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Bridging the rural-urban divide: Rural-urban partnerships in the EU

Bridging the rural-urban divide: Rural-urban partnerships in the EU 

Marie-Laure Augère-Granier, EPRS (2016)

In today’s Europe, the traditional rural-urban dichotomy seems no longer relevant from a territorial development point of view. The boundaries of both rural and urban regions are becoming increasingly blurred, and traditional geographic definitions no longer fully reflect the reality of areas connected by a range of complex socioeconomic linkages. At the European level, statistical methods have been refined to better reflect this complexity and provide a clearer view of the European Union’s territory according to a new rural-urban typology. Both types of regions have different assets and resources which can be used in a complementary manner. At the rural/urban interface, however, conflicts can arise in connection to land use, whenever cities spread over what used to be agricultural land.

Studies on the nature and extent of urban/rural linkages have identified the key concept of ‘functional regions’, which are defined by their socio-economic integration rather than by administrative boundaries. In all EU Member States, local and regional authorities have built rural-urban partnerships to better harness the potential of such regions. Over the past two decades, the EU has supported numerous projects and studies to assess the value of these partnerships and the way they can contribute to the objective of greater territorial cohesion. The policy framework for 2014-2020, which reflects the objectives of the EU 2020 strategy and offers better coordination of structural funds as well as new tools fostering integrated strategies, puts even greater emphasis on rural-urban interaction, allowing Member States to invest in mixed areas in a more targeted way.

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Translocal Ruralism

Translocal Ruralism

Charlotta Hedberg,Renato Miguel do Carmo (2012)

Mobility and Connectivity in European Rural Spaces

Rural areas are often viewed as isolated and stagnating areas and urban areas as their opposites. Against such a backdrop, this book seeks to unveil a set of dynamics that view rural areas as ‘translocal’ in the sense that they are ‘changing’ and ‘inter­connected’. Social transformations take place in rural areas as the result of intense exchanges between different people, settings and geographies. Accordingly, rural-urban but also rural-rural interrelations on international and national scales are strongly contributing to rural change. Translocal ruralism is exemplified through the analysis of local and global migratory flows, the activities of rural firms in national and glo­bal arenas, the spread of different forms of transportation and dislocation, and the growing information society, which enables rural spaces to be connected to the world and improves new ways of interconnection and sociability practices.

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Regional typologies: a compilation

Regional typologies: a compilation 

Lewis Dijkstra and Hugo Poelman, EU (2011)

This paper provides an overview of six regional typologies used in the 5th Cohesion Report. The goal of each of these regional typologies is to provide an analytical and descriptive lens on these types of territories through the use of NUTS 3 data.

Not all these territories, however, can be easily identified at the NUTS 3 level, depending on the type of territory and the size and shape of the NUTS 3 region. As a result, classifications on a lower geographical level remain necessary and may capture these territories better. However, annual data availability below NUTS 3 for all of Europe is extremely limited and does not allow for regular monitoring. These typologies are not intended for direct policy use.

For each typology a short overview of the evolution of the definition, the methodology and a map are provided. Where possible, EFTA and candidate countries have been included in this paper to facilitate a wider use of these typologies. These typologies will be updated after each round of NUTS modifications.

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EDORA – European Development Opportunities in Rural Areas

EDORA – European Development Opportunities in Rural Areas

ESPON 2011

The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy in the framework of the Agenda 2000 boosted the significance of rural development in this sector policy. Rural development, in line with the Lisbon/Gothenburg Strategy, is conceived to support job creation and economic growth in rural areas in a sustainable way.

Against this backdrop, this project will provide evidence on the development opportunities of diverse types of European rural areas and reveal options for improving their competitiveness. It will identify opportunities for increasing regional strengths through territorial cooperation and analyse the potential impact of climate change on the development opportunities of rural areas.

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Analysis of factors influencing urban growth patterns on small towns

Analysis of factors influencing urban growth patterns on small towns

García, A. M, Santé, I, Miranda, D., Crecente, R. (2010)

Urban structure conditions to a great extent the future evolution of cities and towns. In this paper urban growth patterns of a small town are analyzed using landscape metrics, and subsequently the possible variables influencing the dynamics that have generated the urban patterns are studied, by using logistic regression techniques in order to unveil the processes through which urban structure is generated.

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Narrativas urbano-rurales y tendencias espaciales en Europa

Narrativas urbano-rurales y tendencias espaciales en Europa 

Este informe ha sido desarrollado en el marco de la Presidencia Española de la Unión Europea, durante el primer semestre de 2010, en la Agenda Territorial Europea (ATE) y su primer Programa de Acción. Es una contribución a los trabajos en curso de implementación de la Acción 1.1a (2008-2010) de relaciones urbano-rurales, comprendidos en el Programa de la ATE y liderado por el Ministerio de Desarrollo Regional de la República Checa con la participación de delegaciones de varios Estados Miembros.

El tema específico de este trabajo es el análisis de los conceptos de lo urbano y lo rural tal y como se definen en la actualidad desde diferentes estudios científicos clave y los principales documentos de política europea.

Los principales resultados de este informe serán:

  • un análisis sintético de los temas principales del debate actual sobre las relaciones urbano-rurales, situado en el contexto de las tendencias espaciales europeas contemporáneas.
  • la definición de tendencias clave en las dinámicas urbano-rurales en Europa.
  • la validación de estas tendencias por expertos europeos, incluidos los autores de los principales trabajos recientes sobre el tema.

El debate sobre el Partenariado urbano-rural ofrece ideas particularmente interesantes a la cuestión más general sobre cómo hacer más explícita la dimensión territorial de las diferentes políticas sectoriales.

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Urban-rural relations in Europe

Urban-rural relations in Europe 

ESPON report

The future of numerous rural areas is functionally increasingly interlinked with urban development in terms of flows, exchange processes, institutional links and interdependencies. This is obvious in densely populated areas (such as peri-urban zones) undergoing considerable processes of urbanisation. It is also relevant for more sparsely populated rural areas that are under less visible urban influence, often due to distance from major urban centres. Relations have developed substantially during the last decades, however often differently within Europe in accordance to the diversity of territorial contexts.

Future perspective for urban-rural relationships include options for mutual exchange, where cities provide services, cultural activities, infrastructures and major access to the labour market, while rural areas, apart from producing agricultural products, provide leisure potential and green spaces. A European typology of urban-rural relationship gives information that could inspire co-operation in support of sustainable development of rural areas and urban-rural partnership in building rural development dynamics.

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Spatial planning in rural areas

Spatial planning in rural areas

Experience from the Norwegian Regional Development Research Programme 1998-2004 (Notat 9/2005)

The spatial structure is changing all over rural Europe due to migration, rationalisation in agriculture and manufacturing industries and changes in social institutions, as well as changes in politics at the national and European level. Rural Europe is not a uniform structure; the situation and challenges differ between north and south, east and west as well as within nations due to localisation, landscape, climate, etc. In spite of these local, regional and national differences in situation and challenges, there are also a lot of common challenges resulting from mega trends, international policy, EU policy, etc.

Spatial planning in rural areas must adapt to the specific situation and challenges in each area and respond by developing adequate visions, strategies and tasks that have the full support of local inhabitants, organisations and authorities as well as other important actors. At the same time, planning and development activities in rural areas must face the international trends and challenges and learn how to cooperate and empower one another in facing these common challenges.

In this paper I will comment the four basic questions in this track using examples primary from Norway and based on results from the national Regional Research Programmei.

  1. What is meant by rural areas?
  2. What are the situation and challenges in different rural areas?
  3. How can rural capacity be strengthened to meet challenges and develop appropriate responses?
  4. What planning theories, methods, systems, strategies, etc. are most relevant for rural spatial planning in different areas?

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Rural–urban marketing linkages. An infrastructure identification and survey guide

Rural–urban marketing linkages. An infrastructure identification and survey guide

FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin, 2005

Food supply and distribution systems in most developing countries are undergoing major changes following rapid urban population growth. Expanding urban populations demand increased supplies of food, especially fresh vegetables, eggs and dairy products. As cities and towns grow, in terms of physical size and population, the existing production systems and cropping patterns in the peri-urban areas intensify and the origin of food supplies shifts, with supplies coming from areas further and further afield.

To understand this changing situation and to be able to effectively plan to cope with it the personnel of Ministries of Agriculture and Planning, and local authorities, need a simple planning methodology and framework. This framework could be used to identify the impact of changing food supply and distribution systems on the overall marketing system, on infrastructure requirements and be used to establish strengthened and more efficient rural-urban linkages. The beneficiaries of an improved supply and distribution system would be urban consumers and, equally importantly, the rural producers who would have better access to markets for their products.

This guide focuses on the issue of linking farmers to market outlets for their produce, particularly produce flows and the identification of how marketing channels work. The scope of the guide includes the role of markets and rural transport infrastructure, but with particular emphasis on the functioning of food marketing systems. The guide covers evaluating existing marketing systems and identifying infrastructure improvements to meet the needs of expanding towns and cities. It provides a methodology for analysing existing linkages and for drawing up improvement proposals, using a regional planning approach on which to base marketing infrastructure investments.

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Hierarchy of settlements

Database – Eurostat

Database – Eurostat 

EUROSTAT

Eurostat disseminates its statistics free of charge via its Internet and its statistical databases that are accessible via the Internet. The statistics are hierarchically ordered in a navigation tree. Tables are distinguished from multi-dimensional datasets from which the statistics are extracted via an interactive tool.

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