Special Issue "Sustainable Rural Development: Strategies, Good Practices and Opportunities"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ana Nieto Masot
Website
Guest Editor
Human Geography, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, University of Extremadura, 10071 Caceres, Spain
Interests: human geography; rural development; demography; geographic information systems
Dr. José Luis Gurría Gascón
Website
Guest Editor
Human Geography, Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, University of Extremadura, 10071 Cáceres, Spain
Interests: human geography; rural development; demography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The urban concentration has intensified worldwide in recent decades, causing a progressive and widespread exodus of the rural environment and the abandonment of these areas with consequent agriculture, environment, heritage, and leisure resource deterioration. The environmental and socio-economic transformations have been very intense in these “fields” that are gradually left deserted, and cities have become increasingly unsustainable due to their populations growing in an accelerated and disorderly way.

There is no doubt that urban intensification is a problem of integral, multiscale, and sustainable planning, in which the city and its rural surroundings are inseparable parts of the same territory. The city offers equipment and services, but above all activities, provides employment and houses to its inhabitants and also to those in its rural environment through mobility.

This is a complex and multidisciplinary problem in which numerous researchers are involved. We encourage authors to submit contributions in the following priority areas to this Special Issue of Land:

- Approaches and models of rural development and their evolution in the world, e.g., European policies and rural development programs and rural development strategies;

- Integrated forms of urban–rural planning and multilevel governance, e.g., urban partnerships and the role of the city in the development and stability of the rural population;

- The diversification of activities, employment, and income: agribusiness, heritage, and tourism as the basis of rural competitiveness and its impact on new models of land organization;

- Depopulation and strategies for the demographic challenge in rural areas;

- The insertion of SDGs 2030 in rural development: the green circular economy.

Dr. Ana Nieto Masot
Dr. José Luis Gurría Gascón
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable rural development
  • strategies against depopulation
  • rural-urban partnerships
  • rural development programs and strategies
  • diversification of economic activities
  • Sustainable Development Goal 2030

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Residential Building Considerations for Rural Areas: A Case Study
Land 2020, 9(5), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050152 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
Intelligent use of rural residential land and sustainable construction is inexorably linked to cost; however, options exist that are eco-friendly and have a positive return on investment. In 2011, a research residence was built to evaluate various land-use and sustainable components. This Texas [...] Read more.
Intelligent use of rural residential land and sustainable construction is inexorably linked to cost; however, options exist that are eco-friendly and have a positive return on investment. In 2011, a research residence was built to evaluate various land-use and sustainable components. This Texas house has subsequently been used for both residential and research purposes. The purpose of this case study was to evaluate break-even construction considerations, to assess environmental impacts, and to evaluate qualitatively efficacy of sustainable options incorporated in the research residence. Some of the specific components discussed are home site placement (directional positioning); materiel acquisition (transportation); wood product minimization; rainwater harvesting; wastewater management; grid-tied solar array power; electric car charging via a solar array; geothermal heating and cooling; insulation selection; windows, fixtures, and appliance selection; and on-demand electric water heaters for guest areas. This study seeks to identify the impact of proper land use and sustainable techniques on the environment and return-on-investment in rural areas. Break-even and 15-year Net Present Value (NPV) analysis at 3% and 5% cost of capital were used to evaluate traditional construction, partially sustainable construction, and fully sustainable construction options for the case study house, which was built sustainably. The additional cost of sustainable construction is estimated at $54,329. At 3%, the analysis suggests a 15-year NPV of $334,355 (traditional) versus $250,339 million (sustainable) for a difference of $84K. At 5% cost of capital, that difference falls to $63K. The total estimated annual difference in carbon emissions is 4.326 million g/CO2e for this research residence. The results indicate that good choices for quick return-on-investment in rural construction would be the use of engineered lumber, Icynene foam, and Energy Star windows and doors. Medium-term options include photovoltaic systems (PVS) capable of powering the home and an electric car. Sustainable construction options should positively affect the environment and the pocketbook. Regulations and code should require adoption of short-range, break-even sustainable solutions in residential construction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Smart Villages: Where Can They Happen?
Land 2020, 9(5), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050151 - 14 May 2020
Abstract
The European Union is actively promoting the idea of “smart villages”. The increased uptake of new technology and in particular, the use of the internet, is seen as a vital part of strategies to combat rural decline. It is evident that those areas [...] Read more.
The European Union is actively promoting the idea of “smart villages”. The increased uptake of new technology and in particular, the use of the internet, is seen as a vital part of strategies to combat rural decline. It is evident that those areas most poorly connected to the internet are those confronted by the greatest decline. The analysis in this paper is based on Poland, which at the time of EU accession had many deeply disadvantaged rural areas. Using fine-grained socio-economic data, an association can be found between weak internet access and rural decline in Poland. The preliminary conclusions about the utility of the smart village concept as a revitalisation tool for rural Poland point to theoretical and methodological dilemmas. Barriers to the concept’s implementation are also observed, although there is a chance they may be overcome with the continued spread of information and communication technologies in rural areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Land-Use Change in Shortandy District in Terms of Sustainable Development
Land 2020, 9(5), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050147 - 12 May 2020
Abstract
The suburban territories of large cities are transitional zones where intensive transformations in land use are constantly taking place. Therefore, the presented work is devoted to an integrated assessment of land use changes in the Shortandy district (Kazakhstan) based on an integrated study [...] Read more.
The suburban territories of large cities are transitional zones where intensive transformations in land use are constantly taking place. Therefore, the presented work is devoted to an integrated assessment of land use changes in the Shortandy district (Kazakhstan) based on an integrated study of the dynamics of land use and sustainable development indicators (SDIs). It was found that the main tendency in the land use of this Peri-urban area (PUA) during 1992–2018 is their intensification, through an increase in arable lands. Kazakhstan only recently started the systematic collection of SDIs according to international standards. Therefore, to assess the sustainable development of the study area, limited amounts of information were available. Nevertheless, the use of SDIs from 2007 to 2017 showed that the growth of economic development inthe study area is almost adequately accompanied by an increase in the level of social and environmental development. The methodological approach used can be widely used to assess the sustainable development of specific territories in general and the development of the capital of Kazakhstan and their PUA, in particular. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Hunting Tourism as a Possible Development Tool in Protected Areas of Extremadura, Spain
Land 2020, 9(3), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9030086 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The constant declaration of new protected natural spaces that has taken place on a world scale in recent decades has caused changes in rural areas, where these spaces are often host to traditional activities that have acted over time as the area’s main [...] Read more.
The constant declaration of new protected natural spaces that has taken place on a world scale in recent decades has caused changes in rural areas, where these spaces are often host to traditional activities that have acted over time as the area’s main sources of wealth. Among these activities, hunting has been one of the most affected. For this reason, the following study analyzes the incidence of one of the economic sectors linked to venatoria, hunting tourism, in two protected areas with an established hunting tradition: Sierra de San Pedro and Monfragüe. In order to achieve this objective, a questionnaire was drawn up and subsequently completed by a large proportion of the tourist accommodation establishments located in these areas. The results were obtained by means of statistical techniques and yielded very interesting information. This included information about the strong presence of hunting tourism in both regions, the differences in the presence of hunters according to the type of tourist accommodation, and the interest of hunters in taking part in activities other than hunting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Intentions to Lease Forestland: Evidence from Rural China
Land 2020, 9(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9030078 - 06 Mar 2020
Abstract
In the last decade, despite considerable research developed for the forestland leasing market, little has been published in terms of econometric results on determinants of intentions and behaviors of Chinese farmers. With respect to leasing forestland, this study uses a Bayesian logit model [...] Read more.
In the last decade, despite considerable research developed for the forestland leasing market, little has been published in terms of econometric results on determinants of intentions and behaviors of Chinese farmers. With respect to leasing forestland, this study uses a Bayesian logit model to examine the factors that influence farmers’ intentions, using household data collected in one county in 2017. The results show that farmers’ past experience of leasing forestlands have significant impacts on their leasing intentions. Once farmers participated in leasing in or leasing out forestland in the last five years, it was shown that they will have stronger intentions of doing so in the future. Farmers will neither lease in or out forestland if the leasing profits are less than the profits originated from forestland management. As such, household head age, household population, proportion of income from nonfarm sources to total income, and security of rights to forestland use are significant factors in influencing farmers’ decisions on leasing in forestland. On the other hand, household head age and educational level, proportion of income from nonfarm sources to total income, and importance of forestland in terms of inheritance are significant factors in influencing farmers’ decisions on leasing it out. Results imply that institutional and market factors, which have impacts on transaction costs, are important for farmers in making decisions on forestland leases. Policy implications to reduce institutional intervention are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Driving Factors of the Industrial Land Transfer Price Based on a Geographically Weighted Regression Model: Evidence from a Rural Land System Reform Pilot in China
Land 2020, 9(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010007 - 01 Jan 2020
Abstract
More and more studies on land transfer prices have been carried out over time. However, the influencing factors of the industrial land transfer price from the perspective of spatial attributes have rarely been explored. Selecting 25 towns as the basic research unit, based [...] Read more.
More and more studies on land transfer prices have been carried out over time. However, the influencing factors of the industrial land transfer price from the perspective of spatial attributes have rarely been explored. Selecting 25 towns as the basic research unit, based on industrial land transfer data, this paper analyzes the influencing factors of the price distribution of industrial land in Dingzhou City, a rural land system reform pilot in China, by using a geographically weighted regression (GWR) model. Eight evaluation factors were selected from five aspects: economy, population, topography, landform, and resource endowment. The results showed that: (1) Compared with the traditional ordinary least squares (OLS) model, the GWR model revealed the spatial differentiation characteristics of the industrial land transfer price in depth. (2) Factors that have a negative correlation with the industrial land transfer price include the proportion of cultivated land area and distance to the city. Factors that have a positive correlation with the industrial land transfer price include the population growth rate, economic growth rate, population density, and number of hospitals per unit area. (3) The results of GWR model analysis showed that the impact of different factors on the various towns of different models had significant spatial differentiation characteristics. This paper will provide a reference for the sustainable use of industrial land in developing countries. Full article
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