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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 745;

Rural–Urban Linkages and Sustainable Regional Development: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Linking Peripheries and Centers

Institute of Geography & Center for Regional Economic Development, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Philipp Aerni and Amy Glasmeier
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation)
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Urban and rural areas differ in economic, social and environmental terms. Due to the diverging dynamics in urban and rural areas, the social and economic distance between them might increase in the future even more. Rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas are able to bridge the rural–urban divide by accessing some of the urban features, such as knowledge and markets, while at the same time profiting from the advantages of their peripheral location. This paper highlights exploratory results from qualitative interviews with rural entrepreneurs, and we illustrate entrepreneurial linkages to urban centers. The interview data show that rural entrepreneurs with rural–urban linkages develop sensibility for core market demands and trends, they valuate rural assets, and they combine rural and urban sources of knowledge for innovation. Through their entrepreneurial activity, rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas might constitute an opposite force to polarizing concentration of economic activities in cities. Hence, rural entrepreneurs with urban linkages might contribute to sustainable economic relationships between urban and rural areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural-urban linkages; entrepreneurship; peripheral regions rural-urban linkages; entrepreneurship; peripheral regions

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Mayer, H.; Habersetzer, A.; Meili, R. Rural–Urban Linkages and Sustainable Regional Development: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Linking Peripheries and Centers. Sustainability 2016, 8, 745.

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