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Magazine from the European Geography Association for students and young geographers

the European Geographer

Third issue December 2008

Europe and Geography in 20 years of networking


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Jeroen van Pelt - “Geography since 1988: growing networks in Europe?!”

EGEA Articles 04

Karsten Schacht - Egea’s reservoir of Dinosaurs and the chance for effective and professional networking

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Jörn Bobenhausen - The tasty way to build up networks… Recipe: Hermany Weekend 2008 (serving for 20 – 30 persons)

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Cătălina Georgiana Ioniţă - Farewell to Green A Review on the ERC 08, the Green Congress

General Articles

Colophon The EGEA Magazine is a publication from the European Geography Association for Geography students and young Geographers. The EGEA Magazine is published twice a year. The magazine is produced for the EGEA community, EGEA partners and all others interested in EGEA, Geography and Europe. Postal address: EGEA Faculty of Geosciences - Utrecht University P.O.Box 80.115 NL-3508 TC Utrecht Telephone: +31-30-2539708 E-mail: egea@egea.eu E-mail EGEA magazine: egea.magazine@egea.eu Website: www.egea.eu

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Aino Kirillova - Opening the Worlds…

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Ilinca Drăgan - Mountains as a Linking Network within Europe. Case Study – Făgăraş Mountains, Romania

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Claudia Leca - Danube – life importance

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Nicu Ciobotaru - Climate changes, possible effects

Editors of the third issue: Vera Bornemann, Adriana Moldovan, Elisabeth Wimmer Vlad Dumitrescu

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Elisabeth Wimmer - A trend towards digital outdoor games is emerging through virtual networks

Graphic Design: GeoMedia

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Gert Ruepert, Willem de Joode, Tatyana Matweewa – Friendship in the city – decentralised cooperation in Europe, the case of Pskov

Authors: Jeroen van Pelt, Karsten Schacht, Jörn Bobenhausen, Cătălina Georgiana Ioniţă, Aino Kirillova Ilinca, Drăgan, Claudia Leca, Nicu Ciobotaru, Elisabeth Wimmer, Gert Ruepert, Willem de Joode, Tatyana Matweewa, Janek Smutek, Gábor Hegedũs, Karolina Swiderska, Ryan McAvoy, Torsten Wissmann

Scientific Articles 24

Janek Smutek - Partner cities in East Europe after political changes – in common towards transformation

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Gábor Hegedũs - Some general features of gated communities in Hungary

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Karolina Swiderska - Demographic development of Vienna in the second half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century

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Ryan McAvoy - The gay scene in Belfast during the last 30 years

Coverphoto: Vera Bornemann

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Torsten Wissmann - The network is us. Podcasting as a chance to connect a scientific discipline

Authors are completely responsible for the content of their articles and references made by them.

Photos: Jeroen van Pelt, Dirk Lindemann, Matthias Stiller, Jörn Bobenhausen, Aino Kirillova, Ilinca Dragan, Claudia Leca, Adriana Moldovan, Elisabeth Wimmer, Gert Ruepert, V. Marvin, Gábor Hegedűs

The editors would like to thank: Gérard van Betlehem – GeoMedia , Margot Stoete – GeoMedia Faculty of Geosciences , Utrecht University Jeroen van Pelt, Lisette van Leijenhorst, All authors EGEA is supported by: ESRI - HERODOT - Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University This publication is financed by the European Commission through the Youth in Action Programme.

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“Geography since 1988: growing networks in Europe?!” Jeroen van Pelt BoE Chairman 08/09 jeroen.vanpelt@egea.eu Days are getting shorter; the end of the year is coming closer… When Christmas and New Year’s Eve are only a few days in front of us, you could slowly start thinking about ‘your 2008’: the good and bad things that happened, dreams that might have come true and so many new people you got to know. Especially in the younger years of your life, it seems like a never-ending story: your network keeps growing and growing. Also for EGEA: although we lost some old entities to EGEA’s graveyard, we could happily welcome new ones: EGEA Tampere, Bergen, Salzburg, Roma and Pécs. We also made new friends in Pushkinskie Gory, in Mozet, Korte, Sinaia and Leigo. We met Greek malakas on Santorini and Ios, the big German Hermann and celebrated Ukrainian Independence Day with the locals. EGEA is definitely not retiring yet! Past Retiring?! We are only 20 years old! The first 10 years we met our first friends and have grown as quick as a young child is growing. The last 10 years have been as a real teenager’s life: conditions were constantly changing. Since a few years we are suddenly having an own budget to spend, more than the first pocketmoney we got from our ‘parents’ in Utrecht. We are more and more independent from them, earning our own salary from the EU. Let’s hope they won’t fire us next year! EGEA also (almost) got rid of its parents, who set up the first steps and rules for development. We just have to convince our supervisor (Dutch government) of our new status…

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Present Retiring?! It’s more alive than ever before! In total more than 50 active committee members spread over 5 committees. New initiatives like EGEA Open, the renewed European Geographer, a brand new website on its way and other initiatives to improve EGEA. No time to retire and lay back: we have a network to develop!!! Future Retiring?! So much more to come for us! EGEAns are packing their bags for four different style New Year’s Events (equally spread over the regions) and loads of upcoming exchanges (counting both ways we reach almost 75 exchanges a year!). They are starting to subscribe for the upcoming congresses organized by EGEA Vilnius, Mainz, Warszawa, Beograd and Novi Sad. In fact, all are improving

their network within Europe. A network to enjoy, but also to exchange geographical knowledge. And there it is, at the end of a cold and windy autumn: our 3rd Edition of the European Geographer! A very special edition: for the first time supervised by a truly editorial and international board. On behalf of the BoE I would like to thank Vera (Mainz), Elli (Munich), Adriana and Vlad (Bucharest), for the great effort to make this possible. I hope you will enjoy reading the European Geographer and remember how much EGEA affected and still affects your network within Europe! Wish you all a great new year of networking!!!

Jeroen van Pelt - EGEA President 2008/2009


Egea-Alumni – Egea’s reservoir of Dinosaurs and the chance for effective and professional networking Karsten Schacht EGEA Alumni karstenschacht@web.de Egea stands as a vivid community of young people connected to geography, for the promotion and the development of activities between geography students and young geographers and the progress of geography in general. We organise events and we get to know each other while travelling around Europe. This takes place usually during the time we study, when we are connected and active in our entity.

Finishing studies means in most cases not automatically the loss of connection to your entity, but by graduation, by moving away or because of the normal fluctuation of people inside the entity people naturally grow out of the entity and with that out of Egea as a whole. For the foundation this means a big loss in the sense of networking. Loosing the young professionals does mean the loss Still a way to go EGEA Alumni Weekend 2008 in Hochfügen

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of experienced egeans who would not longer be able to share their potential in help, expertise and knowledge for the benefit of the aims of egea in any way. Already some years ago this fact was noticed and taken into account. The idea was to find an easy possibility to keep graduated students, so called “Young Geographers”, close to the foundation, maybe through some kind of new association inside the association. Egea needed a structure which was not longer dependent to a certain city or institution. During a meeting, which was held in August 2005, the group of egeaAlumni was finally born. Since then, there have been meetings every year and attempts to integrate Alumni into the current website structure. During the last meeting in September 2008 in Austria an interim executive board was elected to represent and professionalize the group. The aims of egea-Alumni were set: Egea-

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Alumni stands as the interface between the professional and the student world. Egea-Alumni wants to assure scientific and practical guidance and tries to offer job and internship possibilities. In general there is the will of improvement of the egea-organisation by collecting donations and by promoting egea. And more than this, egea-Alumni offers the possibility of staying in contact with each other, embedded in the organisation of egea. The current main projects are the setup of a job exchange as well as the setup of a database to assure professional contact for networking. In general, becoming a member of egea-Alumni is easy since there are no strict criteria for joining or leaving. It is up to you when you do not feel like a “Young Geographer” anymore. Of course, you should have graduated or be experienced in geography. In addition, you should have been a member of an egea entity before. Also it is possible

EGEA Alumnis in Hochfügen to remain a member of both, egea and egea-Alumni. Still unclear is how to get egea-Alumni officially integrated in the existing structure of egea. The most favoured way would be the acknowledgment as a regular entity or as an entity with special treatment. By working on this the status of egea-Alumni would be clarified by being an entity among others. In any way, egea-Alumni will work on this together with the board of egea and all other interested egeans in order to establish this reservoir of potential in the benefit of egea. Therefore, we need all the help we can get, so feel invited to take part in the build-up by sharing and discussing all important facts and needs!


The tasty way to build up networks… Recipe: Hermany Weekend 2008 (serving for 20 – 30 persons) Jörn Bobenhausen EGEA Muenster j.bobenhausen@gmx.de Main Ingredients • 1 low, forested mountain area in Eastern Westphalia (irreplaceable) • 1 accomodation in the forest (If you don`t have one, take a camping site nearby) • 10 organisers from Muenster (If you don`t have them, take some from Osnabrueck) • 1 good story about a local hero (If you don`t have one, you have not added No. 1) Further to add: • 4/100 of EGEA Groningen,

• 2/30 of EGEA Nijmegen, • 3/230 of EGEA Utrecht • ½ teaspoon of group games • 3 tablespoons of good weather • 1 pinch of discussions • 1 cup of barbecues Preparation First you combine the dry ingredients: Built up the low, forested mountain area some million years before starting to add the good story. Be careful: Leave the good story on for around 2000 years, after that add the accomodation (maybe you can find a cheap one on the market). Start slowly to stir the organisers, one after another, and wedge them into the body. Now it is on you to put on the cooker for the first time and mix

in some good weather to blend it with the participants from Nijmegen and Utrecht. Be careful again: Do not insert the pre boiled participants from Groningen yet. Clip them by adding the barbecues after the first boiling process. Whisk together group games and discussions in a large bowl. Transfer the paste to our big pot and boil the mix again for four days. Don`t hesitate to add more participants from other entities during the procedure. When the preparations are done, serve the Hermany Weekend with geology and leisure activities. Enjoy your meal!

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EGEA magazine - 3 - december 2008


Farewell to Green A Review on the ERC08, the Green Congress Cătălina Georgiana Ioniţă EGEA Bucharest catalina_ionita23@yahoo.com From the 18th till the 22nd of April 2008, in Sinaia, Romania, organizers from EGEA Bucharest were proud to welcome 83 students and young geographers from all over Europe to the 11th edition of the Eastern Regional Congress, the Social and Environmental Directions in European Dimension, a congress done with the full support of ESRI, EGEA Europe, the Institute of Geography Bucharest, the National Authority of Scientific Research and the National Tourism Agency. Located in a beautiful mountainous region, at the foothills of the Bucegi Mountains, about 120 km from Bucharest and 50 km from Brasov, in the Prahova Valley, Sinaia is one of the oldest and most famous mountain resorts, often referred to as “The Pearl of the Carpathians”. Located at an altitude of 767 m and 860 m, Sinaia boasts ski slopes at an altitude of 2,000 m, on the plateau of the Bucegi Mountains. The town was named after Sinaia Monastery, around which it was built; the monastery in turn is named after the Biblical Mount Sinai. While the biggest aim of this project was to promote the understanding of Farewell to Green: leave a green print

environmental issues, at the level of European youth communities, some of the most important objectives were to raise awareness on the present state of involvement of the civil society in environmental issues, to promote the European exchange of knowledge upon environmental protection among young people, to focus on the liaison between the environment protection standards and the civil society actions, to extend the information on environment protection in Europe and especially Eastern Europe, to disseminate results of research on environment protection throughout European partnerships. Being a European Congress, the main discussions were centered on the differences between European countries in coping and dealing with environmental issues. Before the congress officially started, a training day for the workshop leaders was organized (16-17 April 2008), so that the workshop leaders could have a brief moment before the Congress to organize their workshop live, at the “crime scene”, to get in touch with the other workshop leaders, to share experience and knowledge, to set a well motivated framework in which they can freely develop their ideas.

The first day of the congress (18th of April), was dedicated for the arrival and registration of the participants. The official opening was followed by a welcome party in the same night. The second and the fourth day were entirely dedicated to the scientific part of the congress. Seven interesting workshops, debating important and current geography issues, were held by members of EGEA from different entities (Bucharest, Timisoara, Wien, Berlin, Bologna, and Barcelona, Valencia): Effective Waste Management. Suggestions for environmental improvement in Eastern Europe – Sinaia Study case (Workshop leaders: Claudia Iordache, Laura Cireasa). The participants of the workshop realized that everything starts from education and that we can, first of all, be an example for the others through our own habits and that an environmental friendly mentality needs to be implemented in people’s habits in order for things to change. Identity and Development of peripheral areas in European cities. Social conflicts in European urban areas peripheries: causes, problems, proposals for the future (Workshop leaders: Daniele Clemente, Laura Garagnani). On the cases exam-

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ined participants and workshop leaders underlined two orders of characteristics which give existence to an entity we recognize as peripheral: characteristics strictly structural, characteristics strictly social and mixed ones. Municipalities and the environment. How can the use of GIS ease protection, planning and management? (Workshop leaders: Philipp Sartorius, Christoph Fink). The main conclusion of the workshop was that although public administration could benefit in a great variety of ways from introducing GIS technology, and although the investment costs are comparably low, especially when considering the great opportunities of long term savings, there is still a long, long way to go, until not only the most developed and the richest municipalities benefit from the use of GIS techniques. The Environmental Civil Society. The European Union policy vs. the Eastern European reality (Workshop leaders: Liana Scriosteanu, Vlad Dumitrescu). During the workshop sessions, participants debated on subjects like: importance of public participation on environmental protection and sustainable development; individual vs. collective (group) power on environmental issues; eco friendship – more than a fashion? the civil society involvement vs. authorities and political class environmental initiatives. In the environmental movement, as in many others, we have a tendency to avoid questioning our own core assumptions. It is much easier to sit back and accept them as articles of faith. Tourism in Romania – A Special Case? (Workshop leaders: Cindy Bruhn, Codruta Lupea). In the first part of the

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workshop, having started with an attempt to define tourism and its various subtypes, each participant made a presentation in order to receive a picture of the European touristic diversity. In this context was discussed the role of tourism geography in general. The second part of the workshop was concentrated on Eastern European forms of tourism, targeting the Romanian tourism market in particular, examining spatial distribution, discovering potentially touristic regions, revealing common types of tourism, analyzing the market share as well as push-and-pull factors and formulating possible ways of marketing. Traditional economic activities in Eastern Europe and their changing impact on the environment. (Workshop leaders: Lorin Cristian Bold, Nicoleta Elena Pavel). The purpose of this workshop was to see how so traditional economic activities have developed from the moment they appeared up to this moment and which is the impact of these changes on the environment. The participants discussed the effects of these activities but they also made a brainstorming in order to find some possible solutions. Words on the Map – A workshop on Toponymy. (Workshop leaders: Aina Borrego Marti and Santi Rodriguez Ruiz). The workshop concentrated on a brief look at the science of Toponymy, its basis and its methods, as well as its close relationship with Geography and History. Since the Congress was located near by a language-conflicted region such as Transylvania is, with important Hungarian-speaking minorities and their footprint on toponymy, the participants paid special attention to this case

and analyzed Hungarian and Romanian toponymy basics, as well as language policies that affect toponymy on the region, and other regions in similar conditions. The major excursions took place on the third day of the congress (20th of April). Participants were divided, according to their preferences, in three groups, one for each major excursion: Excursion to Sighisoara – one of the most beautiful and best-preserved medieval towns in Europe (a UNESCO World Heritage Site; 16th century fortified city) Excursion to Braşov and Bran – the castle is famous because of persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad the Impaler. Bucegi hike – Intensively visited, the Bucegi Massif is considered the cradle of Romanian mountain tourism. The tallest peak, Omul, is 2505 m high. The Sphinx and Babele, megalithic rocks which have given birth to numerous legends and SF hypotheses, have become the emblems of this zone. Last day of the Congress was reserved for the workshop presentations – not an usual EGEA workshop presentation, since the ERC workshop leaders decided they can do something new and creative – a workshop fair, where all the workshops will present exactly what was going on in each of them, with posters, videos, pictures, materials produced during the workshop, etc. The last day it meant also a Farewell to Green, when, sadly, the Congress was over and each of the participants started to head back home. And we hope they enjoyed the Congress as much as we did.


Opening the Worlds… Aino Kirillova EGEA Izhevsk aika_radost@mail.ru 20 years - it is almost my age … My hobby has coincided with a professional choice or, maybe, it was the other way round. Which one of these was the earliest, nobody knows. I believe, everyone chooses his profession according to own interest. I was always surprised by our planet and initially I was interested in geography as means of knowledge of the world: Caucasus, Hibins, Ural Mountains, Crimean mountains, Tatra Mountains, Carpathians – places were opened owing to my choice. Now I understand, that geography is not simply a chosen sphere of activity and an area of knowledge, but also life style and mentality, it is a source of something new and the root of my own personal opening. For example, when I observed the world from the height of 5642 meters, the space energy came into me. I really felt it during my ascension to the highest top of the Europe – Elbrus, where annually climbers from all over the world gather to ascend to one of the two Ascension on Elbrus

tops of the extinct volcano which last time broke out 900 years ago. Elbrus is located in the territory of the Pre-Elbrus national park where, besides the most beautiful tops, there is manifold natural beauty: fantastic falls, gorges, glaciers of the most various forms: from «Seven» in the same form as glacier Тerskol which looks similar to the skin of a bear. Geography became a way of studying nature, population or economy. What is more, I have understood that to live among the «four walls » is boring. In Russia, there is a song, with such lines: « …to live in kilometers, instead of in square meters» that speak exactly about us – the wandering geographers. I cannot imagine life without breathing in the pure air of mountains, without the sounds of the nature, birds singing, which can be heard only during trips, when one travels around. Only wild nature can charge the person with so much space energy and do not forget that cities have appeared quite late during human history. We draw our roots from nature!

These are some parts of the trips accomplished by me along my Native land. Natural Park Tkhach, Caucasus The wild place with the untouched virgin nature … If you are lucky, it is possible to see herds of bisons in the winter and in the summer mountain goats. The height of mountain “Tkhach” is 2368 meters. Above, you can see huge alpine meadows with curative plants, caves and a tremendous panorama. And the most interesting fact is that the shape of the southern part is similar to a Gothic medieval castle, whereas the northern part resembles a continuous stone wall. Тkhach rocks is included in the International fund of the wild nature and is also in the list of the World Natural Heritage. It is interesting to observe the world of the nature: from the endemics, the flowers, up to animals. For me this is one of the places where I would like to come back again and again.

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Natural park Tkahach, Caucasus Chertovo Gorodische, Ural Mountains It is a geomorphologic, botanical and archeological nature sanctuary – granite rocks in height up to 34 meter, a sacrificial place of the epoch of the Iron Age. Rocks have a volcanic origin and were formed nearly 300 million years ago. During this time, the mountains have undergone strong destruction under the action of temperature differences of, water and wind, thus resulting in freakish natural formations. Kareliya and Murmansk region If I have visited the previously mentioned places because of a hobby, this was our student's practice! We passed the territory of thousands of kilometers, we visited the Hibin mountains, the Ladoga and Onega lakes, we witnessed

Russian Cave, Ural Mountains the «white nights», crossed the Polar circle and carried out field researches, collected minerals and rocks in a our geological museum.

I observed from a window. But I wish I had far roads And hard routes …» ”You say, that I would stay” by Jury Kukin

Russian Cave, Urals Mountains Do you know that there are a lot of caves on Ural Mountains? “The geologist”, “The geologist-2’”, “Russian”, “Kungurskaya” are some of them. Underground empires where it becomes terrible …, bats under the ground …, breathtaking underground lakes… This is only a small part of all my geographical life! And further roads are waiting for me again and again!

Useful websites http://welcome-ural.ru/tours/165/ http://www.pilgrim-tours.com/ http://www.elx.ru/web/index.php

« You say, that I would stay, That I do not wander again, That dawns and declines

Chertovo Gerodische, Ural Mountains

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Mountains as a Linking Network within Europe Case Study – Făgăraş Mountains, Romania Ilinca Drăgan EGEA Iaşi ilink_f@yahoo.com Motto: “God created the mountains because on a large plain Adam couldn’t find out where he was” (eng. Radu Cenuşă, Ph.D.) Why Mountains? The mountain has always fascinated the human being and, probably, it will always do so. From ancient times to present days, the mountain was – and is going to remain – a multiple reference point: a mark of stability, force, calm, but, also, of inaccessibility and limit which, as a magnet, attracts the effort to overcome it. That is why mountain-tourism is one of the most sustainable forms of tourism: as long as an obstacle exists, the human psychic acts in the direction of overcoming it. There are many things to be said related to this issue, but the finality of the present paper is not an argumentation favorable to the alpine tourism. Instead, it aims at a more specific goal: to reveal the major role mountains play in creating international connections, international tourist flows and an international (mountaineer) identity. That is because, thinking of the meaning of the word “network” related to

“geography” and “Europe”, the first thing that came into my mind was the most physical, geographical and cartographical representation of a network: the one of the great mountain ranges crossing borders of many different European states, connecting them under the sign of the same, unitary landmark. Why Făgăraş? Beyond an affective reason, given by the fact that I repeatedly lived the experi-

ence of being a tourist there, it was the place where I practically “grew up” as a mountaineer, the altitude and morphology of the highest mountains in Romania (Moldoveanu Peak – 2544 m) are, from my point of view, representative as a particular example of flows’ polarization towards a mountainous area within an European country. The beginnings Feeling a stranger in your own country. Trying to call for the foggy memories of my first trip to Făgăraş – which happened at least 7 years ago, two feelings connected with the place first appear in front of the eyes of my mind. The first one refers to the quite harsh contact with a specific morphology: from the plains, crossing the “Transfăgărăşan” Road (the highest road in Romania), you directly reach a changed, savage landscape, at an altitude of almost 2200 m. Trees are left far behind, around you – only grass, rugged ridges, nude rock and, if you are lucky enough, snow in the middle of the summer. And water from the purest mountain springs to big glacial lakes (such as Bâlea – next to the road – Capra, Urlea, Podragu and so on).

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distances, such as Great Britain, Austria or even Australia. Meeting them on the ridge daily made me curious about the reasons for which they came here, even if some of them had higher mountains in their own countries. They all had the same answer: our Romanian laws in what concerns protected areas were not as restrictive as theirs; and, as the mountaineer spirit demanded certain parameters of freedom, they were so very pleased to find it here. We have to admit it: being allowed to camp wherever you like can sometimes be a real luxury. The second image my memory shows me is related to what I would call a cultural shock which I fully received when I entered, as any ordinary tourist, in the base cabin Bâlea, in order to get some information and a cup of hot tea. Inside, full of people. But what a surprise, I could barely hear some Romanian in one corner, the rest of them were talking in different languages, as if it was one high-altitude Babel tower. From that moment, for ten days spent on the Făgăraş main ridge, I got so used to meeting people from all around Europe, and not only, that it became a reflex to translate the usual form of mountain-courtesy of greeting everyone you happened to meet, into an international one, in English. And this reflex has not changed since then: for seven years now, something has been calling me back to Făgăraş, summer after summer.

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Further study My personal interest in the Făgăraş area has not remained apart from my geographical interest. Since it was the place I mostly visited in Romania, I decided to choose it as topic for my bachelor degree paper. I have tried to approach both the aspects of physical geography and the aspects regarding tourism. In what concerns tourism, I would like to present here some information related to the declared objectives of the present paper: a demonstration of the fact that mountain-ranges play a connecting role within Europe. Based exclusively on field collected data, the dimensions of the tourist-flows towards Făgăraş vary within the range of 2000 persons/year at the ridge cabins and 10000 persons/year at the base cabins. More than half of them are foreigners, coming mainly from Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, but also from countries situated at greater

In the end The answer I received then, proved to be quite a revelation for me. It was the moment when I found out that mountain-tourism, unlike cultural tourism, for example, has absolutely nothing to do with artificial borders. All mountaineers feel the same. They are all seeking for the authenticity of an experience that goes beyond what we usually call “known”, “warm” or “comfortable environment”. It is an experience that forces both the physical and the mental strength, beyond what we usually admit as “limit”, an experience which, undoubtedly, can change people, and can lead to forever-lasting, international friendships. The real need for this kind of experiences is a motivational factor, strong enough to determine an international tourist movement towards the mountain-ranges. Yes, maybe the dimensions of the flows are not significant, in comparison to the ones generated by other forms of tourism, but what matters here is their stability. These flows will always exist, as long as mountains exist in certain territories. They are not affected by time, fashion, political or ideological conflicts; it has been one stable network, from geological times till now. That is why, in my opinion, it is not exaggerated to consider the mountain-ranges as an iconic network that structures the geographical space, at a large, continental scale. Only time will say. However, let us believe in durability. And in its most physical way of expression: the mountain.


Danube – life importance Claudia Leca EGEA Bucharest claudia.leca@yahoo.com

The diversity around us today is the outcome of thousands of years of human interaction with nature and among people with different customs, beliefs and ways of life. All nationalities draw their own culture which is not only creative and dynamic, but also unique, fragile and irreplaceable. We should not neglect this because the effect can be crucial: for a single generation we can loose forever what we have conserved for many years in terms of environment and lifestyle. It is therefore crucial to create a safe environment in which everybody can develop freely. One of the most essential things to the evolution of life and human civilization is water resources. Water played an important role in growth. Development is often misunderstood as relating only to economic growth. However, development also involves longevity, freedom, happiness, education etc, which are important in improving life quality. Water can also be associated with the evolution of life because it is essential

for the bios. In terms of history, religion and also sociology, it is inconceivable

to underestimate the water value. From the very beginning, water resources have been considered a universal good associated with human spirit. In mythology, we find water portrayed as a sacred symbol, but all religions and cultures find in water also a source of purification. One of the largest European rivers is the Danube. It crosses through Germany, Austria, Slovak Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Danube cannot pass through all this countries without influencing the lives and livelihood of millions of people. Since it is the river of many nations, the Danube should be recognized as the international river of the European Union. For all these countries, the Danube is used as a common point of reference on the expansion of all kinds of relations, from commercial to cultural ones. We cannot neglect the contrasts and controversies around the Danube. Thus, this river is considered “a symbol of co-operation and unity, while the

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century-old controversies should be solved as soon as possible”. In human history, the river promoted both international co-operation and understanding and also it helped in bringing peace and hope messages which were aimed at improving the quality of life, fact recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations. When we talk about the Danube river we can strongly affirm that it acts as boundaries and borders, so it is not wrong if we consider the Danube as a river of communication. All those who live near the Danube are dominated by the thread of unity despite the specific national feelings, images and also symbols. Anyway, this unity feeling is quite fragile and we are compelled to wonder if there is any awareness of social community among the people living next to the Danube river. If we talk about the Danube as of the river itself, we cannot contest the fact that it has suffered serious deterioration due to environmental pollution during the last years. The Danube is a wonderful image of everlasting evolution. Its evolution is irreversible and also its role has been changing during the evolution of the European society. It has always been one of the most important communication channels since the very beginnings

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of civilization and it has not stopped there. The last 20 years marked the Danube in a bad way, as the river has seriously been influenced by industrial societies or anthropogenic objects. With no doubt the Danube river is considered the “channel of pollution”. Also, all the countries which are situated along the Danube have played a certain role in the global environmental crisis. The authorities inside the “Danube countries” have raised awareness of this impending, urgent, common problem. Reviewing the events that took place in the past 20 years, these countries came together, and we can mention some of meetings of greatest importance – in 1994: WWF publishes the report “Economic Evaluation of Danube Floodplains”; Danube River Protection Convention is signed; in 1998: The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River was established in order to oversee the implementation of the Convention; WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme was established; in 1999: WWF recognizes the Danube Delta and Carpathian Mountains as among the 200 most important eco-regions on earth; in 2000: The Lower Danube Green Corridor Agreement is signed by the governments of Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Moldova, facilitated by WWF; in 2001: The Bulgarian Government adopts a strategy devel-

oped with the WWF in order to protect and restore floodplain forests on the Danube islands; in 2002: the Danube Regional Project begins with financial support from the Global Environmental Facility and Danube governments (the 5-year, 15 million USD project significantly strengthens the regional approach in addressing river basin management and challenges across the Danube); in 2003: WWF emphasizes the importance of wetland conservation and restoration for implementation in the Danube River Basin with its Wetlands Issues paper; the Danube River Basin Public Participation Strategy is completed by the WWF as a contribution towards implementing the EU Water Framework Directive in the basin; in 2006: The first “People’s Summit” is organized by the WWF, bringing together locals from Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine in order to discuss development and conservation in the Lower Danube; Sturgeon Action Plan is developed and adopted by the International Commission for the Danube and the Bern Convention; Danube sturgeons are given priority for conservation in the river; WWF publishes a comprehensive study that shows how restoration of wetland areas could significantly contribute to flood mitigation on the Danube; in 2007: the Danube Network of Protected Areas is initiated and the implementation of the Lower Danube Green Corridor continues, with over 1 million ha of wetland areas protected and 50,000 ha restored; in 2008: Shipping interests and environmentalists agree on a common vision for developing shipping on the Danube; at the same time, projects are moving forward in Romania and elsewhere on the Danube. (http://assets.panda.org/downloads/ wwf_dcp_10_20_brochure_screen_ final_05sept2008.pdf ) The urgent task ahead is to inform the public regarding their various implications for the preservation of the common good, in order to be morally and mentally prepared to face the uncertainties we are dealing with. It is crucial that the main priority is well understood. Spiritual wealth will help the Danube Europeans to surpass the present crisis of values. Applying their potential towards respecting the envi-


ronment, the Danube natural conditions and all forms of life, will guarantee a society made up of responsible citizens. However, unfortunately, it is generally known that, sometimes, the interests of particular users of the Danube clash in the competitive economy system. There should be prevented the episode with the transport of weaponry and ammunition to the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Danube, like every other river, performs three functions: economic, aesthetic and ecologic, which frequently collide. The events of the past 20 years show a rise of an alliance between non-governmental organizations, and local authorities. More initiatives have been taken. Every community comes with the aim to solve problems and satisfy basic needs of individuals and their communities. Danube, as an international river, made the authorities work not only on local but also on an international level. But, they have a hard job as it is not enough to sustain what already exists. Action should be taken against destruction. The taken solutions should be longterm ones so that our planet will be in balance with the future one. A good global management is needed and all ethical values and also all European issues in relation with the perspectives of modern society, should be taken

into consideration. The present pollution of the Danube is a tangible effect of the way of thinking. It is blamed the economic point of view of all the countries which considered only their interests without thinking of what they may cause to the environment. Even if each State has its own segment of the river, the Danube problem should be observed as a whole and problems dealt with in a unite way. The hydro politics of sharing resources and benefits among Danube countries are a priority in decision-making concerning the protection of diverse flora, fauna and also the people who live there. In the same time, Austria is trying to get an economical advantage of the Danube without damaging the environment: by finding another Course for the Danube. She would like to profit by the peace in the Balkan area and return the golden age of Danube shipping that is why she has come up with some plans for further channeling of the Danube so that the river becomes safer for large ships. However, if shipping develops as expected, deeper water areas would be necessary. This idea keeps raising discussions among environmentalists and authorities who believe that this plan will damage forests environment beside the waterway. Until a satisfactory solution for both parts is found, the battle

between the Danube as a transport corridor and Danube as a natural treasure goes on. Not too long ago, Bulgaria started a new project: building a new bridge between Bulgaria and Romania. For the time being there is only one road connection between these two countries. The aim of this construction is to improve the relationship between the two countries and also to establish a new, easier connection to Romania. It is known that Romania and Bulgaria share a 470 kilometer border after both of them were part of the same Soviet bloc for more than 40 years. Despite this situation, Bulgarians and Romanians continue to be strangers to each other. Their relationship can simply be defined using terms as disregard or prejudice. In July 2006 the new bridge construction was approved. The bridge will be a joint between the northwestern Bulgarian city of Vidin and the southwestern Romanian town of Calafat. Authorities are hoping in the development of the region and also in the improvement of the bilateral relation. To sum up, in spite of their different historic experiences, the different stages of economic development and position in the European integration process, the Danube countries share the same democratic principles, values and objectives as far as Danube is concerned. Also, the current and future enlargements of Europe are strongly connected to the Danube environment not only in an economical way but also in what concerns cultural diversity.

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Climate changes, possible effects Nicu Ciobotaru EGEA Bucharest ciobotaru_nicu@yahoo.com What comes to ones mind when hearing the word “Europe”? A space of multilingual and multicultural diversity brought together, conceiving a complex history which is the subject of thousands of analyses, the idea of political dispersion or cultural unity – a unity in diversity? Europe is known to be the territory situated in the west of Asia, delimitated by a rather conventional than natural border, with a peninsular shape in Eurasia, sharing common climatic and biogeographical elements, but with differences in what concerns human evolution. The human evolution of Europe, different in so many respects from the one of Asia, has nevertheless its origins, including

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the very roots of its name in the oriental culture. Multiple oriental etymologies give to the word „Europe” the meaning of „sunset” which points exactly to the western position of this continent against Asia. Europe, as we know it today, a result of more than three millenniums of evolution and cultural changes, comes up, with a new definition, the so-called unity in diversity, a concept which tries to define a new philosophical trend in this diverse space, unique in its variety. Hard to realize as it may seem, the unity in diversity has brought a new perspective on our continent, namely the European Union, which has radically

changed the general idea about Europe: a formerly divided space, now a free, intensively dynamic and cosmopolitan one. The image of Europe has changed a lot during the last 20 years. The disintegration of the Communist Block in the 90’s, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany were the main events at a geopolitics scale which have influenced the image of the continent. Shortly after that, the time came for the former communist countries to join the European Union. This still ongoing process resulted in the most important global community, from an economical point of view, a community which


includes 27 states, spread over 4.324.000 km2, with a population of 491.million people (in 2008: http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki//European_union). The European Union is ranked third demographical power after China and India and perhaps, in the foreseeable future, will be one of the most important actors on the stage of global politics. On the one hand, there are the EU member states and on the other hand, there are the states which have not joined the Union, from either economic or political reasons, or both: some of them are still in search for their way towards real democracy (which is mainly the case of Eastern European states), others have been going through radical changes (like in the case of former Yugoslavia). There is also the case of the states which have decided to choose the way of an independent economic development (like Norway, Switzerland). The whole image of the Old Continent reflects the different policies and ways of development, but has as a unique purpose a further development as well as a so-called improvement formula for the future. After taking one short, retrospective look over the last 20 years, we must take into consideration a change of our temporal perspective towards a more in depth look over the future, thus reconsidering a very up-to-date subject such as climate change and its involvements. Climate changes imply, first of all, significant pattern variations towards a different state of balance. However, climate changes throughout different geological eras are a commonplace as the earth passes through various climate stages, each of it with its own peculiarities. We may notice that all climate change successions appear to have one important common feature: they were caused 100% by natural cycles and variations and have occurred during longer or shorter periods of time, with favorable environmental consequences. Crisis situations represent, on the other hand, those stages in the evolution of a system, in which it must adapt and evolve towards a new range of parameters in order to perpetuate. Otherwise, it is threatened to enter a regressive stage and thus disappear. Current climate changes, in no respect

distinct from similar situations in the past eras (climate does change and it would not be for the first time), bring, however, something special in this equation: human presence, which, with no doubt, is responsible for many of these changes. One fine example is the effect on the stability of the atmosphere due to the greenhouse gases, as a result of industrial activities. At the end of the 19th century, climate enters a process of relative warming, following the cessation of the so-called “Small Glacial Era” which begun during the second half of the Middle Ages. This process has been accelerated by human activities, which resulted in significant quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which affected the ability of the atmosphere to retain the heat. One of its primary effects was the receipt of a significant quantity of heat by the ocean and it is a fact that water has a higher heat retention capacity in comparison with that of the atmosphere, thereby causing a whole chain of changes in the circuits of global energy. Moreover, the warming process itself is likely to accelerate some processes such as the release of carbon dioxide by the planetary ocean, strong methane (CH4) emanations in the tundra regions as a result of the melting of the permafrost, and the increase of the frequency of burning forests in Siberia, Australia, the western U.S. and Mediterranean Europe. All these aspects lead to an increase of the speed of warming and climate changing, also causing new types of circuits. Once at this point, the following scenario about what could happen in the upcoming years, in what concerns the climate of Europe can be imagined: 1. The Gulf Stream may stop its activity, as a result of the melting of the Greenland glacial cap and of the stop of the termohaline movement from the Atlantic Ocean. This implies a cooling of the climate in Europe, followed by a decrease in the amount of precipitation, making the climate similar to the existing climate at the same latitudes in other continents. The effects of such changes are pessimistic as they would cause a dramatic decrease in agricultural capacity, very cold winters, dry

summers, in other words, an overall disturbance of the climate. 2. Another problem would be raised up by the likely increase of the level of the Planetary Ocean, as a result of the melting of the glacial cap, with about 1m for the existing ice in Greenland and even more if you take into account the water which would result from the melting of the glacial dome of Antarctica, leading to an increase of about 3 m of the water level throughout the Planetary Ocean. The process of ice caps melting, in full swing, can be observed through various observation methods: satellite, measurements and levels of erosion. Glaciers are breaking down with increasing speeds and their surface is more and more reduced. The effects of such a process would be significant: many European cities, especially coastal ones would be affected by the increase, London, Hamburg, Venice, Antwerp, a large part of the Netherlands, would be faced with coping with a “water invasion”. An overall consequence would be the reduction of the territory available for housing, which would result in an increasing number of refugees because of climate issues and as further a consequence, the problem would not stop here. Due to the fact that Europe would have to support also waves of refugees from regions facing similar problems, for instance Asia and Africa, that would lead to the emergence of social tensions and overcrowding of an already affected territory. 3. Another problem would be the extension of the Saharan influence at the Mediterranean Europe level, fact which would consist in a desertification of the southern and south-eastern part of the continent. This could result in northwards moving of the climate reparations for the European region. All these taken into consideration, a reduction in the amount of freshwater that people may use is likely to appear. The decrease in the amount of freshwater supplies could result in the reduction of agricultural activities, as agriculture is known to be one of the largest freshwater consumers among the economical sectors. Speaking about other possible

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not mean that there is no possibility of diminishing its intensity. The Earth itself is the only one that is able to manage this situation. To sum up, the world seems to have entered a deep crisis. It is human civilization that plays after nature’s game and not the nature the one following the rules of human societies. The Natural system is actually not facing a moments of crisis at all, because it has the capacity of emerging towards another state of balance and thus maintaining its evolution, whereas man needs the same, stable, parameters in order to survive on Earth. Terra is a perfect system and our existence depends on a proper understanding of the natural order. This may be one of the rare wonders of the universe.

issues, it is worth mentioning the way human settlements would receive water supplies, especially those in the Alps mountain areas which owe a significant amount of their water sources to the mountain glaciers. Moreover, what can be taken into consideration is an increase in the intensity of extreme phenomena, such as droughts, heavy storms, cooling and heating waves and also an intensification of the tornado occurrence as a result of big temperature differences. Even at a quick glance to the effects Europe may be faced with, awareness must be raised and also a further research in the climate change phenomenon field is needed. Europe needs unity in order to overcome a possible crisis. Proper acknowledgement of these new challenges should bring additional adaptability and furthermore, new technologies and strategies can be imple-

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mented in order to diminish the effects. The unity in diversity formula can be one of the successful formulas of human development as well as those of nature. Considered either separately or cumulatively, the above mentioned scenarios expose the possible alternatives for the climate evolution, pointing at moment of crisis for our world with the hope that overcoming it, could result into a progress for mankind. It would not be the first time in human history when a civilization disappears as a result of the collapse of natural systems, as the case of old Mesopotamian civilizations, the Khmer civilization in Cambodia or the Maya civilization. All these disappeared as consequence of environmental problems of one kind or another. Even if climate change is a phenomenon that once began, cannot be stopped by human activity anymore, this does


A trend towards digital outdoor games is emerging through virtual networks Elisabeth Wimmer EGEA München eli.wimmer@gmx.de 20 years ago, networks had a different face as today. Then, it seems that networks consisted more on face-toface connections. Nowadays people also communicate more in a virtual way, often without a face-to-face contact. In that way, the behaviour of people changes, the cities are effected and thus geography opens up new fields of research like cyberspace or digital cities. However, this phenomenon of new virtual networks is not implicitly a negative effect for our cities and rural areas. People still gather together and communicate in face-to-face contacts and some even meet in order to play outdoor games. These games emerged through the use of digital technology and virtual networks as organizational tool. In this article I will present a small choice of those games. As this article should be a mixture of a general and an egea article, I mention only those games which egea members already had experienced. Accordingly, I will present flashmobs, geocaching and a mobile ‘cops and robbers’ as well as the experiences of these games in egea activities. First of all, let us talk about flash-mobs. As they are just a very short action, flash-mobs are rather not seen as a game. Indeed, in this article I count it to a game because it is a free time activity and people who had experienced it had a lot of fun. In a flash-mob mostly unknown people come together at a given time and do a short unusual action in a public space – mostly a frequented one – afterwards they clap for the successful realisation of their action and then they disappear quickly. No negative effects for residents, business or the passers-by will emerge out of the action, but people who are watching this action are confused about the ongoing happening. Actually, that is one of the reasons why a flash-mob is taking place. Flash-mobs are organised via digital

Geochacing in Münster communication medias, mostly by online communities in common social networking websites or own virtual flash-mob communities. Flash-mobs exist all over the world for about five years. Some examples of

flash-mobs in European cities may show you how one can look like. In Münster, Germany hundreds of people biked around a roundabout until the traffic is crashed down. In Chisinau, Moldova a hundred people are applauding a fountain and in Vienna, Austria people are clapping a woman passing-by. Or

The egea AC Flash-Mob. Published in the Daily Geographer 2008/09/18

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Playing Sardinchen in Vienna in Munich, Germany people run in a Mc Donalds store in order to buy as much burgers as possible. Those and other flash-mobs like pillow-fights or people who freeze, lie down or start to read are happening here and there. Flash-mobs were also a topic at the Digital City Workshop of the Annual Congress 2008 in Pushgory, Russia. The participants talked about this phenomenon. Some of them had already participated in a flash-mob and keep it as a funny remembering. During one of the congress’ nightly parties the workshop participants met spontaneously to have a crack on flashmobs. In counting with the fingers to five all froze in their position. The people around stared at them and were a bit confused. And of course, some people took immediately photos of them. And last but not least a local reporter recorded this flash-mob and printed it on the Daily Geographer the following day. Another outdoor game emerged on digital technologies is geocaching. It is a location-based game, which means that the game depends and proceeds on the player’s location. The aim of geocaching is to find a hidden treasure. It is like a paper chase just with geo-coordinates as the hints for the geocaches. In that way people run guided by geo-coordinates shown on their handheld GPS devices around the city, a wood or a rural area. When a geocache is found the player take a treasure out of it and put some-

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thing in the cache. The locations of the geocaches are communicated via the internet, especially in geocaching communities. As we egeans are geographers and highly related to geo-coordinates, we played this game in some of our activities. Egea Münster makes a geocaching competition every year during the x-mas special. Two teams then compete in hunting for a little cache hidden somewhere in city of Münster. Further outdoor games which emerged due to the use of mobile digital technologies are modern forms of ‘cops and robbers’. These games are like geo-caching location based games and thus all players are equipped with a digital positioning device like a mobile phone or a handheld GPS device. With this equipment every player can see the other players’ positions and they can go on the chase for the crook. One of those new games is called Fast Foot Challenge. It is similar to the board game Scotland Yard and the players also chase a Mr. X. Indeed, the field is not a printed map, it is the real city and the players are even allowed to use the public transportation. In Fast Foot Challenge a specific duration time is given for the chase. Depending on if Mr. X had been caught or not he or the pursuers won when time was up. Read more about Fast Foot Challenge: http://www. fastfoot.mobi/ Egeans also played a similar variation of

‘cops and robbers’ during egea exchanges in Vienna. In the so-called game Sardinchen egeans were divided in several groups – kind of pursuer groups and one Mr. X group. The groups started on different places of the old town of Vienna and every 10 minutes the Mr. X group had to give its position which was then distributed in a round call via mobile phones. As I remember playing the game in Vienna, the Mr. X team was very good and we could not catch it. These new outdoor games allow us to discover and to use the city and the countryside in a new way and they show a positive impact of modern digital technologies. Digital free time activities are not bounded in sitting in front of a computer anymore, they enable to play outdoors, what is in any case healthy and from a geographical point of view it brings back life in the cities. In future, as communication technologies are improved and arrive more and more in our daily life, outdoor games based on virtual communication will probably get common in a greater extent and thus we egeans can test many new games in our events.


Friendship in the city decentralised cooperation in Europe, the case of Pskov Gert Ruepert (gruepert@student.han.nl) Willem de Joode both EGEA Utrecht Tatyana Matweewa Lenka and Mojca from Maribor at the town twinning monument to celebrate 10 year relation between Pskov and Neuss (Germany)

Introduction Maybe you have noticed the signs below the place name when you enter a city: this town is twinned with … or in friendship connected to… followed by an exotic or less exotic name. According to a famous Utrecht singer friendship is an illusion. Less cynical people might say that with a good friend you can talk about personal matters, share a beer in the pub and have a laugh, that you support one another in good and in bad times. But what does a friendship between two cities mean? How did they get to know each other? Do they also hang out together, or what activities and experiences do they share? Who are involved in these activities and experiences? What are the difficulties in these international friendships? These questions formed the basis for the workshop about town twinning at EGEA’s Annual Congress in Pushkinsky Gory, a small town not far from the city of Pskov. A town with at least 15 international friends, a good place to investigate the concept of town twinning.

Town Twinning The first official town twinning agreements were initiated after the Second World War as means of reconciliation and integration between the people of Europe. Links were established between French and German towns and between British and German towns as well as all kind of other intra European links. At the same time in the USA the sister city movement started as part of the Eisenhower ‘People to People’ program. Eisenhower believed that the sister cities could lead to ‘peoples diplomacy,’ In the 1980’s many new town twinning projects were set up between the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere. Having tea with Russian students in the Dutch class room

This was Town Twinning designed to show solidarity, and as a method for decentralized development. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, during the early nineties, East-West Town Twinning projects gained popularity again, with Western European cities starting twinning relations with cities freed from Soviet dominance. Capacity building to support these cities in their transition and to make them ready for EU accession was the main driver here. Nowadays town twinning is a world wide known phenomenon with many different faces. But we could identify a few common denominators for town twinning: • It’s a formal agreement between two international partners • It’s long term and has multiple projects, with multiple actors • Grass root initiatives are central to it (community participation) • There must be reciprocity of effort and benefit (two way traffic)

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Workshop group at Lenin square

Workshop Nine people took part in the workshop; with participants, including the workshop leaders, from Lithuania, Russia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Greece. This gave us the diversity needed to create productive discussion and to learn from one another. On the first workshop morning introductions were made, and we shared the information gathered on the history and theories involved in town twinning. The participants gave a presentation about town twinning in their respective hometowns. We learned that Koper, a Slovenian coastal town with 50.000 inhabitants had a twinning agreement with Miami (2 million inhabitants), thanks to one man, the flamboyant mayor. His aim was to let American cruise ships stop in Koper at the new terminal, he was an avid visitor of Miami, and had palm trees planted on the boulevard of Koper, attempting to transform it into a little Miami. One of the conclusions drawn from this workshop is that when it comes to town twinning, it is more productive to learn from one another, then to copy one another. In Maribor, Slovenia, they have a twinning relation with Marburg (Ger-

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many). The German name of Maribor is Marburg. This is something you see quite often that a town twins with a foreign town with the same name. Maribor has got a close twinning program with Graz in Austria. Due to the proximity of the towns this looks more like cross border cooperation and it has a strong economic component. Due to the preparation for the workshop the girls from Maribor found out why they have a Greenwich street in Maribor; as Greenwich is also a twin town of Maribor. For Maria from Mytilini (Greece) it was hard to get some information on town twinning. She found out there must be a relationship between Mytilini and Portland in Maine, USA. Many American towns with a large Greek minority group have got a twinning relationship with a Greek town from where the Greek immigrants originally come from. In Vilnius they have got a ‘town twinning day,’ a festival where all the twin towns are represented. Thijs from Utrecht told about the striking number of town twinning relations (at least 20) in the Netherlands with Nicaragua. These relations stem from the period when Dutch local groups supported the Sandinist revolution in Nicaragua. Pskov On the first day we identified many of the motives that are behind the creation of town twinning, and the wide variety of aims and activities. We also discovered that many relations are not well known among the inhabitants of the twin cities, and that often the activity level is low or nothing is happening at all. On the second day we wanted to explore the town twinning projects of Pskov. We were lucky to have Tatjana Matweewa in our workshop, she organized the Pskov excursion. She lives in Pskov and she is involved in the town twinning between Pskov and Nijmegen. Pskov has 17 town twinning agreements. The oldest is with Kuopio, Finland since 1968. Finland had a neutral status during the cold war, the first twinning relation with Western Europe came during the period of Glasnost in 1986 with the French town of Arles. We had a full program during our

workshop excursion Pskov with visits to the tangible evidence of Pskov’s Twins Towns. First we paid a visit to the barbershop ‘Arles’, which was completely decorated in the theme of Arles with posters of van Gogh paintings on the wall. We also visited a shoe repair shop, founded by a Dutch entrepreneur from Nijmegen. He exported his concept of a ‘fixed while you wait’ shoe and key shop to Pskov, now he has got three successful shops in Pskov. We had a look at the Town Twinning park where all the twin towns have got their own monument. Not all of them were well maintained and to some workshop participants the monuments looked a bit like grave stones, but a park is a nice example how you can make the international contacts of a city visible to the inhabitants. The highlight of the excursion was the visit to the University, where the dean of the faculty welcomed us. After that language students gave presentations about their visits to Twin Towns in France and the United States. For the language students it is extremely important to visit the country where they speak those languages, because that is the best way to get to know a country and its language. Later that afternoon we shared a cup of tea with students that studied German, English, Swedish and Dutch. It was amazing to see that in a Russian provincial town the students have got the possibility to learn a small language as Dutch or Swedish. Conclusion Although many town twinning relations are not that active anymore and that often locals are not that aware of these relations, it is clear that town twinning is a valuable tool to bring people together. Especially for the Russian students at the university the town twinning relations give them the possibility to go abroad, to foster international contacts. And although the iron curtain fell almost 20 years ago, town twinning gives people of Pskov an important window on the world. The aim to bring friendship between the people, by getting ‘normal’ local people in contact with each other is still valid.


Partner cities in East Europe after political changes – in common towards transformation Jan Smutek EGEA Poznań jmsbum@wp.pl

Over the last 20 years the countries of East Europe, including Poland and East Germany, have undergone a process of transformation. It has been the time of political changes, new travel destinations, new economical, professional and cultural possibilities, and the time during which political cooperation has strengthened at the regional level. As a result, the links between different cities, communities, municipalities, regions and countries have become stronger. This process has emerged in development of partner cities. The cooperation of partner cities takes place in many fields of life and one of the main purpos-

es of the cooperation is to build a better future together. The cooperation between partner cities is an example of a win-win situation since each city obtains benefits for itself. It is important that the cooperation has a network structure. A partnership gives the cities the opportunity to learn from each other. Cities can exchange experience, good practice and knowledge and thus find solutions for many problems (for instance regarding administration). Cities compete against each other but more frequently they cooperate in order to achieve common success. Learning from each other is also known as bench-

Poznan market square learning. Bench- learning is a management tool, which is basically very similar to benchmarking. The only difference is that both parties take advantage of it [EIPA, 2006, p.41]. In that way, cities learn how to solve problems through comparison. What does the cooperation between cities look like when we look into details? To get a better picture, four cities from Poland and Germany have been selected. Two of them are from Poland, two cities are from Germany. The partnership agreements are as follows:

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ate the city’s image and to reveal the history of other people. It also helps to improve tourism attractiveness of a city. On account of that, partner cities from different cultural regions are in great demand (especially from South-Eastern Asia or Africa).

The Poznań trade fair Poznań (12 agreements), Wroclaw (10), Dresden (12) and Leipzig (13). These case studies show examples of the partner cities’ activities, results, successes and failures of cooperation. The main area of the cooperation between partner cities after political changes regards exchange of pupils and students, culture and art, administration management and economics, as well as environmental protection. The benefits that could be obtained from the cooperation between partner cities are as follows: More efficient fight against prejudices One of the main reasons why partnerships between cities have been established is to fight against prejudices and to build bridges among different countries. In a fight against prejudices it is very important to educate people as early as possible. That is why a lot of programs are introduced for young people. This results in a huge number of exchanges of pupils between partnerschools. Young people go abroad and stay for about one month with families from partner schools. It helps to develop friendly relations among young people. A fight against prejudices can also take place through sport activities. Sport competitions are a good opportunity for people to meet one another and learn about each other. It helps to establish friendly relations, especially among

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young people. Interesting examples of sport partnerships are the cities of Leipzig and Travnik (Bosnia- Herzegovina), which have been cooperating through basketball since 1999. The basketball clubs from both cities have common trainings and play friendly matches. Another interesting example is the cooperation between Wrocław and Ramat Gan (Israel). Its main purpose is to organize tours for the Israeli to visit Poland and see the modern city of Wroclaw. The aim of this activity is to show Poland not as a place for Holocaust, but as a beautiful place of many opportunities. Rich cultural environment and high touristic potential The cooperation between partner cities can be based on tourist attractions. A city can organize culture days or any other type of public entertainment in order to invite partner cities. Examples for this kind of cooperation are Kiel and Gdynia, Dresden and Wroclaw, Days of Czech Culture in Poznań, Wroclaw and Hradec Kralove. The activities are mostly concentrated on the city’s cultural heritage and involve thus an exchange of professional and amateur folk artist and bands (e.g. Wroclaw and Hradec Kralove). It also works well with other types of activities such as common theatre projects (Wroclaw and Dresden), exchange of choirs (Poznań and Pozuelo de Alarcon), and common concerts of classical music (Dresden). These kinds of activities help to cre-

Better city management, especially regarding new challenges Cities can face new challenges together. They can learn from one another and can thus avoid the mistakes which the other cities had made before. The examples of how the cities can face new challenges include: A fight against natural disasters as a process of bench- learning, exemplified by common fight against floods with participation of Dresden, Ostrava and Wroclaw. The cities were helping each other in the field of human aid and reconstruction of historic buildings. Poznań and Nottinghamshire. An attempt to implement Nottinghamshire’s experiences regarding heating of public buildings in Poznań. The realization of the project “Fighting Drugs- Reducing Crime” supported by the European Union- cooperation between police forces from Poland and the Great Britain aiming to reduce crime. As a result of cooperation with Hannover and Nottinghamshire Poznań Information Centre was developed. Cooperation between Dresden and Wroclaw. Polish experience in protection of historic buildings and monuments was applied in Dresden. Cooperation between Leipzig and Nanjing. Implementation of Leipzig’s experiences regarding its transition from the socialistic to the democratic system. Cooperation between Leipzig and Lyon. Cooperation regarding management of areas with blocks of flats (social and renting problems). Cooperation between Dresden (also Wroclaw and Brno). Workshops about suburbanization and the necessity for supporting environmental friendly cities. Better economic development The cooperation between cities also supports the economic development. Activities supporting economic cooperation are called the economic mission


Wroclaw, Odra river and they include presentation of business possibilities in a partner city or common chambers of economic development. The examples of such activities in the cities selected for the purpose of this case study are as follows: Poznań- Charkow (cooperation of trade fair institutions) and Poznań- Gyor exchange of knowledge and cooperation during book trade fairs. Poznań- Jyväskylä and Poznań- Nottinghamshire common economic chambers Poznań and Rennes: honorary consulate of Republic of Poland in France and honorary consulate of France in Poland and the House of Britain in Poznań. Better qualification of public servants As a result of the cooperation between twin cities, the qualifications of municipality employees have improved. This is caused through the possibility to learn languages as well as through the possibility to compare the results of a city with the results of the partner city. Examples for this kind of cooperation are as follows: Leipzig – Hannover. West Germany’s

cities offered material assistance such as administrative support in bureaucratic restructure and the training of local authority staff after the political changes. Wroclaw – Charlotte. The American city helps in organization, training and search for conceptions for new selfdemocratic authorities in Wroclaw. Similar results have been achieved through cooperation between Wroclaw and Wiesbaden. The examples of the cooperation, based on bench- learning are as follows: Poznań and Rennes – Summer University in Rennes (for magistrate’s employees) Dresden and Brno – Trainees exchanges within frames of a special program. Wroclaw and Breda – cooperation with FACE Foundation – program of forestation in Wroclaw’s countryside. Trilateral project (Wroclaw – Breda – Gaboerone) regarding exchange of knowledge related to management and utilization of waste materials. Improvement of public transport and transportation This kind of cooperation was extremely important for the new cities in the

countries undergoing the process of transformation. Knowledge was usually transferred from a well- developed partner city to the worse – developed cities. Better- developed cities had the possibility to sell or rent unused trams or buses. At present due to successful implementation of many projects, exchange of knowledge is bilateral. The examples of successful cooperation include: Hannover – Dresden, Hannover – Poznań, Nottinghamshire – Poznań. Cooperation in the field of public transport and environment, especially tram communication. As a result, Poznań has now one of the best and the newest public transport vehicles among all big cities in Poland. Another interesting example of cooperation is the British Aerospace Aid, which aims at preparing feasibility study for two Poznań airports. Cooperation with use of European Union Structural Funds The cities also cooperate with each other because of the perspective to get some European Union Structural Funds. In the before mentioned cities these

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examples include: Brno – Poznań. Cooperation in URBACT Programme Multilateral cooperation of Leipzig – Frankfurt – Cracow – Birmingham – Lyon. Participation in EUROCITIES. Dresden – Wroclaw cooperation with INTERREG PROGRAME – Innovation city. Supporting the other types of activities Both municipalities and the other institutions (universities, schools, organizations (non- profit, non-government), technology and business centers, enterprises) can benefit from this kind of cooperation. Insert information about a partner city and its results on the website is also an example of this kind of activity. Leipzig with Adis Abeba. Cooperation of zoological gardens supporting genetic research of lions. Dresden and Columbus. Exchange of publications done by metropolitan libraries. Kafka – kommunaler Austausch für Fortbildung und Kooperation der Akademiker (municipal exchange for further education and cooperation of academics). Cooperation between Frankfurt and Krakow, Prague, Leipzig, Brno and Gdansk. Leipzig- organizing citizen trips to differHannover

ent partner cities by the Municipal Unit for European and International Cooperation, since 1988. International Mountain Trip organized by Wiesbaden with participation of the local authorities from the partner cities of Wiesbaden, Wroclaw. Why are thus cities cooperating with each other? Partner cities are selected on the basis of numerous criteria. One of the most important criteria is the criterion of similarity. If both partners have similar size and share similar functions, then it is easier for them to start cooperation. For example, out of 17 partner cities of Berlin, only one city (Los Angeles) is not a capital, out of 25 partner cities of Warsaw, only 7 of them are not capitals, and including former capitals these are 5 cities. This criterion is also applied by port cities. For example: in the case of Gdansk, 12 out of 18 partner cities have ports, in case of Szczecin, 8 out of 11 partner cities are port cities. It is also important to mention that the strength and commitment of cooperation among cities is not the same everywhere, including partners of one city. There are usually 3- 5 cities with closer cooperation. For example the closest partner cities of Poznań are Nottinghamshire, Hannover, Rennes, Brno and Assens. It happens very often that the cooperation decreases over a period of time and

the cities become only “official rather than real partner cities”. Accordingly, this circumstance can influence decisions about renewing the agreements. Such a case can occur not only once. For example, the agreement among Leipzig, Bologna and Brno was signed three times. Is the cooperation between cities limited only to bilateral cooperation? The answer is no. An important fact is: “Partner cities of 21st century do not cooperate bilaterally, but they cooperate in multilateral networks.” [G. Goldfuß et al., 2007, p. 32]. One of the most important networks of major European cities is EUROCITIES, where the cities cooperate in a framework of a city management and search for solutions in regarding administration problems together. The communal cooperation focuses on a city development, transport infrastructure, environmental protection, public security, and social aid, and energy efficiency, management of disposals and city marketing. Common projects carried out by cities, which work in the network, are very often supported by EU. The rising number of partner cities and the strengthening of existing cooperation is also a positive sign of globalization. It extends people’s possibilities and opens the door for other cultures. Working together in network leads to a better future for all cities taking part in it. Therefore, it is advisable to be a part of this network which spreads out knowledge and new ideas. References European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) (2006), “The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) Improving an organisation through self-assessment” G. Goldfuß (edit.), B. Friedrich, F. Greim, I. Havelková, M. Wagner (2007), “Leipzigs Partnerstädte. Leipzig’s twin cities.” Stadt Leipzig. Kaczmarek T., (2005). „Struktury terytorialno-administracyjne i ich reformy w krajach europejskich”. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM.

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Some general features of gated communities in Hungary Gábor Hegedũs EGEA Szeged hegedusgab@gmail.com Abstract Gated communities can be defined as restricted access residential developments where public spaces are privatized (Blakely, L. – Synder, M. G. 1999). They are an internationally widespread phenomenon today, especially common in cities and their suburbs. In Eastern Europe, they first appeared after the collapse of state socialist systems. In the course of the transition to the market economy, social and economic differences have increased immensely and the process of segregation of population groups within individual municipalities is also accelerating. According to the findings of our survey, gated communities appeared later in Hungary than in Western Europe, only from about the very beginning of the 1990s. Since then, their number has been dynamically growing. A large part of Hungary’s gated communities are unlike those in Western Europe: the majority are not physically gated from their environment, are not guarded and provide relatively few services for their residents. However, a small number of ‘real’ gated communities can also be found. All kinds of gated communities are frequent in all major towns and cities in Hungary. But most of them are in the agglomeration of Budapest. Their construction often results in the exclusion of the public from sometimes significantly sized former public spaces. Introduction The gated community is a typical global social phenomenon of our era which is already well-known in the whole world. Its scientific research began belatedly just after its appearance and it is still at an initial stage (at least regarding geography) in Hungary. Continually increasing scientific literature is available about the emergence and spreading

of the phenomena. Gated communities are investigated from the dissimilar point of view of geographers, architects, sociologists, lawyers, etc. In our study, we collected data about gated communities in many different ways. There are not any primary databases for them and therefore we looked up various internet sites of the developers and contacted them. We made some interviews, besides media observing, and field study. We examined the geographical factors determining their location, as well. The general features of gated communities Depending on the discipline of the various kinds of researchers, gated communities can be defined and typified in several ways. According to a detailed American definition (Low, S. 2004), they are residential developments surrounded by walls, fences, or earth banks covered with bushes and shrubs, with a secured entrance. Sometimes, their protection is provided by inaccessible land such as a nature reserve, and, in a few cases, by a guarded bridge. The houses, streets, sidewalks and other amenities are physically enclosed by these barriers. Their entrance gates are operated by a guard or opened either with a key or with an electronic identity card. Inside the development there is often a neighbourhood watch organization or professional security personnel patrolling on foot or by automobile (Low, S. 2004). Gated communities restrict access not only to residents’ homes, but also to the use of public spaces and services – roads, parks, facilities – situated within the enclosure. Their size varies from a few to ten thousands of homes. Many include e.g. golf courses, tennis courts, fitness centres, swimming pools and lakes. They have typical morphological features: their street pattern is often

composed of loops, and cul-de-sacs. In some countries (especially in the USA) gated communities are managed and ruled mainly by variously formed institutions (private governments) which are established by the investors. Thus, gated communities are legally separated from the surroundings, too. Many social, economical and cultural factors on a global, regional, and local scale are instrumental in evolving and in the existence of gated communities (Atkinson, R. – Blandy S. (ed.) 2006, Glasze, G. – Webster, C. – Frantz, K. (ed.) 2006). Besides the survival of historical antecedents, economical factors (economical globalization, the emergence of post-industrial, fragmented city agglomerations, the growing potential attractively of the club economy of ‘private neighbourhoods’ (Glasze, G. 2005) seem to us to be very important, not to mention also social, political and psychological factors (e.g., decline of public life of settlements, changing patterns of housing worsening level of public services, demand for a better quality of life, fear of crime). The real property developers also play an important role in the spreading of gated communities by various, sophisticated ways of generating demand on their products. The separation of different social, ethnical communities dates from the Antiquity. Residential complexes, most similar to the recent forms of gated communities, were established already in the 19th century in Europe. However, gated communities were infrequent until the 1960’s. Since then the modern forms of them have begun to spread in the USA. Since the late 1980’s they have become ubiquitous in many areas of the country (Blakely, L. – Synder, M. G. 1999). Indeed, they have become popular from Latin-America to China. Their number is dynamically increas-

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the suburbanization became much more intensive, especially in the agglomeration of Budapest, but around also the bigger cities in the country. Municipal housing stock was generally privatized, and municipal (social) homebuilding became much less important as opposed to the private housing. New, global patterns of housing (e.g. gated communities) appeared, with active contributions of many international real estate companies investing capital in the Hungarian housing sector (Bodnár, J. – Molnár, V. 2007, Cséfalvay, Z. 2008, Csizmady, A. 2008).

Figure 1: A new high-rise gated community under construction at the Danube water-front in Budapest (Photo: Marin, V. 2008) ing in the entire world. Special, local factors (e.g. the traditions of living in an enclosed community, the level of public safety, political conditions) have also contributed to their success in many places. The number of gated communities has also grown in Europe, but here – in relation to the USA – fewer of them can be found, yet. Within Europe gated communities first appeared in the 1980’s on the Mediterranean seacoasts (Spain, France). In the 1990’s, many suburban gated communities were established in the neighbourhoods of Madrid and Lisbon, and in Great-Britain. They have emerged e.g. in the agglomerations of Vienna, Berlin, and in East Central and Eastern Europe at the same time (Glasze, G. 2001, Lentz, S. 2006, Stoyanov, P. – Frantz, K. 2006). So, the voluntary grouped separate living form still exists in our (post)modern times. The researchers consider the advantages and disadvantages of gated communities in very different ways. The effects of the gated communities seem to be totally different depending on the various points of views of the municipalities and the people living in the gated communities. For instance, the municipalities get (sometimes considerable) income by selling their land to build up with gated communities, which will Figure 2: A gated community-like residential development in the city Hódmezővásárhely (Photo: Hegedũs, G. 2008)

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cause a local increase in the economical value and social prestige. However, extended public spaces may become private-owned. And the fragmentation of spaces, the frequent and increasing practice of social exclusion and segregation in the settlements can be triggered by the realization of them, for example. Gated communities in Hungary After 1990 significant political, social and economic changes took place in East Central and Eastern Europe. The transition to market economy led to increasing social-economic polarization. New migration forms and increasing residential segregation occurred, and

Hungarian gated communities first appeared in Budapest in the very end of the 1980’s. At that time, there were no inland demands for them; they were only bought by foreign diplomats. From the 1990’s on, they were already built in the agglomeration of the capital, and in the regional centres of Hungary (Figure 1.). Later many gated communities have been built in the countryside, too (Figure 2.). We can suppose that the spreading of gated communities in Hungary can be considered as a combined neighbourhood and a hierarchical diffusion process of innovations. According to our research, there are only few ‘real’, classic Western-Europeanlike gated communities in Hungary, yet. Many of them are a ‘gated community’ only by name; because they are neither


Figure 3: Interpreting McKenzie’s triangle model in Hungary physically gated from their environment, nor are they guarded. They only provide relatively few services for their residents, if they even provide any. In Hungarian language the term gated community is usually named lakópark (‘residential park’). Geographical location plays a very important role concerning gated communities. In Budapest, for instance, many geographical factors seem to be relevant. Good panorama (especially in the hilly western part – Buda – of the capital, but near the Danube, as well), the riverside location (near the Danube), the closeness of green areas (parks, forests), access to public institutes and good traffic connections to the inner parts of Budapest all determine the places where the developers can realize their plans with the greatest profit. Many gated communities were established riverside at locations near the Danube, and thus we may speak about

a ‘private Danube residential cluster’ to some extent there (Figure 1.). It is not a wonder that the favourable places mentioned above have been almost entirely built in, and the competition for free places is very high amongst the developers. The marketing of gated communities is quite intensive, sometimes even aggressive in Hungary. It often suggests that moving into a given gated community means a new, much more beautiful life, and it helps to achieve a better human quality for the homebuyers. The frequent English (not Hungarian) names of many gated communities also illustrate this point (e.g. ‘Golden Grape Residence’, ‘Prestige Towers’). According McKenzie’s triangle model, the rise of gated communities can be described by a triangle of developers, local governments, and homeowners (McKenzie, E. 2003). In Hungary, accordingly the results of our study,

the municipalities and the inhabitants seem to be weaker players in this ‘game’ of establishing gated communities (Figure 3.). The developers have usually great political and financial influence in realizing their ideas against municipalities, and the local society is important for them only as a potential purchase power. Summary Gated communities are a global social phenomenon of our era and they have already widespread in the whole World. They cause various effects on their area and their surroundings. These effects may be entirely different from the dissimilar point of views of the settlements and the people living in gated communities. Their developers emphasize merely the advantageous features of gated communities in their marketing activity. But, concerning the result of scientific examinations, gated commu-

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nities have also disadvantages. These disadvantages afflict their surroundings and even their inhabitants, too. We would need much more comprehensive research in order to be able to examine the effects caused by gated communities in Hungary and to eliminate or mitigate the disadvantageous effects of gated communities. These studies could be connected in parallel to the analysis of the spreading and numerical growth of the Hungarian gated communities. Bibliogrpahy Atkinson, R. – Blandy S. (ed.) (2006): Gated communities. Routledge, LondonNew York, 242 p. Blakely, L. – Synder, M. G. (1999): Fortress America. Gated communities in the United States. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 209 p. Bodnár, J. – Molnár, V. (2007): Reconfiguring private and public: state, capital and new planned communities in Berlin and Budapest. 4th International Conference of the research network Private urban governance & gated communities, Université Paris, Panthéon-Sorbonne, 2007. CD-ROM Cséfalvay, Z. (2008): Kapuk, falak sorompók: a lakóparkok világa [Gates, walls, barriers: the world of gated communities]. Gondolat-Marina Part, Budapest, 300 p. Csizmady A. (2008): A lakótelepektől a lakóparkig [From the housing estateblocks to the gated communities]. Új Mandátum, Budapest, 321 p. Glasze, G. (2001): Privatisierung öffentlicher Räume? Einkaufszentren, Business Improvement Districts und geschlossene Wohnkomplexe [The privatization of public spaces? Shopping malls, Business Improvement Districts and gated communities]. Berichte zur deutschen Landeskunde, 75 (2-3)., pp. 160-177. Glasze, G. (2005): Some Reflections on the Economic and Political Organisation of Private Neighbourhoods. Housing Studies, 20. (2). pp. 221-233. Glasze, G. – Webster, C. – Frantz, K. (ed.) (2006): Private Cities. Routledge, London-New York, 242 p. Lentz, S. (2006): More gates, less community? Guarded housing in Moscow. In: Glasze, G. – Webster, C. – Frantz, K.

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(eds.): Private communities. Routledge, London-New York, pp. 206-221. Low, S. (2004): Behind the gates. Life, security, and the pursuit of happiness in Fortress America. Routledge, LondonNew York, 275 p. McKenzie, E. (2003): Common-Interest Housing in the Communities of Tomorrow, Housing Policy Debate, 14 (1-2)., pp. 203-234. Stoyanov, P. – Frantz, K. (2006): Gated communities in Bulgaria: interpreting a new trend in post-communist urban development. Geojournal, 66, p. 57-63.


Demographic development of Vienna in the second half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century Karolina Swiderska EGEA Torun karolina.swiderska1@wp.pl First of all, I would like to say to all Egeans from Vienna, in particular to Lole, Lisi, Krischtina and XF: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Without your help my master thesis and this article would not have been written.

Fig 2 - Density of population in Vienna in 1951

Fig 1 - The author

It is characteristic for Vienna that the city’s history is reflected in its architecture and in its motley population in an exceptional dimension. The city of Vienna covers an area of more than 414 square kilometers, and has a population of 1.66 million. Although it is the smallest federal province in surface area, it has the largest population. Vienna is also a residence of international corporations and organizations. Due to this fact, the capital of Austria concentrates people from all around the world and with them different languages, religions and habits. „In contemporary world, without a comprehensive knowledge of demographic processes, it is not possible to talk about

Fig 3 - Density of population in Vienna 2006 a good analysis of social and economic phenomena, as well as possible forecasts of their development in the future” (Wielka encyclopedia geografii świata, vol.12, 1998) The purpose of this article is to present

the development and changes in the demographic structure of Vienna in the second half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. In order to achieve this goal, it was necessary to: revise essential literature concerning

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Fig 4 - Dynamics of the changes in the population demography and the geography of population in general and in particular studies about the population of Vienna define the research presumptions gather statistical data of the city and its districts transform and organize data and then to verify the research assumptions The thematic scope of the article includes structures and demographic processes of the population of Vienna on the whole, considering Vienna as a point in a certain space, as well as in the spatial approach: Vienna is composed of 23 districts. The thematic scope also refers to the structure of the population of Vienna according to its sex and age, its natural moves together with migration as well as their balance. The current increase in the number of population was taken into account, too. The spatial scope of the study includes Vienna as a point in space as well as Vienna as an urban unit. The basic level, which is Vienna as a whole, is used to observe the changes that took place between 1961 and 2006, whereas the analysis of the spatial scope refers to the state of structure of events and demographic phenomena in a given year in Vienna as divided into 23 districts. The time span goes from the second half of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century, which is from 1951 on, when the first post war census was made. This period (1951-2006) is chosen because of the social and economic changes that took place in Vienna during the subsequent decades of 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century. It was necessary to apply different research methods for the issues and assumptions. One of the methods was gathering material and studying the literature concerning population phenomena, and a special attention was paid to the issue of the populaFig 5 - Population structure by age and sex for the inhabitants of Vienna in 1992 Fig 6 - Population structure by age and sex for foreigners in Vienna 1992

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Fig 7 - Population structure by age and sex for the inhabitants of Vienna in 1998 Fig 8 - Population structure by age and sex for foreigners in Vienna in 1998

tion of Vienna. Among the few relevant publications, we can mention studies by Wiegl (2000), Lutz (2003), Gisser (2005). Apart from that, the author gathered information about the urban span of Vienna herself during her stay in the city. Numerical data came from the Austrian statistical and demographic yearbooks. Then the author separated the data in order to make the necessary mathematical and statistical calculations to obtain coefficients required for the analysis of the demographic development of Vienna. A lot of factors influence the number of people living in Vienna. Some of them were connected with alternations of natural moves caused by social and economic changes which had been taking place in Europe in the 20th century. The effects of the II World War, demographic

transformation since 1970s and migration movements were the main factors influencing the increase or decrease in the population of Vienna. Vienna’s lowest state of population of the whole XX century was in 1987 with 1 484 885 inhabitants. Changing number of population in the whole city reflects inner-city movements. It is worth to emphasize that the population density was similar during the study time (3 897 per/km² in 1951 to 3 982 per/km² in 2006). In every large city the population density decreases from the city centre to the suburbs. The author’s presumption is that in Vienna there is a high density in the central districts and a lower one in the periphery (see Fig.2, Fig.3). We can thus see that Clark’s rule (1975) saying that the population density decreases with the

increasing distance from the city centre is right. It is essential to emphasize, however, that the dynamics of movements within a city showed pluses in the peripheral districts since 1950, which means population growth and minuses in the central ones, which means a decrease (see Fig.4). A bigger area of the peripheral districts makes the density of population in the central districts higher anyway. Changes in population’s age structure are determined by the numbers of births and deaths, and migration. According to the demographic transition model we distinguish four stages of demographic development. In the first stage we can observe high birth rate and also high mortality rate. In the second stage the concern is the demographic transformation and it is divided into two sub-phases: demographic explosion and demographic implosion. Population explosion is characterized by a growing natural increase that is caused by a quickly declining mortality rate and a high birth rate. Contrary to first sub-phase, demographic implosion begins with the reaching of the top level of natural increase. The sub-phase shows a slowly dropping population. The last stage shows a balance between the birth rate and the mortality rate and also slightly changes over the time. (Okólski, 2005) It can be said that the population of Vienna has gone through a demographic transformation, and so the birth and death coefficients diminish (see Fig.11), and the life span increases. This leads to an ageing of the population (see Fig.5, Fig.7, Fig.9). Unfortunately, immigration and an influx of young people will not stop this process. They can only alleviate its negative effects. Vienna is one of the examples where foreigners rejuvenate the structure of the population (see Fig.6, Fig.8, Fig.10). However, in the face of ageing society this phenomenon takes place all over Europe and

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Fig 9 - Population structure by age and sex for inhabitants of Vienna in 2006 Fig 10 - Population structure by age and sex for foreigners in Vienna in 2006 Fig 11 - Rate of natural increase in Vienna in 1961-2006 Fig 12 - General balance in migration in Vienna in 1961-2006 thus the process of rejuvenation of the population of Vienna can soon weaken. The age-sex pyramid is supporting the above mentioned statement. At the beginning of the 1990s, when families from the Balkans and citizens from East Europe came to live in Vienna, they represented an age pyramid for foreigners typical to progressive structure according to Sundbärg’s definition (see Fig. 6). Nowadays, however, it is the economic migration that prevails in Europe, so these are mainly young and childless people and that is why the age pyramid has a regressive structure (see Fig.10). Apart from that, the analysis of general migration balance for Vienna shows that there are periods of 10-year negative or positive balances in migration. Taking into account a positive migration balance having occurred since the mid 1990s and its end in 2006, we can observe the beginning of emigration, the outflow of people from Vienna, and continuous ageing of the population (see Fig.12). Moreover, the improvement of the quality of life of Europeans, especially for those of the new EU Member States, may further weaken migration in Vienna, or even cause remigration to their home countries. It is vital, anyway, to emphasize in the research period the fact that foreigners in Vienna rejuvenated the age structure of the city. Furthermore, another observation of the demographic process of the Viennese population shows a decreasing number of children in non-Austrian families, since the Austrian family model „2+1” (2 parents and one child) is becoming more popular (see Fig.13). It happens since foreign women come from countries with a consumer life style and delay the decision about having a child. Apart

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Fig 13 - Total fertility rate according to mother origin in Vienna in 1981-2006 from that, living in a society for which a family is not the most important value makes immigrants accept the major life patterns. This process, however, turned to go through a different pattern among Austrian and foreign women. Taking into account the trends in demographic development of Vienna, it is necessary to stress that, in contrast, to the general process of ageing of European societies, the population of Vienna was younger in the last decade in comparison with its structure in the 1970s. It may become older, however, in the face of globalization, internationalization and integration. Bibliography Becker J., Novy A., 1999, Territorial Regulation and the Vienna Region: a Historical -Geographical Overview, WU-Wien, Wien, IIR-Discussion 54. Becker J., Novy A., Redak V., 1999, Austria between West and East, Abteilung für Stadt- und Regionalentwicklung, WU – Wien, Wien, SRE-Discussion 69, Clarke J.I, 1975, Population geography, Pergamon Press, Oxford Csendes P., 1999, Die Stadt Wien, Böhlau Verlag, Wien Fassman H, Mydel R., 1997, Nielegalni robotnicy cudzoziemscy i czarny rynek pracy, polscy nielegalni pracownicy w Wiedniu, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagielońskiego, Kraków Fihel A., 2006, Polityka rodzinna we współczesnej Austrii, Expertyza na zlecenie Ministerstwa Pracy i Polityki Społecznej, www.kobieta.gov.pl/zal/ f185_1.pdf Galon R., 1939, Austria, Trzaska, Ewert, Michalski, Warszawa Gawryszewski A., 1989, Przestrzenna

ruchliwość ludności Polski 1952-1985, Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków-Gdańsk Gisser R., 2005, Recent Demographic Trends in Austria until 2004, [w:] Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, str. 237-242 Górecka S., Kozieł R.,2004, Procesy demograficzne w największych miastach Polski w okresie transformacji [w:] Przemiany demograficzne i jakość życia ludności miast (red. Słodczyk J.,Rajchela D.), Opole, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Opolskiego, str.27-40 Grzelak- Kostulska E.,2001, Przemiany w strukturze i procesach demograficznych na obszarze województwa kujawskopomorskiego, Wydawnictwo UMK Holzer J.Z., 2003, Demografia, PWE, Warszawa Jagielski A., 1978, Geografia ludności, PWN, Warszawa Jędrzejczyk D., 2001, Podstawy geografii ludności, Wydawnictwo Akademickie Dialog, Warszawa Jerczyński M., 1998, Ruchliwość przestrzenna ludności – formy i procesy [w:] Ruchliwość przestrzenna ludności w okresie przemian ustrojowych (red. D. Szymańska), Toruń, Wyd. UMK, s.31-41 Justyński J., 2004, Podstawy prawne polityki gospodarczej Unii Europejskiej, Wydawnictwo „Dom Organizatora”, Toruń Kaczmarek T., Koralewski T., Matkowski R., 1998, Wielka encyklopedia geografii świata, tom 12, wydawnictwo Kurpisz, Poznań Klusacek Ch.; Stimmer K., 1978, Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus Zwischen Wienfluss und Schmelz, Verlag Mohl, Wien Kosiński L., 1967, Geografia ludności, PWN, Warszawa

Kotowska I. E., 1998, Teoria przejścia demograficznego a przemiany demograficzne w Polsce w latach 1990,[w:] Studia Demograficzne, nr 4(134), PAN, Warszawa, str. 3-36 Kurek S., 2007, Typologia procesu starzenia się ludności miast i gmin Polski na tle jego demograficznych uwarunkowań, [w:] Przegląd geograficzny nr 79 (1), str. 133-156 Kurkiewicz J., 1992, Podstawowe metody analizy demograficznej, PWN, Warszawa Kurkiewicz J., 1998, Modele przemian płodności w wybranych krajach europejskich w świetle drugiego przejścia demograficznego, Wydawnictwo Akademii Ekonomicznej, Kraków Latuch M., 1985, Demografia społeczno – ekonomiczna, PWE, Warszawa Lebhart G., 2004, Bevölkerung Österreichs im 21. Jahrhundert, Statistik Austria, Wien Lengauer L., 2004, Sozioökonomische Veränderungen in der Vienna Region 1971 – 2001 Ausgewählte Ergebnisse, Abteilung für Stadt- und Regionalentwicklung, WU – Wien, SRE-Discussion 2004/06, Wien Lichtenberger E., 1993, Vienna – bridge between cultures, Belhaven Press, London Lijewski T., 1987, Austria, PWN, Warszawa Lisowski A., 1990, Wstęp do geografii społecznej, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawaskiego, Warszawa Lutz W., 2003, Vienna: a city beyond aging, [w:] Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, str. 181-195, Lutz W., Scherbov S., 2006, Future Demographic Change in Europe: The Contribution of Migration, [w:] Europe and Its Immigrants in the 21st Century. A New Deal or a Continuing Dialogue of the Deaf? (red. D. G. Papademetriou), Washington, str. 207-222 Lutz W., Skirbekk V., Testa M. R., 2006, The Low Fertility Trap Hypothesis: Forces that May Lead to Further Postponement and Fewer Births in Europe, [w:] Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, str. 167-192 Mitręga M., 1997, Demografia społeczna, PWE, Warszawa Okólski M., 2004, Demografia zmiany społecznej, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar, Warszawa

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Okólski M., 2005, Demografia, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar, Warszawa Piotrowski Piotr, 2003, Cudzoziemcy na austriackim rynku pracy, [w:] Polityka społeczna, nr 9 Romaniszyn K., 2000, Wpływ migracji zagranicznych na formę organizacji rodziny, [w:] Studia Polonijne, Tom 21, str. 7-39 Rosset E., 1975, Demografia Polski, PWE, Warszawa Słodczyk J., 2002, Demograficzne i społeczne aspekty rozwoju miast, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Opolskiego, Opole Sobotka T., 2005, Fertility in Austria: An Overview, [w:]Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, str. 243-259, Soja M., 2005, Hipoteza Easterlina w świetle zachowań prokreacyjnych generacji urodzonych w latach 1942-1966 w Polsce, Polskie Towarzystwo Ekonomiczne, Warszawa Standl Günter, 2001,Wiedeń- metropolie świata, Wydawnictwo Bellona, Warszawa Sutter Fichtner P., 2008, Jak Turek z Austriakiem, Tygodnik Forum, nr 12, str.56-59 Szajkowska-Wysocka A., 2000, Aspekty i walory metodologiczne zjawiska migracji, [w:] Procesy i formy ruchliwości przestrzennej ludności w okresie przemian ustrojowych (red. D. Szymańska), Wyd. UMK, Toruń, str.27-36 Szpak J., 2007, Historia gospodarcza powszechna, PWE, warszawa Szymańska D. (red.), 1998, Ruchliwość przestrzenna ludności w okresie przemian ustrojowych, Wyd. UMK, Toruń Szymańska D., 2000, The scale of impact exerted by Bydgoszcz and Toruń in the scope of permanent migration and its role the suburbanization process. Polish Population Review, No 17, Polish Demografic Society – Central Statistica Office, Warsaw Szymańska D., 2007, Urbanizacja na świecie, PWN, Warszawa Wamsley D.J, 1997, Geografia człowieka: podejście behawioralne, PWN, Warszawa Wiegl A., 2000, Demographischer Wandel und Modernisierung in Wien, Pichler Verlag, Wien Wielka encyklopedia geografii świata, Ludność świata, 1998, t.12, pod red. T. Kaczmarka, T. Koralewskiego i R Matykowskiego, wyd. Kurpisz, Poznań

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Zdrojewski Z. 1995, Podstawy demografii, Wydawnictwo Uczelniane Wyższej Szkoły Inzynierskiej, Koszalin Zelinsky W., 1971, The Hypothesis of the Mobility Transition, Geographical Review, nr 61. Table of websites: http://aeiou.iicm.tugraz.at/ www.countystudies.us www.bmi.gv.at www.demographymatters.blogspot. com/2005/12/wolfgang-lutz-and-lowfertility-trap.html www.ideas.repec.org/p/wiw/wiwsre/ sre-disc-69.html#provider www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/POP/POPNET/ popnet35.pdf www.migrationinformation.org www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/ www.popindex.princeton.edu/browse/ v54/n1/d.html www.statistik.at www.urbanaudit.org www.wien.gv.at www.wieninternational.at


Foreword The paper below is a short extract from my final year Geography dissertation, while many of the readers of this paper will not know the streets, pubs and clubs that I mention- the main emphasis is on the progression of the city of Belfast. Like many other western European Cities over the past 30 years time has been welcomed by the gay community. They have experienced equal rights in many cases and the visibility and openness can be seen in many of our great European city landscapes- visible in buildings, areas, quarters and socially. I would also like to add that people may be unaware of Belfast’s troubled pastpresently it is a growing and vibrant city which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually but in some ways its past still raises its head. The troubled past that I am referring to was the 30+ years of violence between the Nationalists and Unionists; the Nationalist community wanting separation from Britain and the formation of an All Ireland and the Unionist community wanting continued links with Britain. In the end I do not have the space and time to write about everything that has happened over the past years and furthermore it is relatively easy to research this issue via books and web. What I would like to add is that the paper below outlines how, with this sectarian division, how a quarter in Belfast has built itself up out of the rubble and ‘dark days’ and now is the centre of a bustling nightlife and tourist centre- the Gay Quarter. I hope you all enjoy reading this as much as I have researching and finding out about this fascinating aspect of Northern Irish life.

The gay scene in Belfast during the last 30 years Ryan McAvoy Egea Belfast ryanmcaire@hotmail.com Cities have always been places where people can come to escape accepted society codes such as those with a different sexual orientation other than heterosexuals, because in the city they can remain anonymous and hide their identity. Furthermore even in the early 1970s literature was available detailing the importance of gay areas and space, this is evidently represented in The Journal of Sex Research (1973) “the gay bar (scene) is a more central institution among male homosexuals than was originally reported”. Until very recently homosexuality was illegal in many parts of Western Europe and up until the 1970s Northern Ireland still had laws which meant that homosexuals be persecuted and jailed if discovered of their activities, even displays of public affection were prisonable offenses. Bearing this in mind the gay scene in Belfast was clandestine as

people tried to hide their sexuality. This accounted for a lifestyle that was hidden and it attributed to the ‘hidden space’ in Belfast to emerge and become the home of Belfast’s gay scene. Before the emergence of the gay bar scene in Belfast there were areas where gay people met to socialise, in “The Black Diaries” by Jeffrey Dudgeon he describes the areas that were synonymous with gay meeting places. The Black Diaries illustrates a vivid picture of the cruising areas around Belfast. These areas were places that were frequented by gay men; areas around the Albert Clock, Botanic Gardens, Ormeau Park, and the Giants Ring areas. The time preceding the 1970s was relatively quiet and non descript regarding gay infrastructure in Belfast this was also reflected by gay equality in the legislation process where it could be seen as stagnant.

The Early Years 1970-1979 After the riots of the Stonewall Inn in New York City and subsequent formation of the GLF (Gay Liberation Front) the movement took hold of cities worldwide and spread to the British Isles. This ‘liberation’ created a more relaxing attitude to homosexuality especially amongst university students. However the only real place for gay people to meet in public areas and not in the traditional cruising areas, were buildings owned and operated by Queens University. The students union at Queens was a venue that was used to hold gay social events, including a long-running series of discos coordinated with the help of the Gay and Lesbian Society at the university. With increased publicity about homosexuality and ongoing negativity by political groups and the main churches in the North, groups like Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) were determined to change social attitudes towards homosexuality and bring about legislative reform to promote positive visibility as a means of boosting cultural moral esteem of the gay community. Only with this increased awareness of homosexuality and the creation of a course at Queens University on Sexual Minorities in Society, were social events such as the Queens functions more widely accepted. During this time the Queens discos were among the only places to go for students during the early years of the troubles as most pubs closed at ten and very few people ventured out after this time. Over the next few years there were a few ‘gay friendly’ pubs and discos where the homosexual community were ‘accepted’. These included the Carnival Club on the upper floor of the Royal Avenue Bar, the Casanova Club on Upper Arthur Street, which coincidentally was bombed a year after it had opened by the Provisional IRA. The only other gay acceptable venue available to the North’s gay community was the Whip and Saddle Bar in the Europa Hotel. The bombings coincided with the gay purge that was orcrastrated by the RUC and which resulted in a number of gay organisations being raided, there needed to be a place solely for gay

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Cities have always been places where people can come to escape accepted society codes such as those with a different sexual orientation other than heterosexuals, because in the city they can remain anonymous and hide their identity. Furthermore even in the early 1970s literature was available detailing the importance of gay areas and space, this is evidently represented in The Journal of Sex Research (1973) “the gay bar (scene) is a more central institution among male homosexuals than was originally reported”. Until very recently homosexuality was illegal in many parts of Western Europe and up until the 1970s Northern Ireland still had laws which meant that homosexuals be persecuted and jailed if discovered of their activities, even displays of public affection were prisonable offenses. Bearing this in mind the gay scene in Belfast was clandestine as people tried to hide their sexuality. This accounted for a lifestyle that was hidden and it attributed to the ‘hidden space’ in Belfast to emerge and become the home of Belfast’s gay scene. Before the emergence of the gay bar scene in Belfast there were areas where gay people met to socialise, in “The Black Diaries” by Jeffrey Dudgeon he describes the areas that were synonymous with gay meeting places. The Black Diaries illustrates a vivid picture of the cruising areas around Belfast. These areas were places that were frequented by gay men; areas around the Albert Clock, Botanic Gardens, Ormeau Park, and the Giants Ring areas. The time preceding the 1970s was relatively quiet and non descript regarding gay infrastructure in Belfast this was also reflected by gay equality in the legislation process where it could be seen as stagnant. The Early Years 1970-1979 After the riots of the Stonewall Inn in New York City and subsequent formation of the GLF (Gay Liberation Front) the movement took hold of cities worldwide and spread to the British Isles. This ‘liberation’ created a more relaxing attitude to homosexuality especially amongst university students. However the only real place for gay people to meet in public areas and not in the

EGEA magazine - 3 - december 2008

traditional cruising areas, were buildings owned and operated by Queens University. The students union at Queens was a venue that was used to hold gay social events, including a long-running series of discos coordinated with the help of the Gay and Lesbian Society at the university. With increased publicity about homosexuality and ongoing negativity by political groups and the main churches in the North, groups like Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) were determined to change social attitudes towards homosexuality and bring about legislative reform to promote positive visibility as a means of boosting cultural moral esteem of the gay community. Only with this increased awareness of homosexuality and the creation of a course at Queens University on Sexual Minorities in Society, were social events such as the Queens functions more widely accepted. During this time the Queens discos were among the only places to go for students during the early years of the troubles as most pubs closed at ten and very few people ventured out after this time. Over the next few years there were a few ‘gay friendly’ pubs and discos where the homosexual community were ‘accepted’. These included the Carnival Club on the upper floor of the Royal Avenue Bar, the Casanova Club on Upper Arthur Street, which coincidentally was bombed a year after it had opened by the Provisional IRA. The only other gay acceptable venue available to the North’s gay community was the Whip and Saddle Bar in the Europa Hotel. The bombings coincided with the gay purge that was orcrastrated by the RUC and which resulted in a number of gay organisations being raided, there needed to be a place solely for gay people to congregate in safety. The resulting solution was the opening of the Chariot Rooms in May 1977, on Lower North St, which also culminated in an article from the Sunday World by Sam Smyth, the headline read, “Ireland’s First Real Gay Bar”. The premises situated near St. Anne’s Cathedral, did not happen coincidentally, the buildings in the city centre other than those on the main shopping

thoroughfare were mainly dilapidated and undesirable. Political Homophobia 1980-1989 During Ian Paisley’s purge against Ulster’s gay population under the title “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign and the subsequent ‘Kincora’ scandal the decade of the 1980s were particularly hard for Northern Irish gay people. These setbacks not only resulted in further stereotyping and prejudice against the gay community but also it had an effect on the usage of gay space in Belfast city. People were cautious to go out and this was represented by the shortage of gay space in Belfast during the early part of the 1980s.The later part of the decade was one of the most bigoted and hate generated times for gay people in living memory which culminated with the Aids epidemic. By the latter half of the 1980s, “a distinct geographical pattern relating to the creation and extension of urban gay space was discernable”. (Faught, 2003, p. 42) The foremost gay bar to open in the second half of the 1980s was the Crows Nest, which in its previous life was a bar, in Skipper Street it had a small disco from around 1986. The opening of this bar was a result of the quieting down of the sensationalism that surrounded the Kincora scandal and the subsequent winning of the European Civil Rights case by P.A. McLaughlin and Jeffrey Dudgeon. Dudgeon took his case to the European Court of Human Rights after he was interrogated by the RUC on the grounds of his sexual orientation; he then won this landmark case, “the gradual legalisation of homosexuality has been mirrored in the progressive formation or recognised gay villages” (Hubbard, 2006, p. 215). While Belfast had nowhere near a gay ‘village’ the policies of change and acceptance were beginning to grow and this in turn resulted on the visible space. Good Friday Agreement Era 1990-1999 The 1990s arrived with the welcomed Peace Process and the Good Friday Agreement in 1998; the politics of the North were not the only thing about


the province to move forward “dramatic changes to the country’s social, political and legislative structures increasingly fostered a non-discriminatory and liberal climate in Ulster.” (Faught, 2003, pp. 45). The Good Friday Agreement led onto the implementation of Section 75 on Equality, which was welcomed by the gay community. Section 75 was a bill that was passed that promoted equality to all in the workplace regardless of race, sex, creed and sexuality. Attacks and prejudice towards the gay community did slacken towards the early 1990s, and there did emerge an optimistic outlook amongst the gay community of Belfast. There was a renewed interest in the commercial, economic and development of gay clubs and gay friendly venues. Proprietors saw an industry where they could penetrate into a lucrative market where in previous years gay friendly bars and venues had made hefty profits from the gay clientele; many gay people feel less comfortable in heterosexual bars than compared with gay bars. As before the new gay bars and venues were developed around an area that had housed the gay social scene, the close proximity around St. Anne’s Cathedral, in the socalled ‘Cathedral Quarter’. The gay community welcomed these formative years and capitalised on the calmness and increasing tolerance of the gay community in Belfast, the first Pride Parade in the summer of 1991 was a huge success that branched out to all sections of society which increased the visibility, raised social awareness of the gay community. This decade also set a precedent in the amount of development and expansion of the gay infrastructure in the areas surrounding St. Anne’s Cathedral. The area around St. Anne’s Cathedral comprised an area of streets that were associated with the ‘gay quarter’ of the city. Rosemary St., Lower North St., Upper Arthur St., and Long Lane were responsible for the creation of the distinct geographical pattern that was a unique area of urban space. A number of gay organisations such as the Rainbow Project, located in Commercial Court, allocated and opened offices around this area furthermore the increased visibility only happened due to increasing toler-

ance and the need to provide a service for the rapid growing gay community in Belfast. With the passing of law in 1994 lowering the age of consent for gay sex from 18-17, which now was equal to the rest of the UK, meant that for the first time in gay history men and women were now classified on the same level as consenting heterosexuals. The resulting lowering of the age limit for gay sex meant that new emphasis had to be put on educating this now younger public who could actively and more importantly legally engage in sex for the first time. In 1994 the health promotion agencies/ Support Organisations opened The Rainbow Project, which was converted from a disused loft building, in Church Lane, now relocated on Commercial Square; which was the first of its kind to open in Northern Ireland. The nightclubs were the first to set up then they were followed by gay agencies whose sole purpose was to address the needs of the homosexual population. In Hughes, he suggests that generally gay men from Britain, seek out cities were “the existence of a supportive gay infrastructure” is visible or apparent. So it is clear that when gay people travel they spend money in gay bars, pubs and clubs. The gay quarter can be seen then as being supported by gay clientele, visitors and subsequently by gay organisations who themselves provide support for gay clientele for example, The Rainbow Club, Mynt. One of the gay bar owners describes “the venue and location of The Kremlin (biggest gay club in Ireland) was strategic, myself and my partner spent many holidays in Barcelona and loved the layout of the gay scene there… in Barcelona L’ Eixample the gay area has gay clubs jotted around an area much bigger than that of Belfast’s gay scene, but we wanted to try and space out the gay scene in Belfast so it was not just situated around Dunbar St. and Waring St.” Belfast has tried to reimage itself into an area of quarters, the Cathedral quarter, the Titanic quarter, the Irish speaking quarter and now the Gay Quarter, which many have been backed by the Laganside Development Order 1988 which has a goal of regenerating large sections of

land in greater Belfast. But Belfast has uniquely tried to sell itself on an image of a city of Quarters; the Cathedral Quarter with its quaint bars and street performers, Titanic Quarter is being sold on the historic links Belfast has with the doomed liner, Queens Quarter is an internationally renowned University festival displaying talents in drama, music and film. The Irish Quarter around St Marys University has a political, historical and cultural element that attracts tourists every year and which culminates in the biggest street festival Féile an Phobail in Europe. As Hubbard (2006, p. 219) writes “favourable images create entry barriers for products from computing places”, with this in mind Belfast is selling quarters to tourists Belfast is doing a complete U-turn and endorsing gay areas along with its other quarters. Bibliography Interviews online and in person with members of the Rainbow club, Queens University Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group. Faught, Julie. 2003 ‘The Pink History of Belfast’ Harry, Joseph. 1974 ‘The Journal of Sex Research’ Urbanization and the Gay Life. Vol. 10, No. 3, p.238-247. August. Hubbard, Phil. 2006 ‘City’ The Creative City. p.214-219. Hughes, Howard L. 2003 ‘Journal of Vacation Marketing’, London: March. Vol. 9, Iss. 2. p. 152. Websites http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v3n4/mclough.html http://www.gaybelfast.net

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The network is us. Podcasting as a chance to connect a scientific discipline Torsten WiĂ&#x;mann University of Mainz t.wissmann@geo.uni-mainz.de Progress in science generally comes with personal interconnections. Through meetings on campus, discussions after work or the participation in national and international congresses: the research community tries to stay in touch. One of the intended benefits of such knowledge-transfer is to create new possibilities and generate further approaches for the scientific discipline. However, if the cords are not renewed every once a while, the network tears. Existing connections are cut off and individual thoughts lay lonely aside. Like spare cords left over while tying a fishing net. This article will take a look at the knots that currently exist in the German geographical network. Then it will discuss whether its cords are tearproof. Afterwards we will get to know a new 21st century kind of fiber that will possibly tighten the meshes and sew up the loose cords. It is time to knot differently. Knots and cords Before we start to evaluate the consistency of the existing network let us take a deeper look into the metaphor given in the introduction. In the scientific network, every spoken or written thought may be understood as a cord with the ability to knot with other thoughts. The knot itself represents a spot where scientific discussions really take place. So where does the dialogue emerge? Monographs and anthologies cannot be called knots in a narrower sense. They present rather static thoughts, without the possibility to answer them directly. A dispute might arise out of what was written down, but generally scientific books have to be understood more as the architecture than the knots of the network. Articles being published in journals are another possibility of making thoughts public. You can read them and think about them just like books. But you can even answer them with

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an oppositional manuscript (see Hard 1987 vs. Blotevogel et al. 1989). This is a very time-consuming method, but a good one, if you want to reach a large audience to follow the dialogue. With the possibility to comment and answer articles in upcoming issues, journals are knots bound together by inelastic cords, i.e. slightly dated conceptions. Besides, not everybody might get the same chance to take part in this public debate. The alternative to written thoughts is meeting face-to-face at a symposium or congress. There, the scientific community can argue with itself and try to generate gainful output. You will reach fewer recipients than with a journal article but it seems to be a fair way of communicating with each other because feedback comes in immediately. If Logo: Geografree Front-line

a collection of the speeches is published afterwards even sustainability is guaranteed. Let us focus on this face-to-face knot for a while. The topics brought up are (hopefully) new and innovative and there is time to investigate interesting approaches more specifically. The cords consist of the instantaneous spoken word. But do they really knot? If you try to think of a typical symposium, you will more or less recall the following: after starting off with the keynote speech you attend a panel with different lectures. Each of them generally end up with a round of questions that is limited in time. During the coffee-break you get additional time with the speaker. Along with plenty of other petitioners, you might add. The event goes on with the next topics, new speakers, new breaks. After day one you either try to fall asleep


with a good chance of input overload – because you probably attended about ten lectures – or meet up with your colleagues to find answers to the rest of your questions. The next morning it starts all over again. And besides the question whether or not the congress was worthwhile for you, it has definitely been expensive. You sure had to pay for the journey, the hotel and most likely the event itself. What remains? Some new entries in your address-book and the promise to “stay in touch this time“. And if your inbox stays empty: the next symposium will come up soon. Probably next year. Cynicism taken aside, one has to state: a symposium does provide interchange within a scientific community. But the advantage of immediate conversations often comes with immediate oblivion. Back to the daily work, the only place where the new knowledge will definitely last is the Moleskine in your pocket. So, to keep up contacts on a congress with little time to delve into each topic, can only be the base for a scientific network. This network cannot prosper without permanent dialogue. Ongoing vivid discussions cannot enfold in quarterly, biannual or even annual intervals. The meshes inevitably loosen. Finally, let us inspect the structure of the whole net. If a scientific journal stands for a knot and a symposium does, too, do they interconnect? In some ways, you might say. If you attend five conferences and read five scientific journals, you bind your cords, i.e. thoughts, to each of these knots. In exchanging your thoughts with the other readers, writers or attendees you actively build a network between your ten chosen knots. But there are always events you do not have the time to participate in, articles you will not read, conversations you do not follow. Well, a scientific network does not need your presence on every single spot of the net. With an ongoing discussion within the community there will always be central knots where you can acquire summaries and overviews. And if your scientific life looks different? Well, how much time will you invest to keep the net tight? A fiber from the internet A great advantage of our age is the

mostly ubiquitous availability of the internet. In many ways it has changed our lives. From one-click shopping to the latest political information, from exchanging your photo library to publishing scientific work: you instantly reach out to the world. The possibility of listening and buying the soundtrack of your life online is another example for the potential of this medium. It has revolutionized the music industry. In the wake of this digital music revolution, podcasting has become a serious opponent to traditional radio stations. Refusing to listen to the same mainstream songs all the time, many listeners have decided to subscribe to podcasts instead. This way they diversify their music reception and most likely reach a higher entertainment factor. “iPods and podcasting are not groundbreaking technical realizations of new physical theories. But they´re cool (and that´s official)!“ (Molina 2006: 113). But the benefit does not stop here. The regular listener of an entertaining podcast like Adam Currys “Daily Source Code“ has the opportunity to actively take part in the show. You can send emails and leave voice-feedback to give your opinion, which can be integrated into the next podcast episode. Thus podcasting exceeds radio by supplying a real web 2.0 experience. The concept of podcasting is relatively simple (see Meng 2005). Files can be recorded, uploaded to the internet and there be integrated into a rss-feed. When the user adds this feed to his preferred rss-reader, this piece of software checks constantly if there are new items to the feed. In that case it downloads the latest content to the user´s computer. So after subscribing to a podcast, the current issues arrive automatically. Just like the daily newspaper. The technology of podcasting is also used by educators to provide their students with the latest learning-possibilities. Recording lectures is the predominant form up to now. A professor puts on his microphone before starting his lecture and simply records his reading. Afterwards the file is uploaded to the internet. There it becomes the latest episode of the professor´s e-learning lecture. This helps absentees and gives every student the opportunity to go

over the content again (see Windham 2007: 54). But what more than the technology does such a podcast have in common with an entertainment show like the Daily Source Code? “[…] adding technology without altering pedagogy is not a solution.“ (Oblinger and Hawkins 2006: 15). The potential of podcasting is reduced to the benefits of catching up with the content of teaching all too often. Thus, you only support passive learning. An active debate is not taking place. In consideration of the fact that we should try to develop networking and intercommunication, the raw technology is not what we need. “IT is just a utility – like electricity or water“ (Hawkins and Oblinger 2007: 1). But the technology of podcasting can be used as a connecting medium. How? The answer does not come from the scientific community but the podcasting DJs and VJs. The focus on entertainment implicates active participation in the show. And if it takes pleasure to provide our scientific net with strong knots: let us have some fun. Patched up In spring 2006, a new podcasting project was started in Germany, called “geografree“ (see Wißmann 2008). Aiming at freshman students, geografree produced podcasts related to geographic lectures taught at the University of Mainz. With its three different podcast series geografree provides additional educational material. Each episode is recorded independently from the lecture with pre-written text, additional jingles and relevant sound-samples. To set value on recording quality is part of the concept. “There is nothing worse than listening to a poor speaker who spouts unprepared text that was posted without editing the sound. It makes me want to turn off the podcast“ (Deubel 2007: 1). After the first two years with a still rising number of subscribers, the private project put out a new podcast in summer 2008 that could soon become an important new knot in the German geographical network. With both the scientific and the entertainment aspect “geografree Front-Line“ (fig.1 and infobox) tries to bring geographers together, may they be freshmen, professor or someone just interested

EGEA magazine - 3 - december 2008


in geography. The new “show“ is made up by current discussions between the producer and the audience. It answers the problem of missing interconnectedness by creating a web 2.0 environment that sees in every listener a potential producer of valuable content. Even “[l] istening is an activity. No good audience is passive“ (Campbell 2005: 42). When we go back to the pros and cons of the existing knots in our network we remember the conclusion drawn above: Ongoing vivid discussions cannot enfold in quarterly, biannual or even annual intervals. While the languid cords of written or spoken word of conferences and scientific journals are not able to produce sufficient knots, podcasting can. This fiber is much more flexible and strong, because it is supplied instantly. In other words: to “skype“ is to publish. Hence, geografree Front-Line is updated once a week. Every seven days a new episode is released with varied content. First of all it discusses one or more current geographical topics. After listening to the show one can easily send feedback via email or a simple polling system with an integrated comment option. Furthermore, there is the possibility to send in audio-comments by calling the geografree voice-mail on Skype. Every feedback is reviewed and put out in the next podcast episode. To produce the show as entertaining as possible, podsafe music is added just as the section “charm of geography“. Excursions and study trips to foreign countries fascinate most geographers. Why not use the itinerary impressions of colleagues and fellow students to get inspired? Finally, geografree Front-Line can not only sew up loose patches, i.e. the thoughts from all over the scientific community. It even tries to tighten the existing knots. For this reason, announcements of upcoming congresses are made. No risk to miss an event next time. But the most important benefit of geografree Front-Line is the ongoing discussion. Up to now the German geographical community did not have such an immediate forum. Never again one will have to wait for the next issue of a scientific journal to post or read the response of a statement made. The more comments a listener/producer sends in, the more known he will become within the

EGEA magazine - 3 - december 2008

network. “Podcasting offers the hope of a more democratised media in which independent voices are more likely to be heard“ (Mitchell 2006). It becomes easy for each geographer to position himself the way he wants. With a rising number of listeners, the commentators and their topics get more attention, the base of recipients expands and thereby the whole network tightens. In contrast to this new fiber, journals and congresses appear to be an even slower way to publish your thoughts. Without change, the net could possibly rot over the years. If we do not want to take this chance we should use our new fiber and force the pace of communication. Thus, we get major progress in science. After only three month with “Front-Line“ on the air one must state: the number of subscribers increases exponentially. The right sign for the potential new knot in the network. Whenever a new episode is released, the growing community gets informed about ongoing discussions, upcoming events, projects and fieldtrips. Each new subscriber uses an ultramodern fiber to contribute his thoughts to the network. Each feedback sews up the meshes instantly. And finally, you have the certainty of each episodes sign off: “the network is us.“ Bibliography Blotevogel, H. H. et al. (1989): „Regionalbewusstsein“. Zum Stand der Diskussion um einen Stein des Anstosses. Geographische Zeitschrift 77 (2): 65-88. Campbell, G. (2005): There´s Something in the Air. Podcasting in Education. Educause review 40 (6): 33-46. Deubel, P. (2007): Podcasts: Improving Quality and Accessibility. T.H.E. Journal (June): 1-4. Hard, G. (1987): „Bewusstseinsräume“. Interpretationen zu geographischen Versuchen, regionales Bewusstsein zu erforschen. Geographische Zeitschrift 75 (3): 127-48. Meng, P. (2005): Podcasting & Vodcasting. A white paper. Internet: http:// edmarketing.apple.com/adcinstitute/ wp-content/Missouri_Podcasting_ White_Paper.pdf (30.10.2008). Mitchell, L. (2006): iPods cast a wide net for learning. The Age. Internet: http://www.theage.com.au/news/

education-news/ipods-cast-a-wide-netfor-learning/2006/10/27/1161749321278. html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1 (30.10.2008). Molina, P. G. (2006): Pioneering. New Territory and Technologies. Educause review 41 (5): 113-34. Oblinger, D. G. and B. L. Hawkins (2006): The Myth about No Significant Difference. Educause review 41 (6): 14-5. Hawkins, B. L. and D. G. Oblinger (2007): The Myth about IT as a Utility. Educause review 42 (4): 10. Windham, C. (2007): Confessions of a Podcast Junkie. Educause review 42 (3): 51-65. Wißmann, T. (2008): I heard it on a Podcast. Podcast-basierte Lehre im Fach Geografie. GW-Unterricht (111): 13-9.

Infobox Additional information about geografree and Front-Line can be found here: geografree website: http://geografree. com Front-Line website: http://geografree. de/geografree/Front-Line/ Front-Line rss feed: feed://feeds.feedburner.com/GeografreeFront-Line Front-Line on iTunes: http://phobos. apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore. woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=292406207 Front-Line on Facebook: http:// www.facebook.com/pages/geografree/36904731122 Front-Line on Mevio: http://geografree.mevio.com/ Front-Line voice-mail: +49 (0)611 1 50 99 60/skype-name „geografree“

The autor Torsten Wißmann M.A. 06.09.1975 Institute of Geography Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz P.O.Box, D-55099 Mainz phone: +49-(0)6131-39-26601 fax: +49-(0)6131-39-24736 email: t.wissmann@geo.uni-mainz.de www: http://www.geo.uni-mainz.de/ wissmann/ fields of activity: theoretical geography (space and identity), e-learning (podcasting)


Agenda EGEA Congresses 2009 EGEA Northern & Baltic Regional Congress Brave Lithuania. Image March 6th – 11th 2009 Organised by EGEA Vilnius in Lithuania

EGEA Eastern Regional Congress The Baltic Sea - main source for human activities March 31th – April 4th 2009 Organised by EGEA Warszawa in Jastrzębia Góra, Poland

EGEA Western Regional Congress Water – Resource of Life March 23rd – 27th 2009 Organised by EGEA Mainz in Bingen, Germany

EGEA Euromediterranean Regional Congress Operation Geography: Mission Serbia April 20th – 25th 2009 Organised by Belgrad & Novi Sad, in Goc, Serbia More information about EGEA and its activities on the website: www.egea.eu

EGEA magazine - 3 - december 2008

European Geographer 3 - Europe and Geography in 20 years of networking  

Issue 3 of the European Geographer Scientific theme: Europe and Geography in 20 years of networking

European Geographer 3 - Europe and Geography in 20 years of networking  

Issue 3 of the European Geographer Scientific theme: Europe and Geography in 20 years of networking

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