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Changes in the Structure of Rural Settlements in Terms of Kosovo's Perspective and Development

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Characterisation of settlements represents a very complex and interdisciplinary field. In order to examine this issue researchers from the fields of geography, sociology, and urbanisation have joined hands here in order to achieve satisfactory results. The settlements were differentiated based on the type, but changes and intensity of increase or decrease of the population have occurred since the differentiation and the type determination.

The territory of Kosovo is mainly composed of two large regions: Dukagjini and Kosovo plain. This study covers the Kosovo plain region, which includes the eastern part of Kosovo, with an area of 6580 km2 and a population of 1,164,273 persons dispersed in 910 villages. Orthophoto and satellite image analyses, GIS and cartographical methods, geostatistical and geospatial analyses were used together with case studies.

In demographic terms, characterization of settlements describes all settlements with fewer than 300 inhabitants as villages. The areas with higher populations depend on the participation of agricultural workers. Based on this methodology, settlements with more than 15000 residents cannot be villages. This methodology has also been applied to some neighbouring countries during census. The largest number of settlements in the territory of this region belongs to the category “medium” (500–2000 inhabitants). The second highest category was “small rural settlements” and the last was “large villages”. Small rural settlements lie mainly in hilly-mountainous areas, especially in the northern region (Kopaonik and Shala e Bajgores) and in the south-eastern region (Gollak, Karadak, etc.). Middle class settlements are scattered throughout the region and major settlements are common in the Kosovo plain region (36.9 percent of total settlements), in AnamoravĂ« (30.8 percent), Drenica (16.9 percent), Llap (10.8 percent).

According to the 1948 census, there were 84 very small rural settlements which had less than 100 inhabitants or 9.3 percent of the total number of rural settlements in the region of Kosovo. In 1991 their number increased to 114 dwellings in this category, which means that the number of small settlements in the region is growing continuously. Their participation in the total number of rural settlements today has reached 12.7 percent. These are mainly hilly-mountainous villages which are far from urban centres, without roads and without other urban infrastructure. These settlements have no basis for a rational organization of basic services and their regulation.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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