chapter  9
1 Pages


New technologies and increased human mobility are changing spatial patterns and charac-

teristics of rural-urban interactions. However, the concepts of rural and urban will remain

vital for everyday-life, social and place identity and for understanding of local environ-

ment. Dominating political regimes frame how urban and rural places are constructed,

and how human and material flows between urban and rural areas are regulated. Thus,

urban-rural interactions are deeply rooted in local culture, microlevel practices and the

land ownership structure. The general principles of governance level policies in relation

to urban-rural partnerships have been repeated by different political regimes. The

Soviet policies tend to control and promote urban-rural population movements, while

more democratic ante-bellum political regimes and contemporary policies in Latvia

focus on urban-rural land use and activities over urban-rural boundaries. Contemporary

Latvian policy-making rejects urban-rural population involuntary movements and restric-

tions, while there is a proposal to subsidized voluntary urban-rural movements as a part of

regional aid. Land use policies of urban and rural areas need to accommodate “other” and

temporal (seasonal) uses to permit urban-rural connections: urban agriculture and for-

estry, allotment gardens and summer-cottages, places of outdoor recreation, rural urban-

type settlements and non-agricultural activities. Spatial policies of urban and rural terri-

tories need to accommodate both places of connection and places of isolation.