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The Natural Basis as a Factor of the Inhabitation of the Upper Croatian Podravina Region

Dragutin Feletar ; Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb – Full Professor (retired)
Petar Feletar   ORCID icon ; Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (10 MB) str. 167-212 preuzimanja: 371* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Feletar, D. i Feletar, P. (2008). Prirodna osnova kao čimbenik naseljenosti gornje hrvatske Podravine. Podravina, 7 (13), 167-212. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Feletar, Dragutin i Petar Feletar. "Prirodna osnova kao čimbenik naseljenosti gornje hrvatske Podravine." Podravina, vol. 7, br. 13, 2008, str. 167-212. Citirano 18.02.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Feletar, Dragutin i Petar Feletar. "Prirodna osnova kao čimbenik naseljenosti gornje hrvatske Podravine." Podravina 7, br. 13 (2008): 167-212.
Feletar, D., i Feletar, P. (2008). 'Prirodna osnova kao čimbenik naseljenosti gornje hrvatske Podravine', Podravina, 7(13), str. 167-212. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 18.02.2020.)
Feletar D, Feletar P. Prirodna osnova kao čimbenik naseljenosti gornje hrvatske Podravine. Podravina [Internet]. 2008 [pristupljeno 18.02.2020.];7(13):167-212. Dostupno na:
D. Feletar i P. Feletar, "Prirodna osnova kao čimbenik naseljenosti gornje hrvatske Podravine", Podravina, vol.7, br. 13, str. 167-212, 2008. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 18.02.2020.]

1. The subject of the significance of natural-geographic factors for the spatial distribution of the population of the upper Croatian Podravina region can only be scientifically analysed by applying a multi-disciplinary approach. This pertains above all to the linking of geographic (geo-ecological) and historiographic (geo-historical) methodologies. Based on the experiences of some contemporary Croatian eco-historians and geo-ecologists (D. Roksandić, H. Petrić, M. Kolar, V. Rogić, M. Martinez, A. Bognar and others), and foreign researchers (E. Häckel, F. Brandel, P. Engle, G. R. Taylor, W. Petersen and others), individual natural-geographic characteristics and their co-relation with the levels and changes in the distribution of the population have been systematically elaborated.
2. The permeation or symbiosis of physical-geographic characteristics and the spatial picture of the inhabitation of the Podravina region is most pronounced in the geological-geomorphological characteristics of the area. In the geological sense Podravina is in the so-called Drava river depression, where palaeogene stratum have settled deep on the fractured old Pannonian mass. These strata as up to five and six thousand metres deep in the middle of the depression, and drilling wells have reached as deep in search of natural gas and crude oil. To the south are hillocks of the neogene stratum of the Bilogora region and the northern slopes of Kalnik and a part of the Toplica highlands. That was the basis on which today’s relief was formed during the pleistocene and holocene. Of particular importance was the change in climate at the turn of the two periods, and the erosive and tectonic activity during the last 12 thousand years or so, i.e. from the start of the neolithic to the present day.
As a result of the geo-morphological and pedological characteristics, the relief in the upper Croatian Podravina region stretches zonally, longitudinally extended in the direction north-west to south-east. Basic longitudinal inhabitation zones have also formed under this fundamental relief influence. Three basic inhabitation zones have been formed in the Podravina region in the past based on the underlying north-south hypsometric profile: 1. In the Drava river depression, 2. On the terraced holocene and würm terraces (two inter-zones can also be established – the holocene and contact würm), 3. The denudation-accumulation relief of the low-lying hill country. Also important to the zonal stretching of the spatial inhabitation are the climatic characteristics in the past (today a moderately warm humid climate Cfb), and especially the fundamental Podravina region ecosystems. Based on the preserved ecosystems it is possible, with a significant possibility for spatial positioning, to determine the extent of natural vegetation in the Podravina region throughout the past.
3. In the three basic inhabitation zones – the Drava river floodplain, the terraced lowlands and the low-lying hill country – the level of settlement density and the centres of settlements has changes significantly throughout the past. Along with changes in the distant past (above all because of varying climatic conditions), the strongest changes in the spatial distribution of population took place during the past two centuries, and especially in the new processes of industrialisation.
The differences in the number of settlements in the cited three inhabitation zones are not that great. In the hill country zone there are now as many as 65 settlements in existence or 37.6 percent of the total number of places, 80 settlements in the most attractive terraced zone or 46.7 percent. That is, however, only an orientational indicator. What is important is the size and structure of the settlements, and changes in the size of the population through history. Here the differences between the zones are very significant.
Inhabitation in the Drava river floodplain is relatively poor and has changed in the past, and has in the past half century or so seen pronounced depopulation: in 1771 there were 8,124 inhabitants living in the settlements of the floodplain or 17.7 percent of the total population of the Podravina region, and 16,050 souls in 2001 or just 13.8 percent. The increase in the number of inhabitants in those 230 years was 1998 percent in total. Even fewer inhabitants lived in the scattered settlements of the low-lying hill country: 6,099 or 13.4 percent in 1771, and 14,438 or 12.4 percent in 2001, with a total growth of 236 percent.
From this data alone the absolute domination of inhabitation on the holocene and würm terraces can be conjectured, which was logically to have been expected. In this basic contact zone, then, where the largest settlements and main traffic network is concentrated, there were 31,565 inhabitants or 68.9 percent living in 1777, and as many as 85,717 inhabitants or 73.8 percent in 2001. The increase in the level of inhabitation on the attractive terraces, then, was the fastest and amounted, in the cited comparative period, to 272 percent (table 1). In analysing the growth of the population of rural and urban settlements the logical conclusion can be made that the towns grew demographically up to several times faster than the villages, with the domination of Koprivnica. It is important to underline that all three of the Podravina region urban settlements are, in fact, situated on the attractive würm terraces. The latest demographic trends in Podravina, however, are indicative of an intensive depopulation process, particularly of the rural settlements. Some of them are already at the point of extinction.
4. An analysis of the demographic trends in the Podravina region, and in particular the changes in the spatial picture of the inhabitation, has shown without a doubt that it is imperative that a thorough analysis also be carried out of the natural-geographic factors and it that way to determine their significance and effect on spatial demographic development. It is, namely, evident that natural-geographic factors, and the factors closely related to them, have a greater effect on changes in the spatial picture of inhabitation than has been previously considered. Of course, it is essential subsequently to compare and to supplement these natural-geographic factors with all social or societal factors, and it is only on the basis of that kind of multi-disciplinary analysis that relevant explanations and conclusions can be arrived at.

Ključne riječi
spacial differention; population; geological-geomorfological characteristics; ecosystem; geoenvironment

Hrčak ID: 78036



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