Rural–urban interactions and interdependence
Although new regionalism has often had an urban focus, a closer look makes clear that it is the interdependence between urban and rural regions which provides a more accurate representation of their relationships—particularly in the Canadian context. This chapter explores the ways in which this interdependence is recognized and expressed in research, policy, and practice using four spheres: trade and exchanges, institutions, the environment, and identity. After discussing the literature regarding these four spheres, we conduct an analysis of interviews with residents, government officials, business people, and community organizations in four of the five study regions of the Canadian Regional Development research project. The analysis suggests that the four-spheres framework is a useful tool to ensure the consideration of a wide range of interdependencies, that these spheres are themselves strongly interconnected, that the institutional and trade and exchanges spheres are most perceptually salient to our interview participants, and that environmental and identity interdependence of rural and urban places are under-recognized. The chapter concludes with suggestions for extending the options regarding rural and urban relationships—for research, policy, and practice.