Issues

Journal & Issues

Volume 14 (2022): Issue 2 (June 2022)

Volume 14 (2022): Issue 1 (March 2022)

Volume 13 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)

Volume 13 (2021): Issue 3 (September 2021)

Volume 13 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
Special Issue: Sparsely populated rural areas

Volume 13 (2021): Issue 1 (March 2021)

Volume 12 (2020): Issue 4 (December 2020)

Volume 12 (2020): Issue 3 (September 2020)
Special Issue: Cultural Tourism and Rural Development

Volume 12 (2020): Issue 2 (June 2020)

Volume 12 (2020): Issue 1 (March 2020)

Volume 11 (2019): Issue 4 (December 2019)
Special Issue: Smart European Village

Volume 11 (2019): Issue 3 (September 2019)

Volume 11 (2019): Issue 2 (June 2019)
Special issue to the Centennial of the Mendel University in Brno

Volume 11 (2019): Issue 1 (March 2019)

Volume 10 (2018): Issue 4 (December 2018)

Volume 10 (2018): Issue 3 (September 2018)

Volume 10 (2018): Issue 2 (June 2018)

Volume 10 (2018): Issue 1 (March 2018)

Volume 9 (2017): Issue 4 (December 2017)

Volume 9 (2017): Issue 3 (September 2017)
Special Issue: Planning in the Rural Space Issue Editors: Antonín Vaishar, Hana Vavrouchová

Volume 9 (2017): Issue 2 (June 2017)

Volume 9 (2017): Issue 1 (March 2017)
Special Issue: Role of Water in the Rural Landscape. Special issue editors: Milada Šťastná, Andreas Panagopoulos, Zbyněk Kulhavý.

Volume 8 (2016): Issue 4 (December 2016)
Special Issue: Small towns as centres of rural areas, Editors: Annett Steinführer, Antonín Vaishar, Jana Zapletalová

Volume 8 (2016): Issue 3 (September 2016)

Volume 8 (2016): Issue 2 (June 2016)
Special issue title: Sustainability of Rural Areas in Practice, Special editors: doc. Ing. Dr. Milada Šťastná, doc. RNDr. Antonín Vaishar, CSc.

Volume 8 (2016): Issue 1 (March 2016)

Volume 7 (2015): Issue 4 (December 2015)

Volume 7 (2015): Issue 3 (September 2015)

Volume 7 (2015): Issue 2 (June 2015)

Volume 7 (2015): Issue 1 (March 2015)

Volume 6 (2014): Issue 4 (December 2014)

Volume 6 (2014): Issue 3 (September 2014)

Volume 6 (2014): Issue 2 (June 2014)

Volume 6 (2014): Issue 1 (March 2014)
Demographic change, Issue Editors: Černič-Mali Barbara, Koch Andreas

Volume 5 (2013): Issue 4 (December 2013)
Farm Tourism across Europe, Issue Editors: Irma Potočnik-Slavič, Serge Schmitz

Volume 5 (2013): Issue 3 (September 2013)

Volume 5 (2013): Issue 2 (June 2013)
Borders and borderlands in Central Europe, Issue Editors: Šťastná Milada, Vaishar Antonín

Volume 5 (2013): Issue 1 (March 2013)

Volume 4 (2012): Issue 4 (October 2012)

Volume 4 (2012): Issue 3 (September 2012)

Volume 4 (2012): Issue 2 (June 2012)
Editors: Alexandra Kruse, Michael Roth and Anu Printsman

Volume 4 (2012): Issue 1 (March 2012)
Editors: John McDonagh and Michael Woods

Volume 3 (2011): Issue 4 (December 2011)

Volume 3 (2011): Issue 3 (September 2011)
Editors: John McDonagh and Michael Woods

Volume 3 (2011): Issue 2 (June 2011)

Volume 3 (2011): Issue 1 (March 2011)

Volume 2 (2010): Issue 4 (December 2010)

Volume 2 (2010): Issue 3 (September 2010)

Volume 2 (2010): Issue 2 (June 2010)

Volume 2 (2010): Issue 1 (March 2010)

Volume 1 (2009): Issue 4 (December 2009)

Volume 1 (2009): Issue 3 (September 2009)

Volume 1 (2009): Issue 2 (June 2009)

Volume 1 (2009): Issue 1 (March 2009)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1803-8417
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 13 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
Special Issue: Sparsely populated rural areas

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1803-8417
First Published
24 Feb 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English

Search

13 Articles

Research articles

Open Access

Stable Mobilities and Mobile Stabilities in Rural Estonian Communities

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 222 - 241

Abstract

Abstract

By analyzing the relations of communities and places in sparsely located rural areas, this article argues that rural community is not a stable unity tied to a place, but a phenomenon closely tied to its members’ connections to the interdependent concept of urban/rural, especially in terms of their mobility practices. In this study, the new mobilities paradigm was applied to reveal how everyday relational and routine aspects connected to material, structural, socio-cultural and economic conditioning dynamically intertwine to form a rural community. The analysis is based on three regional case studies in Estonian sparsely populated areas, which are diverse in terms of geographical location, demographic composition, type of settlement, history, and welfare conditions. By using qualitative in-depth interviews with people (N=60) who were involved with the locations, the article analyses everyday mobilities in these communities, especially in terms of interrelatedness to structural, social and material factors. The study has brought out interrelated themes that are connected to the use of rural representations in terms of individual and social self-reflection, the importance of social and material infrastructures, and the dynamics of these borders in communities and shaping community relations.

Keywords

  • everyday practices
  • new mobilities paradigm
  • rural community
  • sparsely populated areas
  • qualitative research
  • Estonia
Open Access

Social and Spatial Relation Between Small Towns and Villages in Peripheral Regions: Evidence from Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 242 - 266

Abstract

Abstract

This article deals with the important issue concerning that small towns and villages play an important role in the development of many European regions, not only from the point of view of agricultural function, but also due to the preservation of identity and heritage as well as social relations and management of spatial structures. On the other hand, in small towns and villages, there are growing problems related to the migration of people to big cities, leaving farms and villages. Progressive unemployment is observed, especially in peripheral areas. The research question is: what are the similarities and differences of social and spatial relations between small towns and surrounding villages in the selected countries? The article aims to present the interface between social and spatial relationships in small towns and surrounding villages in the context of analyzing the potential of rural areas and models for their development. Authors compared the specificity of small towns and villages of selected regions of Poland, Lithuania, and Slovakia. The following methods were used in the research: analysis and synthesis of literature and documents (legal and strategic), descriptive method, secondary data analysis, comparative method, visual data representation, case study.

Keywords

  • social and spatial relations
  • small towns
  • villages
  • urban-rural relations
  • peripheral region
Open Access

‘Cosmovillagers’ as Sustainable Rural Development Actors in Mountain Hamlets? International Immigrant Entrepreneurs’ Perceptions of Sustainability in the Lleida Pyrenees (Catalonia, Spain)

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 267 - 296

Abstract

Abstract

In recent decades, small villages in some mountainous regions in Europe have been suffering from ageing and depopulation, yet at the same time, immigrants have been arriving and settling there. This paper sheds light on the perceptions of sustainable rural development among international immigrants living in municipalities with fewer than 500 inhabitants, which are already the home to some ‘cosmovillagers’. If immigrants’ views are left unattended, an important part of reality will be lacking in the picture of mountainous areas because today immigration is qualitatively relevant in rural Europe. This paper aims to answer the following questions, among others: What dimensions of sustainability are underscored? What are the main challenges for sustainability and the proposals for improvement? What are the local sustainability challenges? This paper provides research results and insights based on original data gathered during fieldwork in the Pyrenees as well as analyses of documents, maps and statistics. Specifically, the main focus is on some several sparsely populated areas in the Lleida Pyrenees, e.g. dozens of municipalities in Alt Urgell, Cerdanya, Pallars Sobirà and Val d’Aran. Thus this paper aims to help fill that relative gap in the existing academic literature by offering original qualitative information.

Keywords

  • Mountainous Europe
  • sustainable rural development
  • human repopulation
  • international immigrants
  • small villages
  • hamlets
  • cosmovillagers
  • rural cosmopolitanism
Open Access

Factors Affecting the Performance of Agri Small and Medium Enterprises with Evidence from Kosovo

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 297 - 313

Abstract

Abstract

The agri SMEs in Kosovo are facing challenges that are reducing competitiveness and preventing it from fulfilling their production potential. The main constraints in increasing productivity and improving competitiveness are the low use of modern techniques and technologies in both production and management of enterprises, lack of funds, the low use of inputs, and the limited ability to meet international standards of food safety. This paper is focused on the analysis of the impact of agricultural SMEs in the rural economy of the country and the problems related to the impact. The data used for this analysis are the data conducted for the Farm Structure Survey (FSS) which includes the farmers’ list from Agricultural Records compiled by the Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS) in 2014, as well as the lists of beneficiaries for both direct payments/subsidies and for grants for the period of 2014 to 2017 received by the Agency for Agriculture Development. From the research results, significant factors having an effect on the annual income of agris SMEs are the following: income from the sale of agricultural products, income from subsidies, income from non-agricultural activities, income from salaries, remittances, and income from other activities.

Keywords

  • SME
  • enhancing
  • constrains
  • sustainability
  • rural development
  • economic growth
Open Access

The Ways of Saint James in Trás-Os-Montes and Alto Douro as an Example of Soft Tourism in Rural Areas

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 314 - 329

Abstract

Abstract

The objective of this study is to demonstrate the importance of the existing Ways of Saint James in Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, in the northern interior of Portugal, and that being integrated in soft tourism, can constitute a mechanism that allows the revitalization of rural areas, especially the sparsely populated areas, because it allows a series of benefits such as the increase of tourists and pilgrims, the creation of new services, among other structures, thus boosting tourism development. Above all, these Paths linked to soft tourism, allow us to highlight the predominance of tourism linked to nature tourism and slow mobility. In order to carry out this study, the methodology used will be based on interviews to tourists and pilgrims in order to obtain testimonies that can characterise the impact of the Ways themselves on rural territories.

Keywords

  • rural territories
  • rural development
  • Ways of Saint James
  • soft tourism
  • communities
Open Access

What Do Public Policies Teach us About Rural Depopulation: The Case Study of Spain

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 330 - 351

Abstract

Abstract

This study evaluates the policies developed in Spain to address depopulation and explains the reasons for their low effectiveness. We consider that the low impact of these policies is due to an incorrect diagnosis and design in terms of their content and governance. Therefore, we propose that depopulation policies should have the objective of enabling citizens to reside where they wish and obtain the best possible quality of life. These policies should be implemented within a new governance framework in which the foundations on which they are based and the way in which they are implemented are renewed. With the support of the European Union, such action could be carried out more efficiently and could constitute a reference of successful territorial cohesion contributing to erasing the populist opinion in places that believe that they do not matter.

Keywords

  • Depopulation
  • Sparsely Populated Areas
  • Rural development policy
  • Spain
Open Access

The Lack of Attention Given by Neoendogenous Rural Development Practice to Areas Highly Affected by Depopulation. The Case of Andalusia (Spain) in 2015–2020 Period

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 352 - 367

Abstract

Abstract

How are the problems of depopulation being faced by the Local Action Groups (LAGs) and the LEADER approach? What kinds of proposals are being pointed out to tackle young people’s exodus, the economic depression, the physical and virtual distances, and the marginality from the political and economic centers by these local public-private partnerships to the areas having the more worrying situations? Andalusia, a southern region of Spain, has many municipalities with these severe devepopulation problems. According to this aim, the Local Development Strategies documents (LDSs) of the LAGs for 2015–2020, have been reviewed. The predominance of the top-down approach has limited the attention given to face the rural depopulation. It is relevant to note, as well, the reduced presence of specific objectives and projects to combat depopulation in these deep rural areas. The last finding is that these municipalities with extreme depopulation have been left aside; as no solution placed. Definitely, as empty areas to promote rural development. Depopulation concept and depopulation areas have been forgotten for neoendogenous rural development practices.

Keywords

  • neo-endogenous rural development practice
  • LEADER approach
  • demographic decline
  • sparsely populated rural areas
  • Local Action Groups
  • local development strategies
  • governance
  • Andalusia
Open Access

Tunnelling the Peninsula of Trolls: A Case Study of Road Infrastructure Improvement and Demographic Dynamics in Northern Iceland

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 368 - 387

Abstract

Abstract

Geographical isolation is closely associated with rural population decline and policies for regional and rural development frequently emphasize better transportation infrastructure improvements. Although poor access to jobs and services may lead to negative rates of net migration and skewed age and gender distribution in rural and remote areas, research on the association of road infrastructure improvement with rural demographic dynamics remains sparse. The current study adds to the understanding of these issues by examining the effects of a large-scale road tunnel project in Northern Iceland. The results suggest that improved road infrastructure coincides with a break in long-term population decline through parity in net migration and positive changes in the composition of the population of sparsely populated areas.

Keywords

  • Tunnels
  • demography
  • coastal communities
  • Iceland
Open Access

Innovative Local Policies in Portuguese Low-Density Rural Areas

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 388 - 409

Abstract

Abstract

Nowadays, the issue of rural development has a central place on the agenda of policy-makers, prompting a discussion on the instrumental and procedural options of public policies. This paper seeks to contribute to the reflection on the potentialities and limitations of promoting rural development based on innovative strategies sustained by territorial governance modalities, which entail an active involvement of local agents, especially local authorities. For this, it takes as case studies three public policy experiences led by local authorities within a Portuguese low-density region, with one of the lowest development rates among EU regions. Specifically, it aims to discuss: (a) the effectiveness of adopting innovative policies in the context of low-density rural areas; and (2) the role of territorial governance in the success of those policies. The research followed a document analysis and interviews with local development actors. The analysis suggests that peripheral rural areas are not condemned to human desertification. There is a wide spectrum of opportunities for these areas. They can bring together a strategic view of the future, and an institutional leadership capable of dynamizing an adjusted territorial governance model. This is the challenge currently facing rural development policy.

Keywords

  • Rural development policy
  • Innovative local policies
  • low-density rural areas
  • local authority action
  • Portugal
Open Access

Closeness is Not Accessibility: Isolation and Depopulated Rural Areas in the Proximity of Metropolitan Urban Areas, A Case-Study in Inland Spain

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 410 - 435

Abstract

Abstract

The increase of accessibility is one of the most important strategies to achieve territorial cohesion and slow down depopulation processes in rural areas. Accessibility is a wide concept with a range of interpretations. When it comes to rural areas, usual accessibility measures introducing proximity and ease of physical connection could lead to misinterpretations and a lack of knowledge for rural areas. This study proposes an accessibility analysis based on connection and function of one of the most depopulated territories in inland Spain: the province of Guadalajara (NUTS-3) which constitutes an interesting case-study because its proximity to the Spanish capital city (Madrid) and the integration of part of the province on its dynamics and economic processes. Results show different rural accessibility levels useful for public policies and decision making on infrastructures. In addition, the accessibility model suggested can be applied in other depopulated rural areas of Europe.

Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • Depopulated rural areas
  • proximity
  • Guadalajara province
Open Access

Rural Development in Sparsely Populated Areas. Vranov Na Dyjí Micro-Region in Moravia

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 436 - 454

Abstract

Abstract

The article analyses the possibilities of development of one of the most peripheral micro-regions of Moravia on the basis of the theory of sustainability. It notes its above-average focus on agriculture and tourism, which is linked to seasonality, lower education of the population, depopulation and higher unemployment. The settlement structure with predominantly very small villages conditions a worse infrastructure, which is partially balanced by a high-quality natural environment. Possible solutions are seen in the focus on qualitative development and support of social capital. The transition to post-productive development and counter-urbanization gives to regions of this type new opportunities associated with the development of housing and tourism.

Keywords

  • sustainable rural development
  • sparsely populated area
  • borderland periphery
  • qualitative aspects
  • Vranov nad Dyjí
  • Moravia
Open Access

Landscape Tranformation of Small Rural Settlements with Dispersed Type of Settlement in Slovakia

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 455 - 478

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper we will focus on one of the five areas of dispersed settlement in Slovakia – Novobanská štálová area and the forecast of its development on the example of selected characteristics (household income and its use, population). The analysis of historical development by using historical maps can relatively and accurately locate areas with permanently low intensity of use and areas that have fulfilled a stabilizing function in the cultural landscape throughout the observed development. At the same time, based on the analysis of the historical development of settlements, we can interpret the trend of the development of land use in the future. The originality of this type of landscape with a dispersed type of settlement also in the sense of the European Landscape Convention lies in its limited occurrence. Besides Slovakia, it occurs only in the Czechia and especially on the Czech-Slovak border. The analysis of demographic characteristics of selected municipalities also indicates qualitative and quantitative changes leading to the gradual extinction of the territory. The presented area as a part of small dispersed settlement has some unique cultural, historical and natural values, which are a reflection of human life and activities in difficult mountain conditions.

Keywords

  • dispersed settlement
  • land use
  • cultural heritage
  • rural landscape
  • second home

Short communication

Open Access

Rural Policies for Sparsely Populated Areas in Finland – Old Problems, New Challenges and Future Opportunities

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 479 - 491

Abstract

Abstract

Sparsely populated areas are in many countries seen as regressive regions lacking decent future options and demanding continuous support from the more prosperous parts of the country in question. This paper addresses rural policies drawn up in recent years to govern not only the negative trends but also the opportunities which the thinly populated rural areas of Finland are experiencing. Finland is, in the European context, a very sparsely inhabited country with long distances between population centres. Less populated areas account for 68% of the land area of Finland but only 5% of the population. Finland’s long tradition of rural policy implementation has resulted in a comprehensive approach also to the policy measures targeting especially the less populated areas.

Keywords

  • sparsely populated areas
  • rural policy
  • Finland
13 Articles

Research articles

Open Access

Stable Mobilities and Mobile Stabilities in Rural Estonian Communities

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 222 - 241

Abstract

Abstract

By analyzing the relations of communities and places in sparsely located rural areas, this article argues that rural community is not a stable unity tied to a place, but a phenomenon closely tied to its members’ connections to the interdependent concept of urban/rural, especially in terms of their mobility practices. In this study, the new mobilities paradigm was applied to reveal how everyday relational and routine aspects connected to material, structural, socio-cultural and economic conditioning dynamically intertwine to form a rural community. The analysis is based on three regional case studies in Estonian sparsely populated areas, which are diverse in terms of geographical location, demographic composition, type of settlement, history, and welfare conditions. By using qualitative in-depth interviews with people (N=60) who were involved with the locations, the article analyses everyday mobilities in these communities, especially in terms of interrelatedness to structural, social and material factors. The study has brought out interrelated themes that are connected to the use of rural representations in terms of individual and social self-reflection, the importance of social and material infrastructures, and the dynamics of these borders in communities and shaping community relations.

Keywords

  • everyday practices
  • new mobilities paradigm
  • rural community
  • sparsely populated areas
  • qualitative research
  • Estonia
Open Access

Social and Spatial Relation Between Small Towns and Villages in Peripheral Regions: Evidence from Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 242 - 266

Abstract

Abstract

This article deals with the important issue concerning that small towns and villages play an important role in the development of many European regions, not only from the point of view of agricultural function, but also due to the preservation of identity and heritage as well as social relations and management of spatial structures. On the other hand, in small towns and villages, there are growing problems related to the migration of people to big cities, leaving farms and villages. Progressive unemployment is observed, especially in peripheral areas. The research question is: what are the similarities and differences of social and spatial relations between small towns and surrounding villages in the selected countries? The article aims to present the interface between social and spatial relationships in small towns and surrounding villages in the context of analyzing the potential of rural areas and models for their development. Authors compared the specificity of small towns and villages of selected regions of Poland, Lithuania, and Slovakia. The following methods were used in the research: analysis and synthesis of literature and documents (legal and strategic), descriptive method, secondary data analysis, comparative method, visual data representation, case study.

Keywords

  • social and spatial relations
  • small towns
  • villages
  • urban-rural relations
  • peripheral region
Open Access

‘Cosmovillagers’ as Sustainable Rural Development Actors in Mountain Hamlets? International Immigrant Entrepreneurs’ Perceptions of Sustainability in the Lleida Pyrenees (Catalonia, Spain)

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 267 - 296

Abstract

Abstract

In recent decades, small villages in some mountainous regions in Europe have been suffering from ageing and depopulation, yet at the same time, immigrants have been arriving and settling there. This paper sheds light on the perceptions of sustainable rural development among international immigrants living in municipalities with fewer than 500 inhabitants, which are already the home to some ‘cosmovillagers’. If immigrants’ views are left unattended, an important part of reality will be lacking in the picture of mountainous areas because today immigration is qualitatively relevant in rural Europe. This paper aims to answer the following questions, among others: What dimensions of sustainability are underscored? What are the main challenges for sustainability and the proposals for improvement? What are the local sustainability challenges? This paper provides research results and insights based on original data gathered during fieldwork in the Pyrenees as well as analyses of documents, maps and statistics. Specifically, the main focus is on some several sparsely populated areas in the Lleida Pyrenees, e.g. dozens of municipalities in Alt Urgell, Cerdanya, Pallars Sobirà and Val d’Aran. Thus this paper aims to help fill that relative gap in the existing academic literature by offering original qualitative information.

Keywords

  • Mountainous Europe
  • sustainable rural development
  • human repopulation
  • international immigrants
  • small villages
  • hamlets
  • cosmovillagers
  • rural cosmopolitanism
Open Access

Factors Affecting the Performance of Agri Small and Medium Enterprises with Evidence from Kosovo

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 297 - 313

Abstract

Abstract

The agri SMEs in Kosovo are facing challenges that are reducing competitiveness and preventing it from fulfilling their production potential. The main constraints in increasing productivity and improving competitiveness are the low use of modern techniques and technologies in both production and management of enterprises, lack of funds, the low use of inputs, and the limited ability to meet international standards of food safety. This paper is focused on the analysis of the impact of agricultural SMEs in the rural economy of the country and the problems related to the impact. The data used for this analysis are the data conducted for the Farm Structure Survey (FSS) which includes the farmers’ list from Agricultural Records compiled by the Kosovo Agency of Statistics (KAS) in 2014, as well as the lists of beneficiaries for both direct payments/subsidies and for grants for the period of 2014 to 2017 received by the Agency for Agriculture Development. From the research results, significant factors having an effect on the annual income of agris SMEs are the following: income from the sale of agricultural products, income from subsidies, income from non-agricultural activities, income from salaries, remittances, and income from other activities.

Keywords

  • SME
  • enhancing
  • constrains
  • sustainability
  • rural development
  • economic growth
Open Access

The Ways of Saint James in Trás-Os-Montes and Alto Douro as an Example of Soft Tourism in Rural Areas

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 314 - 329

Abstract

Abstract

The objective of this study is to demonstrate the importance of the existing Ways of Saint James in Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, in the northern interior of Portugal, and that being integrated in soft tourism, can constitute a mechanism that allows the revitalization of rural areas, especially the sparsely populated areas, because it allows a series of benefits such as the increase of tourists and pilgrims, the creation of new services, among other structures, thus boosting tourism development. Above all, these Paths linked to soft tourism, allow us to highlight the predominance of tourism linked to nature tourism and slow mobility. In order to carry out this study, the methodology used will be based on interviews to tourists and pilgrims in order to obtain testimonies that can characterise the impact of the Ways themselves on rural territories.

Keywords

  • rural territories
  • rural development
  • Ways of Saint James
  • soft tourism
  • communities
Open Access

What Do Public Policies Teach us About Rural Depopulation: The Case Study of Spain

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 330 - 351

Abstract

Abstract

This study evaluates the policies developed in Spain to address depopulation and explains the reasons for their low effectiveness. We consider that the low impact of these policies is due to an incorrect diagnosis and design in terms of their content and governance. Therefore, we propose that depopulation policies should have the objective of enabling citizens to reside where they wish and obtain the best possible quality of life. These policies should be implemented within a new governance framework in which the foundations on which they are based and the way in which they are implemented are renewed. With the support of the European Union, such action could be carried out more efficiently and could constitute a reference of successful territorial cohesion contributing to erasing the populist opinion in places that believe that they do not matter.

Keywords

  • Depopulation
  • Sparsely Populated Areas
  • Rural development policy
  • Spain
Open Access

The Lack of Attention Given by Neoendogenous Rural Development Practice to Areas Highly Affected by Depopulation. The Case of Andalusia (Spain) in 2015–2020 Period

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 352 - 367

Abstract

Abstract

How are the problems of depopulation being faced by the Local Action Groups (LAGs) and the LEADER approach? What kinds of proposals are being pointed out to tackle young people’s exodus, the economic depression, the physical and virtual distances, and the marginality from the political and economic centers by these local public-private partnerships to the areas having the more worrying situations? Andalusia, a southern region of Spain, has many municipalities with these severe devepopulation problems. According to this aim, the Local Development Strategies documents (LDSs) of the LAGs for 2015–2020, have been reviewed. The predominance of the top-down approach has limited the attention given to face the rural depopulation. It is relevant to note, as well, the reduced presence of specific objectives and projects to combat depopulation in these deep rural areas. The last finding is that these municipalities with extreme depopulation have been left aside; as no solution placed. Definitely, as empty areas to promote rural development. Depopulation concept and depopulation areas have been forgotten for neoendogenous rural development practices.

Keywords

  • neo-endogenous rural development practice
  • LEADER approach
  • demographic decline
  • sparsely populated rural areas
  • Local Action Groups
  • local development strategies
  • governance
  • Andalusia
Open Access

Tunnelling the Peninsula of Trolls: A Case Study of Road Infrastructure Improvement and Demographic Dynamics in Northern Iceland

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 368 - 387

Abstract

Abstract

Geographical isolation is closely associated with rural population decline and policies for regional and rural development frequently emphasize better transportation infrastructure improvements. Although poor access to jobs and services may lead to negative rates of net migration and skewed age and gender distribution in rural and remote areas, research on the association of road infrastructure improvement with rural demographic dynamics remains sparse. The current study adds to the understanding of these issues by examining the effects of a large-scale road tunnel project in Northern Iceland. The results suggest that improved road infrastructure coincides with a break in long-term population decline through parity in net migration and positive changes in the composition of the population of sparsely populated areas.

Keywords

  • Tunnels
  • demography
  • coastal communities
  • Iceland
Open Access

Innovative Local Policies in Portuguese Low-Density Rural Areas

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 388 - 409

Abstract

Abstract

Nowadays, the issue of rural development has a central place on the agenda of policy-makers, prompting a discussion on the instrumental and procedural options of public policies. This paper seeks to contribute to the reflection on the potentialities and limitations of promoting rural development based on innovative strategies sustained by territorial governance modalities, which entail an active involvement of local agents, especially local authorities. For this, it takes as case studies three public policy experiences led by local authorities within a Portuguese low-density region, with one of the lowest development rates among EU regions. Specifically, it aims to discuss: (a) the effectiveness of adopting innovative policies in the context of low-density rural areas; and (2) the role of territorial governance in the success of those policies. The research followed a document analysis and interviews with local development actors. The analysis suggests that peripheral rural areas are not condemned to human desertification. There is a wide spectrum of opportunities for these areas. They can bring together a strategic view of the future, and an institutional leadership capable of dynamizing an adjusted territorial governance model. This is the challenge currently facing rural development policy.

Keywords

  • Rural development policy
  • Innovative local policies
  • low-density rural areas
  • local authority action
  • Portugal
Open Access

Closeness is Not Accessibility: Isolation and Depopulated Rural Areas in the Proximity of Metropolitan Urban Areas, A Case-Study in Inland Spain

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 410 - 435

Abstract

Abstract

The increase of accessibility is one of the most important strategies to achieve territorial cohesion and slow down depopulation processes in rural areas. Accessibility is a wide concept with a range of interpretations. When it comes to rural areas, usual accessibility measures introducing proximity and ease of physical connection could lead to misinterpretations and a lack of knowledge for rural areas. This study proposes an accessibility analysis based on connection and function of one of the most depopulated territories in inland Spain: the province of Guadalajara (NUTS-3) which constitutes an interesting case-study because its proximity to the Spanish capital city (Madrid) and the integration of part of the province on its dynamics and economic processes. Results show different rural accessibility levels useful for public policies and decision making on infrastructures. In addition, the accessibility model suggested can be applied in other depopulated rural areas of Europe.

Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • Depopulated rural areas
  • proximity
  • Guadalajara province
Open Access

Rural Development in Sparsely Populated Areas. Vranov Na Dyjí Micro-Region in Moravia

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 436 - 454

Abstract

Abstract

The article analyses the possibilities of development of one of the most peripheral micro-regions of Moravia on the basis of the theory of sustainability. It notes its above-average focus on agriculture and tourism, which is linked to seasonality, lower education of the population, depopulation and higher unemployment. The settlement structure with predominantly very small villages conditions a worse infrastructure, which is partially balanced by a high-quality natural environment. Possible solutions are seen in the focus on qualitative development and support of social capital. The transition to post-productive development and counter-urbanization gives to regions of this type new opportunities associated with the development of housing and tourism.

Keywords

  • sustainable rural development
  • sparsely populated area
  • borderland periphery
  • qualitative aspects
  • Vranov nad Dyjí
  • Moravia
Open Access

Landscape Tranformation of Small Rural Settlements with Dispersed Type of Settlement in Slovakia

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 455 - 478

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper we will focus on one of the five areas of dispersed settlement in Slovakia – Novobanská štálová area and the forecast of its development on the example of selected characteristics (household income and its use, population). The analysis of historical development by using historical maps can relatively and accurately locate areas with permanently low intensity of use and areas that have fulfilled a stabilizing function in the cultural landscape throughout the observed development. At the same time, based on the analysis of the historical development of settlements, we can interpret the trend of the development of land use in the future. The originality of this type of landscape with a dispersed type of settlement also in the sense of the European Landscape Convention lies in its limited occurrence. Besides Slovakia, it occurs only in the Czechia and especially on the Czech-Slovak border. The analysis of demographic characteristics of selected municipalities also indicates qualitative and quantitative changes leading to the gradual extinction of the territory. The presented area as a part of small dispersed settlement has some unique cultural, historical and natural values, which are a reflection of human life and activities in difficult mountain conditions.

Keywords

  • dispersed settlement
  • land use
  • cultural heritage
  • rural landscape
  • second home

Short communication

Open Access

Rural Policies for Sparsely Populated Areas in Finland – Old Problems, New Challenges and Future Opportunities

Published Online: 12 Jul 2021
Page range: 479 - 491

Abstract

Abstract

Sparsely populated areas are in many countries seen as regressive regions lacking decent future options and demanding continuous support from the more prosperous parts of the country in question. This paper addresses rural policies drawn up in recent years to govern not only the negative trends but also the opportunities which the thinly populated rural areas of Finland are experiencing. Finland is, in the European context, a very sparsely inhabited country with long distances between population centres. Less populated areas account for 68% of the land area of Finland but only 5% of the population. Finland’s long tradition of rural policy implementation has resulted in a comprehensive approach also to the policy measures targeting especially the less populated areas.

Keywords

  • sparsely populated areas
  • rural policy
  • Finland

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