the characteristics of the process. The rural–urban fringe is changing most dynamically from the aspect of land use and this tends to be relevant in the case of post-socialist cities in Central Europe even with a stagnating or decreasing population. Debrecen (Hungary) and its hinterland adequately represent the migration trends of Hungarian cities and the great administrative area provided wide intra-urban suburbanization processes. The current study put the emphasis on the analysis of the spatial pattern of built-up areas and the distribution of residents. In order to discover the processes of the post-socialist transition period, detailed point layers were created to illustrate every built-up parcel in the rural–urban fringe of Debrecen (for the years 1980, 2000, and 2020). The most important characteristics were discovered with the help of GIS methods—Kernel-density, grid pattern analysis of the object density, and analysis of land cover/land use changes using Corine Land Cover Change (CLCC) databases. The dynamic and extended expansion of built-up areas was seen until 2000, in which the outskirts (including hobby gardens) densified spectacularly. The urban sprawl has been less intensive since the millennium and the increase in built-up areas has become more concentrated. As a consequence of the transition period, extended territories—primarily the least dense parts of the rural–urban fringe—are faced with the disappearance of buildings due to agricultural cultivation reasons. Full article
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31 pages, 6501 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Rural Development through Local Cultural Heritage Capitalization—Analyzing the Cultural Tourism Potential in Rural Romanian Areas: A Case Study of Hărman Commune of Brașov Region in Romania
by Cătălina Ancuța and Ioan Sebastian Jucu
Land 2023, 12(7), 1297; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071297 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
This paper explores the issues connected between rural sustainable development in formerly state-socialist countries and the local cultural heritage of rural areas. It pays specific attention to the potential of cultural tourism which can enhance local rural development. This paper is a case [...] Read more.
This paper explores the issues connected between rural sustainable development in formerly state-socialist countries and the local cultural heritage of rural areas. It pays specific attention to the potential of cultural tourism which can enhance local rural development. This paper is a case study of the Hărman commune, and this area is investigated in depth. It is one of the most important rural and cultural areas located in Brașov County of Romania, a country with an impressive cultural heritage concentrated in its rural areas. The study uses a mixed-method analysis combining quantitative and qualitative research (focus groups, interviews, oral histories, and personal conversions), participatory ethnographic observation, and logical framework analysis (LFA). The main findings of the study illustrate that the Hărman commune has an important cultural heritage which could be more capitalized on in the future through the lens of cultural tourism to ensure local sustainability and to open up new perspectives in terms of local development, connecting rural and cultural tourism with other economic activities. Furthermore, the main findings of this study represent, beyond an informative platform for the local actors in rural development, an inspiring instrument that could frame new policies in local rural sustainable development and fertile backgrounds for new debates in local rural sustainability, enriching local agendas on rural sustainable development through cultural heritage capitalization and cultural tourism. Full article
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3 pages, 1898 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Săgeată et al. Deindustrialization, Tertiarization and Suburbanization in Central and Eastern Europe. Lessons Learned from Bucharest City, Romania. Land 2023, 12, 1731
by Radu Săgeată, Bianca Mitrică, Andreea-Loreta Cercleux, Ines Grigorescu and Tamás Hardi
Land 2024, 13(4), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13040486 - 9 Apr 2024
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Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
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10 pages, 4473 KiB  
Technical Note
Soil Footprint and Land-Use Change to Clean Energy Production: Implications for Solar and Wind Power Plants
by Alessia Cogato, Francesco Marinello and Andrea Pezzuolo
Land 2023, 12(10), 1822; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12101822 - 24 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Shifting from fossil fuels to alternative energies is crucial for mitigating climate change and reducing dependence on environmentally harmful resources. Measuring the soil footprint of alternative energies is equally essential, as it helps promote sustainable development. This research proposes a methodological approach to [...] Read more.
Shifting from fossil fuels to alternative energies is crucial for mitigating climate change and reducing dependence on environmentally harmful resources. Measuring the soil footprint of alternative energies is equally essential, as it helps promote sustainable development. This research proposes a methodological approach to assess the land consumed by photovoltaic panels installed on land (PVL), on roofs (PVR), and wind power systems (WP) in Italy. A sample of 186 plants was analysed, and the total area occupied by these plants was measured. Moreover, the area needed for new infrastructure and facilities serving the plants was measured. Finally, the land use change was assessed by determining the land use before installing PVL and WP. Approximately 92.8% of WP entailed the construction of new road networks, while 34.8% of PVL required the construction of new buildings. The surface area demand by the WP was lower (1.3 m2 kW−1) than PVL (21.2 m2 kW−1). Overall, a highly positive correlation was found between the nominal power of the plants and the total area occupied (R2 = 0.94, 0.95, and 0.90 for PVL, PVR, and WP, respectively). The areas occupied by new plants were mainly devoted to agriculture (75.8% for PVL and 71.4% for WP); however, WP were also located in forest areas (17.9%). The methodology proposed may be extended to assess the global footprint of alternative energies and address sustainable energy management. Full article
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