Defining rural areas of Visegrad countries

Studia Obszarów Wiejskich (2015)
Tom 39 - Post-agricultural rural space of the Visegrad countries: economies, entrepreneurship and policies
Strony: 21-34
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The article is focused on the introduction and categorization of various approaches to rurality, and the identification and delimitation of rural areas in Visegrad countries. Three substantively different groups of conceptualizations and definitions of rural and rurality are described as follows: functional definitions, rural as locality (political-economic approaches), and social representation. Latter, basic sorts of methods and approaches to the delimitation of rural areas in V4 countries are introduced emphasizing its historical development, differences in spatial level and criteria of delimitation in current research. Due to different nature of rural areas and even local administrative units (the basic units usually used for delimitation of rural areas), it is not possible to reach sufficient and reliable identification of rural areas for whole V4 area using any of criteria or definitions applied in the research at national levels. Therefore, the average population density of entire V4 area was used as a main criterion for distinguishing between urban and rural LAU 2 at the whole Visegrad area level. Such approach is also affected by generalization but it captures various conditions in each country relatively well and moreover, it is comparable with the OECD and European Union methods to some extent.

Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem
Faculty of Science
Department of Geography
České mládeže 8, 400 96, Ústí nad Labem, Czechia

Instytut Geografii i Przestrzennego Zagospodarowania PAN
ul. Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa