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Open AccessArticle

When Peace and Quiet Is Not Enough: Place-Shaping and the Role of Leaders in Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural Estonia and Latvia

1
Landscape Architecture, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
2
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(8), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9080259
Received: 6 July 2020 / Revised: 21 July 2020 / Accepted: 28 July 2020 / Published: 2 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance)
Estonian and Latvian rural inhabitants enjoy many factors enhancing the quality of life, such as the peace and quiet of the countryside, fresh food and rural activities. However, these benefits are insufficient to overcome poor employment prospects in rural areas. Place-shaping practices have transformative powers that are instrumental in achieving sustainable change in communities. The process of reappreciating local landscapes creates memories of positive associations with symbolic meaning; it helps inhabitants to strengthen their sense of place identity and re-grounds their appreciation into a specific local context. Sustainable rural futures require conditions where inhabitants feel listened to and that are responsive to their needs. They also require inspirational leaders to facilitate change and create networks of opportunities, linking inhabitants to the outside world and resources. Leaders may play an important role of re-positioning local communities for the future, creating new experiences or new opportunities, which further feeds re-appreciation of place and enhances quality of life. In order to understand the main issues of the rural areas, two villages with active rural projects in Estonia and Latvia were selected to analyse the role that leaders play in the development of the area and the barriers to a more sustainable approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: sense of place; landscape identity; place dependence; sustainable rural leadership; rurality; sustainable rural futures; sustainability barriers sense of place; landscape identity; place dependence; sustainable rural leadership; rurality; sustainable rural futures; sustainability barriers
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MDPI and ACS Style

Storie, J.; Chenault, E.; Külvik, M.; Bell, S. When Peace and Quiet Is Not Enough: Place-Shaping and the Role of Leaders in Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural Estonia and Latvia. Land 2020, 9, 259. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9080259

AMA Style

Storie J, Chenault E, Külvik M, Bell S. When Peace and Quiet Is Not Enough: Place-Shaping and the Role of Leaders in Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural Estonia and Latvia. Land. 2020; 9(8):259. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9080259

Chicago/Turabian Style

Storie, Joanna; Chenault, Edith; Külvik, Mart; Bell, Simon. 2020. "When Peace and Quiet Is Not Enough: Place-Shaping and the Role of Leaders in Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural Estonia and Latvia" Land 9, no. 8: 259. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9080259

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