Metrics details Abstract The Apuseni Mountains are unusual on account of the extreme fragmentation of the settlement pattern particularly in the upper Aries valley.
Not only is hamlet settlement very much the rule, but these small units of settlement may be quite widely separated from each other by distance and altitude.
Such networks have evolved through clearance of the high surfaces which cannot be efficiently farmed from the valleys in which modern infrastructure has been concentrated over the last century. Important questions therefore arise with regard to the survival capacity of communities which are critical elements in a cultural landscape that constitutes a valuable resource for both Romania and Europe.
In other parts of the region dispersal is not so extreme, but there are still depopulation tendencies which are potentially damaging for the cultural landscape. The paper examines the lifestyles associated with outlying settlements and the extent to which centralising tendencies have been resisted in recent times.
In the context of the present transition it considers the actions being considered to safeguard fragile mountain communities in a vulnerable area exposed to growing commercial penetration associated with cross-border cooperation on the Hungarian- Romanian frontier.
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