Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Regional development characteristics and development potentials of Spodnje Podravje region

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.00  Humanities  Geography   

Code Science Field
S230  Social sciences  Social geography 
regional development, development potentials, environmental capital, rural development, the role of central settlements, suburbanization, border areas, Spodnje Podravje
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  19178  PhD Aleš Gačnik  Ethnology  Researcher  2008 - 2010  745 
2.  16049  PhD Barbara Lampič  Humanities  Researcher  2008 - 2010  524 
3.  19338  PhD Irena Mrak  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2008 - 2010  327 
4.  18858  PhD Irma Potočnik Slavič  Geography  Researcher  2008 - 2010  447 
5.  14635  PhD Dejan Rebernik  Geography  Head  2008 - 2010  293 
6.  20793  PhD Blaž Repe  Geography  Researcher  2008 - 2010  509 
7.  04291  PhD Metka Špes  Geography  Researcher  2008 - 2010  521 
8.  10895  PhD Jernej Zupančič  Humanities  Researcher  2009 - 2010  699 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  97,889 
2.  1421  Scientific research Centre Bistra Ptuj  Ptuj  5844975000  431 
The initiative for the applicative research was launched by the local community and it will continue the work of the thorough and wide geographic research 13 years ago (»Spodnje Podravje s Prlekijo – possibilities for regional and spatial development). The project will survey the most recent conditions and processes in the area of Spodnje Podravje. From the mid 90-ies on the area was facing numerous changes connected to the newly established municipalities that influenced the level of central settlements in the area, together with the great changes in the Slovenian agriculture (connected to the Slovenian joining the EU and the impacts of European agricultural policy) and industry transformation. With the establishment of Schengen border to Croatia the border area problematic gained the importance. All the changes and processes lead to great disparities in spatial development (especially rural development) and socio-economic structure of the area. Together with the new challenges in the area of business development and bigger national projects (f.e. the construction of the regional road Ptuj-Ormož and highway Maribor-Zagreb) the changes are predicting new development orientation of the whole area. We are expecting that the research results will enable the final regionalization that will help defining the problematic areas within the researched area. This will be of great help for the preparation of the development strategy and at the implementation of rural development programs as well as regional development projects. The area itself with specific problems represents an interesting researched topic and enables the use of new methodological approaches in geography. The widened extent of accessible data bases and the cooperation with regional research institution enables in technical way (GIS tools) as well as in the problematic way the interpretation of the researched topic. That also augments the applicative value of the profession development. The wish and the preparation of municipalities (as co-financers) for the cooperation with the scientific-research institution is the result of the past successful cooperation. The applicative research is a great opportunity for the profession as well as for the local community and whole region. The research reflects the new ways of cooperation when the scientific approaches and results are of direct use to the local community/the user.
Significance for science
For the last two decades regional geography has focused its research on regional problems analysis. In the centre of research is the problem approach towards geographical units/regions and issues surveyed by complex regionalgeographic method. Applicative research enables testing and development of various new theoretical models. Scientific challenge has been in the field of scientific methods transmission into practice: fundamental was the research of selected case study area, using contemporary research possibilities (GIS tools, function analysis, digital data). At the same time, it was necessary to implement classical geographic research methods: besides statistical data and landscape units evaluation, extensive field work has been conducted. The research on development potentials of Spodnje Podravje region represented for geography as a scientific discipline a challenge from two aspects: - regarding the comparison of nowadays circumstances with the conditions in 1990s (statement of development trends, the most visible/disturbing impacts or collision of interests), - regarding the development of geography (testing grounds for basic and new methods in specific area). The possibility to undertake such an extensive and complex regionalgeographic research is in Slovenia relatively rare; precious are local communities’ initiatives for this kind of work. They mirror the existing interest and need for scientific-professional co-operation. Project of this kind has better starting-points and benevolent opportunities for useful and qualitative accomplishment: initial phases of data gathering, arrangement and carrying out of field work is usually mitigated. Besides its applicative value for local communities of Spodnje Podravje region, the research contributes also to methodological developments in regional geography. We are facing with the decrease in regionalgeographical research in Slovenia; therefore the implemented research is beneficial to this inter-crisis period. The research contributes to better understanding of socioeconomic and spatial processes (i. e. processes of suburbanization, rural areas restructuring etc.) in selected case study area; the very same processes are familiar to other Slovenian regions as well. Our research is important also due to transmitting of geographical statements into practice (everyday life). This type of research, when co-operation of geographers with direct users is established, is usually focused on special issues (detailed survey); in this case we were able to encounter holistic, integrated and complex research of selected Slovenian region. Research value added is in the opportunity to compare two research periods, in establishing crucial development factors and outcomes. We would like to emphasise an active involvement of geography students in research preparation, implementation, field work, data analysis and final results presentation. We evaluate this as an important achievement for curriculum enrichment.
Significance for the country
Although the project is applicative and focused in the chosen area of Spodnje Podravje, its results are useful at implementing the goals of the Development Strategy of Slovenia. Beside the support to reaching the goals of sustainable development the results can help to improve the competitiveness, economic and social cohesion on the local and regional level. - Most important for the socioeconomic development of the region is the cooperation between the municipalities of the research area. - Professional and scientific cooperation of pedagogic-research institution and regional research institution. Dissemination of project results: - organized public presentation of student research work in Spodnje Podravje (Ptuj, May 2009) - final project presentation (Ptuj, May 2010) - local inhabitants were acquainted with the research through local media (newspaper, television, municipal web pages) - publishing of project results in scientific and professional literature especially in the field of geography, regional development, rural development, agriculture and similar, - participation on scientific and professional meetings in Slovenia and abroad. From the co-financer (municipalities) point of view the research represents a need as well as a great opportunity because: - the overall situation forced them to active cooperation and mutual search for development solutions in the area which is no longer seen as “local”, but more as regional, - the municipalities on their own are too weak in human and professional resources to fulfill and follow the requirements deriving from the legislation, - the wish and the need of local population for changes and development is big but on the other hand they also need help and impulse from elsewhere in order to find the suitable approaches in directing the future development. The project represents a professional basis for: - the preparation of the spatial development strategy and spatial order of the municipalities in the research area (Law on spatial management ULRS 110/2002, 8/2003), - performance and assessment of rural development programs in the period 2007-2013, - performance and assessment of regional development projects in the period 2007-2013, - environmental programs and the assessment of the environmental burdening in the municipalities in the area (Law on environment protection, 32/1993, 41/2004, 39/2006). The project results are potentially useful at the implementation of development aims of the future region and they are accordant with implementation of several aims of Development Strategy of Slovenia: - they contribute to spatial management and aims of demographic, social, economic and environmental policy, - they strengthen the polycentric development of urban system, the development of centers (especially the ones of wider municipal importance) and definition of crucial development priorities, - they enable qualitative preparation of spatial decrees on regional and municipal level according to development needs and regional development plans. Finally the project results contribute to implementing the aims of reaching the sustainable development and indirectly to enlargement of competitiveness, economic and social cohesion on local, regional and state level. In project work a large student population of Department of Geography (UL) has been included. 30 students of the course “Protection of Geographic Environment” and 110 students of the subject “Social Geography I” has been actively included into project activities. The first group of students conducted their own research in Spodnje Podravje, focused on environmental aspects of various business activities in the area. The second group conducted the field work - the questionnaire of rural areas in Spodnje Podravje. We need to expose the fact that a large part of geography students became familiar with the researched area as well as with the scientific research approach in regional geography.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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