Geographia Polonica (1997) vol. 69

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Hierarchical distortions within the Romanian urban system

Ioan Ianos

Geographia Polonica (1997) vol. 69, pp. 55-66

Abstract

The consequences of the state intervention in the layout of some towns, orcategories of towns, show up in the general configuration of the urban hierarchy in Romania.The main distortions are due to the disproportionate ratio between the town and its adjacentarea and to the communist conception that the economic stability of the former is based uponrelations only within an overcentralized system. Since the progress of each town was notconnected with the functioning of the whole urban system, the latter, together with theregional systems, began showing distortions: e.g. an undersized national urban hierarchicalbasis, an overdeveloped median sector, an underdeveloped upper sector and an oversizedcapital, Bucharest. Regional systems, in their turn, are either under- or oversized compared tothe next lower-rank towns. There are indications that such distortions will be graduallyeliminated. It is imperative to promote a clear-cut policy for the development of rural settlementswith centrality functions, and of large cities (regional centres) in order to enable themto take over some of the functions released by decentralisation at national level, simultaneouslywith the economic restructuring of medium-sized centres - the county capitals. The analysisis focusing exclusively on the hierarchical distortions occurring at national and regionallevels.

Keywords: hierarchical distortion, distortion genesis, urban system, Romania

Ioan Ianos, Institute of Geography, Bucharest Dimitrie Racovita 12, sector 2, 70307 Bucharest, Romania