Building new relationships in rural areas under urban pressure
This report presents the results of the European research project on building new relationships in rural areas under urban pressure (RURBAN)
Key (f)actors in supply and demand of RGS: The territorial integrated approach could be identified as a key factor in the demand and supply of RGS in M areas. The demand for RGS in M areas originated from urban people who want to live and recreate in a rural surrounding, but who are usually employed in towns inside or outside the region. This results in a permanent demand for building sites, basic facilities and recreation services that may affect the rural landscape and could conflict with the interests of other users of the rural landscape. Moreover, recreation facilities such as parks with hiking and biking tracks are public goods, which require public intervention. In order to deal with the many conflicting demands for rural space and the supply of public RGS such as recreation parks, in all M areas an outline of a territorial integrated approach can be perceived. Basically, this approach includes the following characteristics: - Territorial land use planning: by means of zoning and compensation payments, agreements are made which areas are destined for housing, agriculture, recreation, nature etc.; - Public bodies supply a number of public RGS such as national and regional parks, biking and hiking tracks; - A large number of municipal and regional authorities, rural and urban stakeholders and other actors are involved in order to establish an integrated supply of public and private RGS. 'Commodification without destruction' could be considered as a key factor in the demand and supply of RGS in the T areas. In the studied T areas, commodification of the rural landscape has a long tradition and contributes to employment and income in the region. Although tourists and second homeowners stay only temporarily, the crucial issue in the T areas is to achieve a sustainable balance of supply and demand of RGS in such a way that the rural landscape is commodified without destruction. It appears that our studied T areas are in different saturation phases of commodification. In the Finnish, Hungarian and Spanish T areas rather high levels of commodification have been reached, whereas in the French and Dutch T areas commodification is quite moderate. Although commodification of the landscape is usually a matter of private supply, in most case study regions there is some pubic intervention, for example, by means of restrictions to the size of hotels, land use planning, support for nature management, etc.