Network Governance Arrangements and Rural-Urban Synergy

9 Mar 2021


Increasing attention has been paid to the importance of balanced rural–urban interaction to sustainable regional development. Yet, our knowledge on the elements of network governance for such interaction is scarce. The aim of this paper is to study what kind of network governance arrangements currently exist, how they can be improved, and whether evolutionary governance paths can be identified. We analyse five existing and evolving cases of functioning rural–urban interaction in European Union (EU) member states, using a network governance framework as an analytical lens. We supplement the governance analysis with examining what kind of spatial understanding or combination of different spatial lenses the studied rural–urban governance arrangements rely on, as well as with the role of smart development in the studied cases. Our results emphasise the significance of division of power and collaborative decision-design in guaranteeing balanced and mutually beneficial interaction. Furthermore, we recommend changes in current policies in order to tap into the potential of rural–urban synergy.

Author: Ovaska, U.; Vihinen, H.;Oostindie, H.; Farinós, J.; Hrabar, M.;Kilis, E.; Kobal, J.; Tisenkopfs, T.;Vulto, H.

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ROBUST is a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. ROBUST receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.

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