Taking into account the significant changes and challenges in rural areas and the economic and organizational advantages of towns, it can be expected that towns will become increasingly important for (inter)national policy makers, especially in relation to the decentralization of rural policies. This book aims to answer the following research questions: Can small-and medium-sized towns still be considered as concentration points of economic activities for town and hinterland actors? And should they be the focus point in rural development?
In this book, the multifaceted relationships between town-hinterland and the regional economy will be explored at different spatial levels and for different actors, in particular for households, farms and firms. Furthermore, this book will show an interesting range of analyses, varying from macroeconomic analyses of the local economy in five different countries to the simulation of the total population of one Dutch town at postcode level.
Fresh flowers, cucumbers and strawberries, yesterday picked in Africa, can today be bought in many supermarkets in Europe, swiftly transported by plane. The Internet even allows us to buy these products from the comfort of our own chair, without going outside. The meaning of distance and location is changing very fast. On the other hand, more and more people are searching for authenticity and historical details: traditional costumes, food, and crafts are highly appreciated. In addition, in rural areas, many new developments are taking place. In 1897 Berthelot foresaw that, by the year 2000, the manufacturing of (artificial) food would be independent of the season, rain, drought and frost. To a certain extent he was right, as in many places agriculture has become almost like any other industry; in others this is not (yet) possible or not wanted. The shift from agriculture to industry and services, as well as the urban desire to preserve the idyllic countryside creates a certain tension for local rural actors. The question, however, is: Are they passive victims or active players?
KeywordsTobit Model Multinomial Logit Model Rural Living Social Accounting Matrix Local Household
I owe a lot of gratitude to Peter Nijkamp, Piet Rietveld, Teresa de Noronha Vaz and Graham Clarke for their advises and help throughout this research. Furthermore, I would like to thank the Marketowns team for allowing me to use the data collected in the EU-project.
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