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Rural aspects imprinted by the economic development to romanian urban structure. case study: Fetesti municipality.

1. General Characteristics

Fetesti is located in the south-eastern part of Romania, being a municipality in Ialomita County (fig. 1). The city is located in the extreme south-east of the county, on the left margin of the Danube's Borcea branch (Cucu, 1970). (fig. 2)

In terms of accessibility, the city is crossed by Bucharest--Constanta highway, which is served by an exit; also, from the output, DN3A highway leads west to Lehliu-Station (Calarasi) and DN3B highway leads north to Giurgeni (where it ends and DN2A starts) and south to Calarasi. From DN3B, at Fetesti, it also starts the county road DJ212, which leads north to Tandarei (where it meets DN2A) and further to Chi scani in Braila County (where it ends in DN21).

The Bucharest--Constanta railway also crosses Fetesti. From this point, another railway goes to Tandarei and Faurei.

The main neighboring urban centers are: Bucharest (150 km), Constanta (80 km), Slobozia (60 km) and Calarasi (50 km).

A meadow city, Fetesti is located on the left margin of the Borcea Branch. In Fetesti, the meadow is very narrow, being limited westward by the Hagieni Plain. Thus, the western districts of the city are located at the contact between meadow and plain, but, with altitudes lower in the plains, the transition from plain to meadow is slow, the city has a plain layout (Ciortan, 1984) (fig. 3).

Due to its position, it has a temperate climate, with a pronounced degree of continentalism, characterized by big contrasts from summer to winter. The position and relief favor the penetration of cold continental air masses of Eurasian origin during winter and masses of hot air, hot and dry, from Asia or Mediterranean and Africa during summer, which give this area a specific note of aridity (Iurascu et al, 2003).

As a multi-nuclear settlement, from the administrative point of view, Fetesti city is made up of five neighborhoods: Fetesti City, Fetesti Station, Settlers, Vla sca, and Buliga.

The main natural resources are represented by infields (over 8,000 ha) proper for agriculture, the Borcea branch which has an over 9 km length on the city's territory, the flora and the fauna (mainly the fishing stock) (Erdeli, Cucu, 2005, Popescu, 1994). The Danubian bridges between Fetesti and Cernavoda (A. Saligny) are very important to people. We can also mention the Municipal Museum and Saint Nicholas Church.

In 2011, the population in Fetesti city was of 34,263 persons (about 26% of the urban population of the county). The population density is 338.6 inhabitants per sq. km (2,756.6 inhabitants per sq. km within incorporated area). Romanian ethnic population represents 95.2% of the total, the Roma, 4.5%, and the remaining 0.3% is of other ethnic groups. The average age of male persons is 36.5 years, for the female population is 38.6 years; the average age of the population is within the 35-39 interval. If the urban population stands out as an aging population, with an 11.9% of the elderly population, the urban population of the Ialomita County, implicitly Fetesti Municipality is characterized as an aging population, the elderly representing a rate of 10.4% and 10.9% of the total urban population. This can also be seen from the values of the degree of aging. Therefore, nationally, the proportion is 1,000 young people to 880 elderly and, at the level of Ialomita County and Fetesti city, the ratio is 1,000 young people to 669 or 662 old persons.

Fetesti is characterized by a replacement rate of the labor force superior to that at the county, even national level. Therefore, in 15 years, 1,000 adults aged 15 to 64 will be replaced by 679 persons in the 15-64 years age group, while in the urban environment from Ialomita County the same number of persons will be replaced by 630 people and, at the national urban level, they will be replaced by just 546 people. Regarding the birth rate, Fetesti city (11.7 [per thousand]) is above the national level (10.3 [per thousand]), but below the county one (12.7 [per thousand]). However, the mortality rate recorded at the city level (10.3%) exceeds the mortality rate at the county (9.3 [per thousand]) and national (9.7 [per thousand]) level.

The migration at the city level falls under the same national, respectively county level lines, the resident settling rate (10.5 [per thousand]) being numerically exceeded by the rate of resident departures (16.4 [per thousand]).

Regarding the labor force, the structure of employees by economic activity at the level of Fetesti Municipality is slightly different compared to the one at the county level. The share of employees in agriculture, industry and trade, at the city level, is below the county level. In the city, we can notice a percent of 14.9 of the employees in transport and storage, higher than the 5.5% share of employees at the county level. Also, in the construction sector we can notice that, at the level of the city, there are 14.3% employees, above the county level of 8.6% (Andrei, 2007).

The year 2011, at the level of Fetesti Municipality, was characterized by a sharp increase in the number of unemployed, the unemployment rate being 1.5 times bigger than in December last year. An alarming rate, even compared to the figures registered at county and national level, where the number of the unemployed has increased by 1.4 times, respectively 0.8 times.

Closely related to the socio-demographic situation is the economic one. Thus, in Fetesti, at the end of 2011, the number of legally active traders was 1,122 (individuals and businesses), representing 11.9 of the county total. Of these, 519 (46.3%) were traders with legal personality, and the remaining 603 (53.7%) were represented by individuals (freelancers).

At the level of the municipality, the density of active enterprises (companies) to 1,000 inhabitants is of 15.1[per thousand], below the county average (17[per thousand]) and less than half of the national value, which is 32.1[per thousand].

2. Development Directions of the Urban Life Quality

2.1. Development of Infrastructure

The development of infrastructure should be a priority in any local development strategy, especially given that it is a constant in elaborating the strategies at regional and national levels.

The significant influence of infrastructure degree development (technical, transport and public services infrastructure) on the living standards of residents and economic development requires solving the existing problems in the city.

At the level of Fetesti Municipality, the development of infrastructure is represented both by maximizing the efficiency of urban infrastructure (roads, utilities) and improving public services (transport, green spaces, recreational areas, etc.) and, indirectly, removing the obstacles that block the economic, spatial and social development.

Therefore, the following steps are required:

* Modernization and development of technical-urban infrastructure

The age and the depreciation degree of the water supply system, affecting both the water quality and the undersized sewage and its lack in some neighborhoods negatively affect the inhabitants' life quality and stop the development of the local business environment.

Improving the Fetesti inhabitants' quality of life implies the access to quality public utilities for all its inhabitants.

* Development and modernization of the road infrastructure

Although Fetesti enjoys good (road, rail, etc.) accessibility, the

technical condition of the city streets does not allow its proper exploitation and adversely affects the quality of life and stops the business development.

* Development and modernization of the public transport infrastructure

The public transport has major shortcomings in terms of infrastructure, which is poor: the boarding stations are not fully marked down, many of them are not enhanced and others are poorly enhanced, the quality of the transportation services being far from meeting the requirements in the field.

* Creation/development/modernization of the recreational infrastructure

The lower surface of the green spaces per capita (compared to the national and county level), the planning and inadequate equipment of the parks, but also the lack of recreation and leisure facilities are the problems identified at the level of Fetesti Municipality.

Urban green spaces' landscaping helps improve the overall image of the city and the living conditions for its inhabitants. Expanding the areas of landscaped green spaces contributes also to the alignment to the standards imposed by the European Union regarding the surface of developed green areas per one inhabitant.

2.2. Development of Public Services

The objectives of developing the public services address the basic needs of the community and ensuring a balance between needs and resources, supporting the socio-cultural development of the citizen, improving relations within the community and providing some means of interaction between different social segments.

There are difficulties in terms of education, health, social services, transportation and other areas, a reason for which the inclusion of public service development as a priority area within the development strategy is absolutely necessary.

The planned evolution of these services within the community is very important because they have a significant impact on improving the life quality of the community members, the development of health and social services, education, culture, citizen safety, being a priority for Fetesti city.

Therefore, the following steps are required:

* Modernization and development of education and culture

The following problems were identified: deficiencies in the material facility of schools, the technical condition of the premises where the schools operate, insufficient teaching staff, small cultural activity, lack of infrastructure to conduct cultural activities.

Thus, the modernization and development of educational and cultural activities imply carrying out some works for construction / rehabilitation of the educational buildings, improving the equipment from the classrooms, school laboratories, taking the measures to ensure the necessary teaching staff. It also requires carrying out some works for realizing the infrastructure for the cultural activities.

* Modernization and development of health services

The major problems the health system faces are the physical infrastructure and the specific facility, the insufficient staff and concentration of health facilities both in the public and private system from Fetesti Station.

Health is a priority for the members of any community while representing one of their fundamental rights. In this respect, the adoption of some measures for the modernization and development of public health services and attracting specialists needed in order to provide quality services are necessary.

* Increasing the capacity of providing social and socio-medical services

In Fetesti City, the community services for the elderly / disabled persons, for victims of domestic violence etc. are insufficiently developed. Moreover, the worsening of the economic problems and the decline in living standards, the population aging and the high degree of poverty require increasing the capacity to provide social and socio-medical services.

* Increasing public safety

According to a survey conducted among local actors regarding the socio-economic development of Fetesti city, the crime (theft, violence, etc.) was nominated among the most significant negative social phenomena by 58.3% of the respondents.

* Modernization of the public transportation services

The public transport resents major deficiencies both in terms of technical and material (old fleet) and poor infrastructure, the quality of transport services being far from meeting the requirements in the field.

The comfort offered to the citizens by these vehicles is far from the European requirements: no means of transport is adapted to the public transportation of disabled persons, there is no air conditioning during summer, most of them have no heating during winter and the travelling conditions are below the requirements in the field.

* Modernization of agro-food markets

The markets and other trading areas are not renovated and properly equipped, the trading conditions being inadequate and lacking spaces specially arranged for cheese and dairy marketing.

* Improving the waste management

Waste management--waste collection, transport, treatment, recycling and disposal--has become increasingly important in the context of society's sustainable development.

The improvement of the waste management activity is necessary, starting from raising awareness on the usefulness and necessity of selective waste collection. Simultaneously, it is necessary to implement a system of selective waste collection.


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Author:Radu, Aurelia-Petruta
Publication:Geopolitics, History, and International Relations
Article Type:Case study
Geographic Code:4EXRO
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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