chapter  5
12 Pages

Urban-rural relations in the post-urban world

ByHans Westlund

The emergence of the post-urban world has meant a fundamental change in urban-rural relations. This chapter begins with an overview of how urban-rural relations have been interpreted in spatial theories from the pre-industrial era and onwards. It discusses urban-rural relations in the knowledge economy and the dissolution of the urban-rural dichotomy in the post-urban world. The urban-rural dichotomy has existed ever since the origin of cities, that is, when the agricultural surplus was large enough to feed agglomerations of non-peasants. The emergence of metropolitan regions where small towns as well as rural areas are included, while other, more peripheral rural areas and smaller cities ends "outside" means that the traditional urban-rural dichotomy has disappeared. Distance-bridging networks have replaced linear distance as the main principle for spatial interaction. For the survival of peripheral rural areas this is indeed a challenge. Finally, the chapter also discusses possible development strategies for the peripheral countryside to avoid turning back "over to nature".