rss_2.0European Countryside FeedSciendo RSS Feed for European Countryside Countryside 's Cover Trends of Grassland Changes Based on Hungarian Local Studies After 1990 with a Macro-Regional Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Grasslands contribute to the ecological diversity of our cultural landscapes. In the last centuries, the most important trend was a constant loss of this valuable asset due to urbanization and the intensification of cultivation. Studies focusing on grasslands are not so abundant, and especially analyses on the spatial trends of grasslands in Eastern-Central Europe are scarce. Focusing on Hungarian local studies, we analyze our results from a macro-regional perspective, with a draft study of the V4 countries (Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland). The authors employed GIS and statistical methods to analyze data to explore trends of changes of grasslands in V4 countries, Hungary, and in three micro-regions of different landscape character. These include an open landscape, partly intensively cultivated (micro-region of Csorna), and two more diverse landscapes with different proportion of forests (micro-regions of Gönc and Veszprém). Our results show that very complex, sometimes opposite processes influence the area of grasslands. In spite of the fact that an increase in the area of grasslands is witnessed at both the national and the international level in absolute values, recently, unfavorable processes have started, and there are certain landscapes where grasslands are threatened especially natural grassland by forestation and grasslands where soil conditions are suitable for crop production. Our results showed that despite the different landscape conditions, the majority of grassland has been turned into arable land and into shrubs and forest area. The loss of pastures due to urban sprawl is a dominant process just around the built-up area of city of Veszprém in the most urbanized study area.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Emigrating to Depopulated Regions in Mediterranean Europe: Demographic Impact and Choice of Destination in a Case Study in North-East Spain (Aragon)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>International migration to depopulated areas is a growing field of research; even more so in Spain, one of the European countries most affected by depopulation. This paper analyses, first, the demographic impact of immigration from other countries in Aragon, which has undergone an intense and long process of depopulation throughout most of its territory. Second, we examine the factors that explain the immigrants’ choice of destination. The analysis focuses on the period 2000–2016. The basic territorial units of the analysis are the municipality (NUTS 5) and the county (NUTS 4).</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Vienna’s South-Eastern Hinterlands: Regional Development in the Austrian-Hungarian Border Area, 1910–2011<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Formed from the westernmost territories of Hungary, Burgenland became a part of Austria a hundred years ago. The aim of the paper is to answer the question of how Burgenland became integrated into the Austrian society and economy, how its regional inequalities and rural character changed in comparison to the neighbouring Austrian and Hungarian areas, under the influence of Vienna’s major role. The analysis is based on the census data of 1910, 1960/61, 2001 and 2011 and on the mapping of different social and economic indicators. Our data revealed that one hundred years ago, the northern, more prosperous area of Western Hungary was an integral part of the rural hinterland of the imperial capital, Vienna, in stark contrast to the region’s southern periphery. After World War II, however, a steep west-east gradient emerged in the borderland along the Iron Curtain, while the traditional north-south disparity continued to exist on both sides of the new border. During the political transformation in the early 1990s, and even more after Hungary’s EU accession (2004), the former hard border ceased to exist in this region, while Vienna regained its former economic importance and influence. After 1990, the patterns of regional disparities changed rapidly in Hungary, and the western part achieved a leading position within Hungary in every dimension of economic prosperity. In line with this, while the Austrian rural regions in Burgenland and between Vienna and Graz showed remarkable infrastructural progress, Southern Burgenland remained peripheral regarding economic activity.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Is Visitor Satisfaction High Enough? A Case of Rural Tourism Destination, South Bohemia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Satisfaction of visitors in tourism destinations is one of the most discussed topics in destination management and marketing. Many destinations report high satisfaction of their visitors. The objective of this study is to analyze overall satisfaction and satisfaction components in eleven tourism areas within South Bohemia, a typical Czech rural region, and to define the high level of satisfaction using benchmarking as a methodological approach. Using ANOVA and Pearson’s correlation, we identified the high level of satisfaction following the against-the-best benchmarking and the against-the-industry average approach. The results also show that perceived atmosphere in a destination, willingness to help and friendliness are the most significant components correlating with overall satisfaction.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00New Players on a Tough Field<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The pivotal aim of this research is to identify new entrants to mountain farming, their routes into practicing and resulting environmental impacts. Following an actor-network approach, this multi-regional case study was conducted in two remote regions of the Western Austrian Alps and in a bordering Alpine region in South Tyrol (Italy). All data was generated using semi-structured interviews on site and official agricultural statistics.</p> <p>Both autochthons and foreign newcomers to mountain farming display a great deal of idealism to fulfil their agricultural dreams. Their self-determination and bid for independence from the agricultural industry affects their thinking and decisions on housing, farming and collaborations, resulting in far-reaching social and spatial impacts on the sociocultural landscape. In implementing sustainable and extensive farming practices, new entrants act as role models and thus highlight alternatives beyond the prevailing mountain agricultural regime.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Decentralised Funding Activities of the Leader Local Action Groups of the North Hungarian Region from a Governancepoint of View<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Our article investigates the utilisation of EU support from the EFARD Axes 3 and 4 in the 2007–2013 period in North Hungary, with a special emphasis on the role of the LEADER local action groups (LAGs) and their forms of governance. A brief study ofthe results of the 2014–2020 period was also included. The distribution of resources was examined by a spatial inequality indicator, the Gini coefficient. Additionally, a questionnaire survey was conducted to explore the level and forms of governance in the case of LAGs. Our research results suggest that the distribution of Axis 3 resources within local action groups shows greater inequality in fewer LAGs. The Axis 4 denotes higher inequality. The level of governance of LAGs is relatively low as it is achieved through strong local leaders. This may explain high spatial inequalities of fund distribution.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Transformation of the Rural Settlement Network in the Carpathian Region of Ukraine (1989–2020)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The article describes research on the Transformation of the Rural Settlement Network in the Carpathian Region of Ukraine in recent decades. The study area covers the Carpathian region of Ukraine, which has the highest share of rural population in the country. The 1989–2020 period was chosen. Quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis of statistical indicators, deductive and inductive methods, and cartographic method were used. The demographic crisis and economic problems of Ukraine did not stop the most important demographic and settlement processes that began in rural settlements of the Carpathian region during the Soviet period. These processes acquired the special features associated with political transition. Depopulation was greatest in the most urbanized Lviv Oblast, especially in the plains, in peripheral villages, where a critical level of negative demographic change had previously been achieved. However, the disappeared villages are few. Population growth in villages in suburban areas of large cities has not stopped. In sparsely urbanized areas, mostly in Transcarpathia and Precarpathia, a large group of villages that have also not been depopulated has emerged. Their development was facilitated by the availability of recreational and forest resources, border location, state support for mountain villages, and some local factors. The real situation in rural Ukraine is partly obscured by imperfect official statistics. In particular, it is difficult to establish population losses due to labor migration abroad.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Rural Areas in Poland – Changes Since Joining the European Union<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Rural areas are experiencing a dynamic, multidirectional change. It is the result of impact of many processes, including rapid, often spontaneous urbanisation and structural transformation in the agricultural sector and temporary and permanent movements of the population. Changes in the spatial structures of the countryside, on the one hand, influenced by European programmes and measures, linked to the processes of modernisation and organisation of rural settlements and economic systems. On the other hand, rapid economic development and spontaneous investment are resulting in the expansion of the urban forms of land use – not only in the immediate surroundings of the cities and towns, but also in remote, peripheral areas dominated until recently by farming. The paper presents the genesis of contemporary land use in rural areas in Poland, linking the countryside structures with the intensity and forms of residency and user economies in the rural areas. The main drivers of change, significantly affecting the emerging forms of farming villages, are processes of intensive suburbanisation and semi-urbanisation, the phenomenon of progressive peripherisation of large areas in different parts of the country, the depopulation of the countryside and profound changes in the demographic structure of the population, improvement of infrastructure and transport accessibility and economic revival of villages. There are also important issues related to advantages such as natural and cultural values of the village. The aim of the article is to present the main directions of functional and spatial transformations of rural areas in Poland from the beginning of the 21st century. The main hypothesis is that the development of rural areas in Poland proceeds in two directions: Urban “colonization”, which involves the invasion of both single- and multi-family housing in the surroundings of traditional villages and in areas previously used for agricultural purposes, is becoming increasingly widespread; this follows restructuring and diversification (spatial and functional) in urbanized rural areas. Much indicates that the rational development and use of rural areas will be one of the main challenges of Poland in the near future.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Analysis of Specialisation and Management in Italian Farms Through a Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modelling Approach<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Using Italian data published by the Farm Accountancy Data Network, this study investigates whether certain variables such as labour, assets, crops, cost, and financial subsides allocated through the Common Agricultural Policy are able to act on the management and on the productive specialisation of Italian farms, and focuses on assessing the main relationships that exist between these variables and the items correlated to them in 8 main types of farming for the period 2004–2019. The results have revealed that while the type of farming practiced has had an influence on farm management, the impact of financial subsides allocated through the CAP has differed. This research fills a gap in the literature by investigating the main relationships that exist between farm specialisation and farm management through the PLSSEM. that enables the identification of which variables have the greatest influence on the management of Italian farms.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Bohemian Switzerland: Long-Term Spatiotemporal Transformations of Tourism Facilities in Rural Peripheries Between the Regulations and Access for All<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Bohemian Switzerland (České Švýcarsko) is a name that has been associated with the prominent area of sandstone landscapes located in Northern Czechia (Central Europe). Over the last centuries, the development of the area and the locational transformation of tourism facilities has been influenced by multiscalar effects of transforming geopolitical context, economic restructuring, and changing value orientation and expectation toward tourism and nature conservation. In this paper, we use narrative documentary sources to show how these changes affected the capacity, spatial diffusion and variability of tourist facilities and services in the area. In particular, we explore and discuss the ways in which public authorities and other groups of stakeholders attempted to balance the tourism-led local development and rights to public access with nature conservation and sustainable community livelihood.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Producer Organisations in an Export-Oriented Value Chain: What Motivates Small-Scale Farmers in Kosovo to Collaborate?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Producer organisations bear great potential to link small-scale farmers to markets. In post-communist economies, historically negative attitudes towards cooperatives are blamed as barriers to collaboration, but little is known about the broader range of motives to (not) cooperate. We use a structural equation model to analyse cooperation intentions in Kosovo’s emerging export-oriented raspberry sector. In this context, negative images surrounding cooperation seem to belong to the past. Widespread positive attitudes towards joining producer organisations were driven by the wish to facilitate farm commercialisation. The most substantial influence on cooperation intentions came from the norms passed on by the family and farm advisory services. Yet, results beyond the econometric model show that a lack of information and knowledge and lack of institutional trust, mainly doubts about the feasibility of producer organisations, could hinder their spread and success.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-11T00:00:00.000+00:00Challenges in Assessing the Level of Plant-Based Food Self-Sufficiency Using Publicly Available Data in the Regional Context of Slovenia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Methods for assessing regional food self-sufficiency are poorly developed worldwide, while knowledge of the characteristics of regional food self-sufficiency could help in designing more sustainable and resilient regional food systems. This paper addresses the challenge of defining and assessing food self-sufficiency at different geographical levels and provides a detailed presentation of the method for assessing the regional plant-based food self-sufficiency rate using publicly available data from administrative sources, taking the Slovenian development regions as an example. The results indicate the need to improve the reliability of the data used to identify the characteristics of regional food self-sufficiency and to a more effective coordination between existing agricultural databases.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Nomadtown, Manifesting the Global Village Hypothesis: A Case Study of a Rural Resilience Hub Within an Educational Milieu in North Karelia, Finland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>NomadTown a resilience hub based on learning for emergency prevention, positive impact creation, and adaptation is presented. The educative background of the sub-culture found there are outlined. A thick description of the educational milieu NomadTown is situated in is given. A contextualization of this milieu is provided with a Foucauldian awareness of the dispositif (apparatus). Whether the social ecology of associations, this resilience hub is becoming embedded in, is a suitable way to make the great transition needed to deal with climate change; and how organizational learning, manifesting as network learning, is taking place are considered. Such functioning connections are embodying the networked village concept of Nahrada’s Global Village Hypothesis. I conclude that working through connected networks, in NomadTown’s educational milieu, is an effective way to make change for resilience in our human survival situation when faced with climate change. However, NomadTown needs better connections to industry and government.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00The Major Relationships in the Economic Growth of the Rural Space<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this study, we aimed to overview the relationships of the most significant international theories dealing with the spatial economy, with special regard to the endogenous resources. We examined the effects and the development trends of economic and social capital because we believe that they may determine the future directions of strategic planning. Spatial capital (being the focus of our research) is proven to have outstanding influence on the society. In this study, we compare the development paths deriving from international models with the endogenous resources of rural space, considering the new development paths deriving from new paradigms. Based on all this, related to the most important international spatial economic theories, we define the strategic directions that are built on local endogenous resources, including the relations between tourism, infrastructure and environment.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Local Horizons of Governance. Social Conditions for Good Governance in Rural Development in Poland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The last thirty years have radically changed the nature of local resource management in rural communities throughout Poland (as well as in some other Central and Eastern European countries). New metamorphosis, policy, and funding mechanisms related to Poland’s political transformation and accession to the European Union have radically changed the character of institutions and tools available in rural development. Local communities have evolved along with improved education levels, decline in agricultural employment rates, and increased migrations to cities and Western Europe. This article presents the social conditions for the good governance processes in a selected region of Poland. Based on their extended quantitative and qualitative research, the authors discuss a number of phenomena such as the low effectiveness of collective actions, dense networks of informal relations, and the lack of trust in public service institutions despite the deregulation of certain powers. The ethnographic study reveals that while their overall picture may seem quite uniform, local rural communities in Poland tend to differ depending on the economic structure, history, and cultural identity of their inhabitants. Finally, the article analyses difficulties in the implementation of the good governance mechanisms within the country’s local rural communities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Changes in the Role of Agriculture from the Perspective of Innovative Agricultural Entrepreneurs. The Case of Szeklerland, Eastern Transylvania<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Relying on an interview-based research carried out in Szeklerland (Eastern Transylvania) between 2011 and 2020, the present study investigates the impact of the new rural development paradigm on the first level indicated by Van der Ploeg et al. (2000): changes in the relationship between agriculture and local society. The analysed region does not form an administrative unit, it is the eastern region of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It consists of rural settlements and small towns, the population of which is mostly of Hungarian ethnicity. More than half of the households have a small amount of land and are engaged in farming as their main or supplementary activity. Following a brief overview of the regional context, our paper analyzes the essential changes that have been taking place in the relationship between agriculture and the regional society over the last one or two decades. The focus of the analysis is how changes in the relationship between agriculture and the regional society appear in the innovative agricultural entrepreneurs’ practice and interpretations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Food Self-Sufficiency in Slovakia from the Perspective of Land Use and Production Approach<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>If a country cannot secure a sufficient amount of quality food from the domestic market for various reasons, it is necessary to import it from abroad. This is the case in Slovakia, which lags behind the EU average in food self-sufficiency. Therefore, this contribution aims to point out the development of Slovakia’s food self-sufficiency in basic agro-commodities in the past two decades. We strive to do this by applying two approaches to self-sufficiency research – the land use approach and the production approach. While the first is based on assessing the availability of resources where agricultural production can be implemented, the second approach considers agricultural production, consumption and the foreign trade balance. The results show that although a few decades ago, Slovakia was a self-sufficient country in most agri-food commodities, at present, it is not self-sufficient even in the basic ones (such as vegetables, fruits, pork and poultry). The indicated trend of agro sector development conflicts with the Concept of Agricultural Development of the Slovak Republic for 2013–2020, the goal of which was to achieve food self-sufficiency at an 80% level by 2020. Later, therefore, we discuss what lies behind the success or failure of attaining food self-sufficiency in Slovakia and point to the complementarity of self-sufficiency goals at the EU and national levels.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Changes in (Sustainable) Development of Slovenian Small Towns<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Considering the settlement pattern in Slovenia, small towns with a population of 5,000 to 15,000 are very important for balanced regional and local development, especially for the achievement of sustainable development goals. This paper presents findings from a study of the level of sustainability in 32 Slovenian small towns, as assessed using a set of twelve economic, social, and environmental indicators of sustainable development. A comparison of the results for the years 2002 and 2018 shows that over the past two decades, Slovenian small towns have for the most part successfully advanced towards the goals of sustainable development. The small towns that lag behind in these efforts were identified, as were the development areas where sustainability trends are less favorable.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00The Contribution of Leader to the Empowerment of Rural Areas: The Case of the Brkini Region, Slovenia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper focuses on the local delivery process of the LEADER programme over two programming periods (2007–2013 and 2014–2020). We tried to find out whether the LEADER method and projects implemented have contributed to the empowerment of the Brkini region (Slovenia), which has characteristics of a lagging and structurally weak region influenced by peripheralization processes. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of LEADER projects underlined that the Brkini region was quite successful in <italic>integrating</italic> different actors and sectors in joint projects and establishing cooperation between stakeholders. Cooperation is reflected in (1) partnerships and networking between existing and new actors and stakeholders, (2) LEADER funds being mostly used for “smaller projects” and networking within the region, (3) the synergies between LEADER and existing local aspirations as it supports several areas of the multi-sectoral approach (i.e., tourism promotion, agricultural production and processing), (4) enhanced recognisability and promotion of the Brkini region at sub-regional, regional, national and cross-border levels. In the context of <italic>empowermen</italic>t, we were able to identify some incentives, but also some bottlenecks (local clubs/societies/associations lack institutional, administrative and financial capacity, etc.). Decision-makers should pay special attention to this and also promote a culture of reflexivity when preparing new animation strategies for the next programming period.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00Tourism in a Peripheral Setting: A Case Study of Farm Tourism Development in Lika, Croatia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Considering the multi-layered issues of rural peripheries and tourism development, we explore actors’ views regarding farm tourism development in the historical/geographical region of Lika. In spite of the fact that important flows of goods and services pass through Lika, it is largely regarded as a peripheral area. Via semi-structured interviews with tourist farm owners and institutional actors involved with farm and rural tourism, we examine how their views relate to characteristics associated with peripherality. In a setting with very few family farms that have developed a farm tourism product, the regional actors see both potential and limitations in characteristics linked to peripherality, general development trends, and local specificities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-10T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1