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Urban pressure on rural areas: Mutations and dynamics of periurban rural processes

Periurbanisation, from the rural point of view, is an important question, which has been studied from the urban point of view only, and not on a European scale. It questions economic and social mutations within these rural areas under urban pressure. It also raises the problem of the future of agriculture and competition for land. The research proposed here will characterise the dynamics involved, first of all by describing the existing forms of periurbanisation and, secondly, by carrying out comparative analysis on the urban processes at work and rural proper dynamics.

The NEWRUR research project has four main objectives:
1. to characterise the diversity of peri-urban areas and establish a typology of these areas, designed to enable analysis of the exchanges taking place between urban centres and peri-urban areas.
2. to identify changes and mutations underway in peri-urban areas, with emphasis on the increasing demand of services due to the arrival of new population groups and on changes in economic structures and links with urban centres.
3. to identify the consequences of peri-urbanisation and emerging conflicts concerning agricultural areas and use of land as pertains to the location of economic and social activities, as well as the future of agriculture. propose to policy-makers some key elements on policy evaluation for regulation of peri-urbanisation phenomena in the European policy context, taking into account the notion of subsidiarity and the various forms of institutional partnership in each country studies.
These objectives will lead to two types of results: quantitative, with a typology of diversity of peri-urban areas, and qualitative, with the characterisation of transformations and emerging conflicts. NEWRUR will propose new tools and recommendations to assist in implementing specific policies that are territorially suited.

Through an analysis of the significance of some concepts and of the national approaches of these concepts, NEWRUR has developed a common approach of the urban and peri-urban zones. A comparative analysis of trends was identified in the case study investigations of peri-urban processes in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. This examination provided a comparative characterisation of similarities and dissimilarities in peri-urban economic, social, spatial and environmental changes. In this comparative analysis, attention has not simply been devoted to exploring change but also to examining how conflicts are managed. It has provided a set of quantitative and qualitative criteria that could be used to evaluate development processes in peri-urban areas, including offering an indication of whether such processes are associated with conflict. It also focused on how far such indicators are useful as standard indicators that can be used to reflect similar peri-urban change processes and conflicts across the countries investigated.


Scientist responsible for the project

2 rue de la Papeterie Box 76
38402 Saint Martin d'Hères CEDEX cedex
France - FR

Phone: +33 4 76 76 27 42
Fax: +33 4 76 51 38 03


Project ID QLRT-1999-30094
Organisation CEMAGREF, Centre National du Machinisme Agricole, du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts
Area 5.5
Start date 01 December 2000
Duration (months) 41
Total cost 1 422 819 €
Total EC contribution   1 039 647 €
Status Completed
Web address of the project

The partners

  • UNIVERSITY OF DORTMUND, Department of Georgraphy and Development Planning, Germany - DE

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