Evaluation of the diversification of rural landscape in Slovakia after 1989 with a focus on the built-up area of municipalities: a case study of Podhájska municipality

Keywords: rural landscape, GIS, diversification, land cover structure, landscape changes

Abstract

The rural landscape in Slovakia was a synonym of agricultural production until 1989 and countryside has fulfilled specifically a productive function. Agriculture still plays a very important role in the Slovak countryside, but after 1989 there have been socio-economic changes in Slovak economy, which has reoriented to the market economy, resulting in changes of the ownership of enterprises, production processes and competition in the market. Countryside has been looking for new poles of development, what can be termed as the diversification of the functions of the countryside, i.e. the transformation of a mono-functional space into a multifunctional space. However, the increase in the amount of rural functions also results in changes of the land cover structure, which are most evident in built-up areas of municipalities. The aim of the paper is to evaluate the changes of the land cover structure of the rural landscape in Slovakia, focusing on the built-up area of the monitored municipality. The municipality of Podhájska, which is the centre of the Termál micro-region, was selected as the model territory and was researched as a case study. In this region, there is a constantly developing tourism, services and business instead of focusing only on agriculture. Changes in the land cover structure were monitored using aerial images from 1987 and 2014 (updated by field research) and the extent and nature of these changes were then analysed by Analysis tools in ArcGIS 10.2. The changes occurred in almost a quarter of the monitored area. Particularly, the use of gardens around houses has changed and they transformed from production to recreation area. The built-up area is also thickened and expanded under the influence of an increase of the tourism importance, especially in the area of former vineyards that had a long tradition in the municipality. The results of the research point to the loss of rural identity in case of increasing amount of function. Similar case studies should serve as base material for documents dealing with thesustainable development of rural areas.

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Published
2018-06-30
How to Cite
Žoncová, M. (2018). Evaluation of the diversification of rural landscape in Slovakia after 1989 with a focus on the built-up area of municipalities: a case study of Podhájska municipality. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, 67(2), 143-158. https://doi.org/10.15201/hungeobull.67.2.3
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Articles