Territorial Cohesion: Evaluating the Urban-Rural Linkage Through the Lens of Public Investments

  • Francesco Calabrò
  • Giuseppina CassaliaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


The paper deals with the significant issue of urban-rural linkage, concentrating on the less-developed regions of Europe, and in particular the case study of the Calabria Region (southern Italy). Despite the evolution of the urban-rural exchange, inner areas are facing economic, social and environmental problems, resulting in unemployment, depopulation, marginalization, disengagement or degradation of historic and architectural capital. Institutional bodies and policy makers, in particular at the local level, deal with the complexity of the choices that need to be faced, requiring the capacity to implement complex decision-making processes and tools capable of integrating the use of territorial resources, culture accessibility and social integration. Investigating the issues emerging from the academic literature and policy documents of the past 20 years, the paper presents the preliminary research step on the interpretation of the urban-rural dynamics through the lens of the 2007–2013 public investments made in this region. The preliminary results in terms of expenditure efficiency, private co-investments and geographical distribution highlight the need for an economic evaluation approach to support local authorities in addressing the challenge of the EU Territorial Agenda 2020.


Territorial cohesion European funding Public investment Inner areas Urban-rural linkage 


  1. Bengs, C., & Schmidt-Thomé, K. (2006). Urban-rural relations in Europe (ESPON 1.1.2).Google Scholar
  2. Bisello, A., Grilli, G., Balest, J., Stellin, G., & Ciolli, M. (2017). Of smart and sustainable energy district projects: An overview on economic assessment methodologies. Green energy and technology, 127–164.Google Scholar
  3. Caffyn, A., & Dahlström, M. (2005). Urban–rural interdependencies: Joining up policy in practice. Regional Studies, 39(3), 283–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Camagni, R. (2008). Regional competitiveness: Towards a concept of territorial capital. In Camagni Roberto et al. (Eds.), Modelling regional scenarios for the Enlarged Europe (pp. 33–48). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cassalia, G. (2014). Assessing heritage significance: Decision support tools for managing landscape’s cultural value in Southern Italy. Advanced Engineering Forum, 11, 647–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. CEC. (2006). Regulation (EC) no 1080/2006 of the European parliament and of the council of 5 July 2006 on the European regional development fund and repealing regulation (EC) no 1783/1999. Official journal of the European Union.Google Scholar
  7. Della Spina, L. (2017). Integrated evaluation and multi-methodological approaches for the enhancement of the cultural landscape. In O. Gervasi et al. (Eds.), Computational science and its applications. ICCSA 2017. Lecture notes in computer science (Vol. 10404, pp. 478–493). Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Della Spina, L., Ventura, C., & Viglianisi, A. (2016). A multicriteria assessment model for selecting strategic projects in urban Areas, ICCSA 2016. LNCS, 9788, 414–427.Google Scholar
  9. Druel, E., Chrzanowski, P., Pollock, R., & Gray, J. (2016). Where does Europe’s money go? A guide to Eu budget data sources. Research Report.Google Scholar
  10. Evans, H. E. (1990). Rural-urban linkages and structural transformation. Discussion Paper, 71. Washington, DC: Infrastructure and Urban Development Department, World Bank.Google Scholar
  11. Evans, B., Joas, M., Sundback, S., & Theobald, K. (2005). Governing sustainable cities. London/Sterling: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  12. Fusco Girard, L., & Nijkamp, P. (2009). Cultural tourism and sustainable local development. London: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  13. Gagliardi, L., & Percoco, M. (2017). The impact of European cohesion policy in urban and rural regions. Regional Studies, 51(6), 857–868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Madureira, L., Gamito, T., & Ferreira, D. (2015). Il networking come strumento multi scopo per le organizzazioni innovative nelle aree rurali. LaborEst, 11, 38–42.Google Scholar
  15. McCann, P., & Ortega-Argilés, R. (2014). Smart specialisation in European regions: Issues of strategy, institutions and implementation. European Journal of Innovation Management, 17(4), 409–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mollica, E. (1996). Le aree interne della Calabria: una strategia e un piano quadro per la valorizzazione delle loro risorse endogene. Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino.Google Scholar
  17. MUVAL. (2012). La trasparenza sui beneficiari dei Fondi Strutturali in Italia e in Europa (Issue 27).Google Scholar
  18. MUVAL. (2014). A strategy for inner areas in Italy: Definition, objectives, tools and governance (Issue 31).Google Scholar
  19. Nesticò, A., & De Mare, G. (2014). Government tools for urban regeneration: The cities plan in Italy. A critical analysis of the results and the proposed alternative. In Computational science and applications—ICCSA 2014 (pp. 547–562). Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Nilsson, K., Nielsen, T. S., Aalbers, C., Bell, S., Boitier, B., & Chery, J. P. (2014). Strategies for sustainable urban development and urban-rural linkages, research briefings, European Journal of Spatial Development.Google Scholar
  21. OECD. (1994). Creating rural indicators for shaping territorial policies. Paris: OECD Publications.Google Scholar
  22. OECD. (2009). How regions grow. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  23. OECD. (2013). Rural-urban partnership: An integrated approach to economic development. Paris: OECD.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. OECD. (2015). Reaching people with development financing: The role of cities and regions. In Brief for the Third International Conference on Sustainable Development. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  25. Saaty, T. L. (2008). Decision making with the analytic hierarchy process. Internal Journal of Services Sciences, 1, 83–98.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Smith, I., & Courtney, P. (2009). Preparatory study for a seminar on rural-urban linkages fostering social cohesion. Discussion Paper. DG Regional Policy.Google Scholar
  27. Tajani, F., & Morano, P. (2014). Concession and lease or sale? A model for the enhancement of public properties in disuse or underutilized. WSEAS Transactions on Business and Economics, 11, 787–800.Google Scholar
  28. Torre, A., & Traversac, J. B. (2011). Territorial governance. Local development, rural areas and agrofood systems. Heidelberg and New York: Springer Verlag.Google Scholar
  29. Urso, G. (2016). Polycentric development policies: A reflection on the Italian “national strategy for inner areas”. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 223, 456–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zonneveld, W., & Stead, D. (2007). European territorial cooperation and the concept of urban—rural relationships. Planning Practice and Research, 22(3), 439–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zappalà, N. (2011). Reggio Calabria e dintorni. Reggio Calabria: Laruffa Editore.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PAU DepartmetMediterranea University of Reggio CalabriaReggio CalabriaItaly

Personalised recommendations