Rural-Urban Partnerships

An Integrated Approach to Economic Development

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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.



Understanding rural-urban partnerships: Context and definition

This chapter provides the background information for understanding rural-urban partnerships. First, it provides a conceptual framework to understand the changing urban-rural relationships and their possible implications for economic development. Second, it gives empirical evidence on the different socio-economic conditions and dynamics of urban and rural areas, which have been traditionally seen as separate entities with different and often opposite destinies. Finally, it defines rural-urban partnership and stresses the main functions of urban and rural areas. Evidence shows that different territories face different challenges and that all types of regions have potential for growth. The different assets of urban and rural areas can potentially complement one another. Further integration and governance of urban-rural relationships should be encouraged.


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