Defining rurality and the scope of rural planning

Authored by: Nick Gallent , Menelaos Gkartzios

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:


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Defining and delineating ostensibly rural areas from urban ones has been a perennial concern of rural geographers and planners. What makes rural areas different and how should that difference shape policy planning approaches for the countryside? And what is the relevance of these differences internationally? Attempts to isolate key rural characteristics have been ongoing since at least the 1960s. This chapter tracks those attempts and reveals how thinking on the nature of ‘rurality’ has evolved over the last half century. It then provides a review of different traditions of rural planning internationally, to position contemporary rural planning concerns within a politics characterised by extremely diverse interests – and conflicts – about the development of rural places.

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