Special Issue "Towards Sustainable and Innovative Development in Rural Areas"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 14226
Interests: local development in rural areas; territorial approach; LEADER programme of the EU; territorial and social cohesion; shrinking process in rural areas; depopulation processes; social capital; social networks analysis
European rural areas are the scene of processes of change in a wide range of fields, including ecosystem services, new business models, changes in the labor markets, food systems and cultural connections, among others. Many of these changes are seeking sustainable and innovative development, as part of the processes of adjustment of rural areas to new contexts and new demands, both internal and external to rural areas. These new demands are, to a large extent, marked by the objective of territorial sustainability, in its three dimensions, economic, social, and environmental. Better and close rural–urban linkages in all those fields may contribute to this sustainable and innovative development.
These forces of change are often being fostered by public policies and strategies for local and territorial development. In recent decades, these policies and strategies have been increasingly designed to be implemented in and from rural areas themselves. However, more and more voices (from public institutions themselves, such as the European Commission, to many social scientists) are calling attention to the need to consider, as a fundamental element of these policies and strategies, a better integration of rural areas with their territorial environment, and, in particular, the connections with the urban ones.
In this sense, territorial governance has become increasingly important as a framework within which these processes of change are launched and implemented but, above all, they are increasingly managed and guided. Thus, from relatively simple, but effective and consolidated forms of governance (such as local partnerships that have emerged under the umbrella of local action groups, or cooperation associations between municipalities), other forms of governance have emerged and developed, sometimes informal, which are more complex but that can play an important role in the implementation of policies and strategies to support development processes as well as in the management of change processes by stakeholders, including rural–urban territorial interrelations.
Consequently, this Special Issue includes and welcomes original research that enhances our level of knowledge on critical aspects affecting sustainable and innovative development in our rural areas, with a particular focus on the following:
a) Processes of change in rural areas, in strategic fields such as new business models, changing labor markets, public infrastructures and innovative transport and social services, sustainable food systems, cultural connections, ecosystem services and ecological arrangements in rural areas, etc., and how they contribute to the reduction of remoteness of rural areas, the improvement of rural–urban linkages and, in general terms, to the sustainable development of rural areas.
b) Cross-sectoral rural–urban relationships, based on and including flows of goods and services, extended labor markets as well as other relationships based on funding or social interactions, involving private, social and/or public stakeholders, and how they contribute to better territorial integration of rural and urban areas.
c) Territorial or socially innovative governance schemes (such as employment pacts or other forms of territorial public-private agreements or partnerships), taking into account the role of different groups of stakeholders, empowerment and the role of civil society, cross-sectoral governance mechanisms, etc., and how they may better support sustainable development in rural areas.
d) Policies and strategies aimed at the sustainable and innovative development of rural territories, based on relevant processes of change, supported by – new or innovative – forms of territorial governance, on – new – forms of rural–urban interaction or on socially innovative development initiatives, and how they may better support those sustainable development processes in rural areas.Prof. Javier Esparcia
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Sustainable and innovative development
- Processes of change in rural areas
- New business models
- Changing labor markets
- Public infrastructures
- Innovative transport and social services
- Sustainable food systems
- Cultural connections
- Ecosystems services
- Ecological arrangements in rural areas
- Cross-sectoral rural–urban relationships
- Territorial innovative governance schemes
- Policies and strategies supporting sustainable and innovative development
- Socially innovative initiatives
- Social rural–urban networks