Rural-Urban Partnerships

An Integrated Approach to Economic Development

image of Rural-Urban Partnerships

Urban and rural areas enjoy different and often complementary assets, and better integration between them is important for socio-economic performance. This report provides a framework to understand the changing relationships between urban and rural areas. It is focused on one approach that can enhance and better manage rural-urban relationships – the use of rural-urban partnerships. Specifically, it documents the characteristics of these partnerships and the factors that can hinder as well as enable rural-urban co-operation. Different governance approaches to manage rural-urban relationships are identified and discussed. Finally, recommendations are provided to help national, regional and local policy makers to build effective and sustainable rural-urban partnerships for better economic development.



Taking a functional region approach to rural-urban partnerships

This chapter provides concepts and evidence for assessing the geography of rural-urban relationships. The increasing interdependence of urban and rural areas has made some traditional administrative boundaries irrelevant, and rural-urban partnerships are best dealt with at the level of the functional region. The chapter defines functional regions and presents some criteria for identifying them in different territorial contexts. It shows that rural-urban partnership may target different geographies, depending on the policy issues under consideration and on key characteristics of the partnership itself. Flexibility in the geographical dimension of the co-operation should be encouraged.


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