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    STUDIA GEOGRAPHIA - Issue no. 1 / 2010  

Authors:  R. RUSU, I. FODOREAN.

The Typology of Mureş County Settlements. The paper presents the classification of the urban and rural settlements of Mureş County according to the main criteria: demographical size, the structure of the built-up area, the tissue and the economic activities, as well as the distribution of the settlements according to the main landforms and landform units. More than half of the urban settlements are small towns, having less than 20,000 inhabitants. The large city of Târgu Mureş stands out as the main administrative, industrial, cultural, financial and commercial centre of the county. There are also three middle-sized cities: Reghin, Sighişoara and Târnăveni. In 2003 and 2004, the communes of Sărmaşu, Miercurea Nirajului, Sângeorgiu de Pădure and Ungheni received town status, but they still preserve many rural characteristics. The majority of the rural settlements are small and very small villages. Six villages (Bârlibăşoaia, Maldaoci, După Deal, Hodaia, Şandru and Fântâna Babii) had no inhabitants whatsoever at the latest census, that of 2002. Some of the very small villages are in danger of extinction. All the three types of structure of the built-up area can be found in Mureş County. The concentrated structure is characteristic for the villages formerly inhabited by Saxons, near Sighişoara, or for those located along the main hydrographic and communication axes. The dispersed structure is characteristic for the hilly areas, while the scattered structure is found both in the Transylvanian Plain (the so-called “hodăi”) and in the Carpathians. The tissue of the settlements is irregular. Most of the rural settlements have an agricultural function, while the towns and cities have complex functions. Regarding the landforms, the majority of settlements prefer the large valley corridors and are usually located between 300 and 400 metres above the sea level. The village situated at the highest altitude is Lăpuşna, at about 800 metres.


Keywords: Mureş County, settlements, typology, classification, distribution, demographic size, villages, towns, structure of the built-up area.
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