Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Urban-rural relationships: an introduction and brief history

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simin Davoudi



The concept of urban-rural relationships is beginning to appear more often in the academic literature as well as policy and programming documents. The evolution of the concept has a long history in the study of economics, geography and regional planning. This paper traces some of the historical background of the concept and identifies how it is being used at the present time. The paper is divided in two main parts. In the first part we discuss how the term urban-rural relationship was coined to mark a departure from the traditional view of urban-rural dichotomy: the existence of two distinct and opposing perspectives that have influenced the conceptualisation of urban-rural relationships. The first of these perspectives, the anti-urban view, can be traced back to rural-urban migration during the Industrial Revolution and the social, economic, environmental and health problems that this migration caused. The second perspective, the pro-urban view, sees urbanisation in terms of natural progress and development and regards cities as generators and centres of culture, knowledge, innovation and economic growth. In the first part of the paper we draw primarily on the British experience and debates in the discussion of urban-rural dichotomy. In the second part of the paper, when we look at more recent stages in the evolution of the concept of urban-rural relationships, we shift our attention to the developments at the European scale. Here we focus on key academic texts as well as policy and programming literature with a particular focus on the European dimension. We show that over recent years, there is evidence to suggest that there has been a gradual change in perception and policy orientation in various policy arenas towards consideration of the linkages and interrelationships between urban and rural areas.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davoudi S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Built Environment

Year: 2002

Volume: 28

Issue: 4

Date deposited: 03/11/2008

ISSN (print): 0263-7960

ISSN (electronic): 63-7960

Publisher: Alexandrine