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Abstract

This report aims to improve current delimitations of rural areas in Europe as a support to statistical descriptions by introducing the criteria of peripherality/remoteness and 'natural (non-artificial) area' in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) typology. In 1994, the OECD developed an easy concept to identify rural and urban areas based on the population density of a geographical unit. This scheme proved to be highly sensitive to the size of the geographical area and the classification of the thresholds. Over the years, endeavours have been made to review and improve the OECD approach and also alternative methodologies have been proposed. The current methods based solely on population distributions, do not allow for detailed and quantified geographical analysis and do not reflect two main characters differentiating rural from urban areas: the "natural" (non-artificial) surface and the accessibility/remoteness. In this study, a new rural typology has been developed by integrating the peripherality index and the land cover indicator in the OECD methodology. The analyses were carried out at Local Administrative Unit (LAU) 2 and NUTS3 level for 3 Member States (Belgium, France and Poland). The resulting rural typology classes for LAU2 are 'rural-peripheral', 'rural-accessible', 'urban-open-space' and 'urban-closed space'. The typology at regional level (NUTS3) does not provide an accurate picture of the rurality. The methodology applied is flexible and the thresholds of accessibility or land cover implemented can easily be modified to fit-for-purpose. Simple queries were applied with standard procedures using Pan-European homogeneous datasets so as to allow to upscale for assessment at European level.

Additional information

Authors: JONARD F, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);LAMBOTTE M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);BAMPS C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);DUSART J, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);TERRES J-M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22921 EN (2007), 65 pp. Free of charge
Availability: Katalogue Number: LB-NA-22921-EN-C The PDF version can be downloaded from: http://bookshop.europa.eu
Record Number: 200819814 / Last updated on: 2008-05-05
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: en
Available languages: en