PGJ 2009

The following are the abstract of the articles included in this issue of the Philippine Geographic Journal:

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UTILIZING AHP AND GIS MODELS IN DETERMINING OLD NEIGHBORHOODS FOR DEVELOPMENT IN IRANIAN CITIES: THE CASE OF MASHHAD PACHENAR NEIGHBORHOOD

Mohammad Rahim Rahnama

The purpose of this research is to explain the capability of the AHP and GIS integrated model in the determination of the old neighborhoods that have been prioritized for development in Pachnar in the city center of Mashhad. Related studies have shown the utility of AHP in engineering but one, the work of Marinoni, dealt with the integration of AHP and GIS. The research utilizes Marinoni’s integrated AHP-GIS frame and deals with the Pachnar neighborhood in the city center of Mashhad. Included in the study are 1,097 plots which cover 31 hectares. With the aid of the Saaty preference table, five variables (material of building, land use, plot area, decay and street width) were treated and incorporated in the Pachnar map layers. The Consistency Index was also calculated (CI=0.013) to provide a baseline for the typology of areas (or plots) into: “most important”, “more important” and “less important” areas. The result of the undertaking show how effective is the GIS-AHP model in recognizing potential areas for urban renewal.

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 SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF LIVABILITY IN A HOUSING PROJECT

Michael Arieh Medina

 The study was conducted in order to establish a link between social factors and perceived livability. This is essential in order to better understand the concept of livability, especially its social dimensions. The study gives a broad perspective for urban planners and community builders while trying to find ways of improving the quality of life of citizens of which livability is an important indicator. Results showed that livability in the area as perceived by the respondents does not have a significant difference when grouped by gender (t-value =0.06) and years of residency (t-value =1.47) but significantly differs when grouped by age (F-ration =3.59). There is a significant relationship between level of social factors and level of livability with a chi-square value of 5670.77. It obtained a Cramer’s Phi Correlation of 0.69, constituting a degree of moderate correlation, which means a substantial relationship between the two variables.

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 RESEARCH ON THE STATE OF FISHERY DEVELOPMENT IN VAN DON DISTRICT USING GIS TECHNOLOGY

Nguyen Minh Ngoc

 The paper is about the state of fishery in the Van Don District, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. With the use of participatory rural appraisal, systems analysis, and GIS technology, the paper maps the marine resources in the socio-political units that comprise the district, the economic activities being undertaken, and the corresponding production per activity. The paper also notes that while there is a great potential for the marine-based economic industries in Van Don, production is still low especially for the fishery sector. With the aid of the GIS technology, the paper likewise shows the existing shortcomings that hinder the district’s fishery development and their possible solutions.

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 VANN MOLYVANN AND THE SHAPING OF PHNOM PENH

Roman Cybriwsky

 Cambodia’s most famous architect and national icon is Vann Molyvan. From the colonial rule to the chaotic periods of the Vietnam War and up to the rule of the Khmer rouge, he designed a number of prominent buildings for Phnom Penh and for the other places in the country. His work includes the Phnom Penh National Sports Complex, the Tonle Bassac Theater, the Institute for Foreign Languages, and various distinctive and innovative housing complexes. Molyvann’s works reflect socialist ideas for Cambodia and showcase the nation’s great pride in the beauty of traditional Khmer art. Many of his buildings, though, are now in poor condition and need to be renovated and preserved. This paper argues that if historic preservation in Phnom Penh has favored the city’s colonial and Buddhist religious heritages, it should also pay more heed to Khmer modernism as pioneered by Molyvann. The paper is based on field work and site visits, interviews with Molyvann, and review of published materials including Molyvann’s own writings.

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UTILITY OF GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) IN MANAGING CITY GROWTH

Ijaz Ahmad and Ihsan Ullah Bajwa

 Computers have been applied in urban and regional planning almost since their inception but only recently, with the development of graphics, distributed processing, and network communications that softwares emerged especially for routine jobs. These include the development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS). GIS and RS are emerging powerful techniques widely applicable in resource management and development. These techniques not only enable a manageable storage and prompt access to large volumes of data but also provide efficient tools to extract information for logical-decision making.  Recent developments in remote sensing and GIS techniques, along with aerial photography, are highly useful in sustainable land-use, infrastructure development, and monitoring at regional and local levels.

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RESEARCH ON THE AGRICULTURAL LAND USE TRANSITION AMONG PEASANTS IN THE SUBURBAN AREA OF HANOI: THE CASE OF ME TRI COMMUNE

Pham Van Cu and Nguyen Thi Ha Thanh

 The rapid conversions of agricultural lands into urban lands indicate the rate of urbanization in Vietnam. From 2000-2006, more or less 70,000 hectares of agricultural land were transformed into urban area; 29,000 hectares turned into industrial zone; and, 136,000 hectares used up for infrastructure projects. This affected 2.5 million farmers and peasants. In Hanoi alone, at least 1,048 projects were implemented since 2000 to mitigate the impacts of conversion. The beneficiaries include 153,725 households and this is expected to increase with another 200,000 households as Hanoi is expecting to convert another 7,000 hectares of agricultural land for different industrial and urbanization projects. To further understand the effects of land conversion, the study focuses on Me Tri Ha commune in Tu Liem District where agricultural land is expected to be reduced to 34 percent in 2020. Using the framework of the CHATSEA Project (Challenges of Agrarian Transition in Southeast Asia), this study tries to show that the amelioration of the economic and social situation of the families in Met Tri Commune is short-term in character; and, that the latent problems caused by the land use transition such as increasing unemployment (12.53 percent in 2001 and 34.32 percent in 2006), culture shocks in urban lifestyle, new social confrontation between local and migrating people, and the like will negatively affect the peasants and farmers in the commune in the immediate future. All of these create unsustainability in the social and economic life in the commune, being the results of the irrational strategy both in land value compensation, post-transition education and job creation policy of the local government and the investors.

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HOUSING STRUCTURE CHANGE IN CHENGDU, CHINA

Zhou Yan

This paper is about the changing processes in the pattern of residential neighborhoods in Chinese urban areas. Since the execution of the market-oriented reform from the end of the last century, social re-stratification has been undergoing a tremendous transformation in Chinese society, and so has the pattern of residential neighborhoods in cities. Residential spaces are changing from the old largely mixed work-unit compounds towards differentiated residential neighborhoods. This paper attempts to examine the change in the living patterns of the urban society in Chengdu. Has there been a shift from ‘unit-based living pattern’ to a ‘social-stratum-based living pattern’? If a change has occurred, what are the characteristics of this change? This study uses two main data sources – primary statistical data from Chengdu’s real estate market and a household survey to analyze the housing spatial structure and changes in living patterns in Chengdu. Based on this research, two implications are suggested. First of all, after more than twenty years of housing reform, Chengdu’s residential spatial structure has experienced a dramatic change – from work unit-based living district to social-stratum-form living district – resulting in the demise of the old solo unit-based living district. Secondly, the market allocation mechanism introduced by the housing reforms, however, has not yet completely replaced the entrenched influence from work units on home ownership behavior. The unit-based living district has not thoroughly disappeared. In fact, there are many enterprises which still provide housing for their employees in Chengdu. Yet, unlike the old unit housing system, the ownership of the new unit housing is privately-owned rather than company owned.

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