The Routledge Handbook of Small Towns addresses the theoretical, methodical, and practical issues related to the development of small towns and neighbouring countryside. Small towns play a very important role in spatial structure by performing numerous significant developmental functions for rural areas. At the local scale, they act as engines for economic growth of rural regions and as a link in the system of connections between large urban centres and the countryside. The book addresses the role of small towns in the local development of regions in countries with different levels of development and economic systems, including those in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and Australia. Chapters address the functional structure of small towns, relations between small towns and rural areas, and the challenges of spatial planning in the context of shaping the development of small towns. Students and scholars of urban planning, urban geography, rural geography, political geography, historical geography, and population geography will learn about the role of small towns in the local development of countries representing different economic systems and developmental conditions.

chapter |4 pages


part Section 1|88 pages

Small Towns

chapter 1|13 pages

The Functions and Local Linkages of Small Towns

A Review of Selected Classifications and Approaches to Research

chapter 2|12 pages

Small Towns in Settlement Systems

A Return to the Foreground?

chapter 3|20 pages

Small Towns

Theoretical Background and Research Issues – Perspectives from the United States

chapter 4|12 pages

Small Towns

Theoretical Background and Research Issues. Exploring the Diversity of Small Towns in France

chapter 5|16 pages

Spanish Small towns

Evolution, Functional Structure, and Characterisation

part Section 2|108 pages

The Role and Significance of Small Towns in Socio-Economic Development

chapter 7|16 pages

The Small Romanian Towns

From Creative Destruction to Destructive Creation and Back?

chapter 8|14 pages

From Informal to Formal

Towards the Sustainable Transformation of Small Towns in Africa

chapter 9|13 pages

Small, but Resilient

A Case Study of the Town of Utazu, Kagawa, Japan

chapter 12|14 pages

Small Towns in the Energy Transition Era

Local Drivers for Climate Change Adaptation?

chapter 13|13 pages

Contemporary Status of Small Towns in Bulgaria

Functions and Role in the Development of Rural Regions

part Section 3|110 pages

Small Towns in Rural Space

chapter 15|14 pages

Urban–Rural Linkages

An Inquiry into Second-Home Tourism in the Nordics

chapter 17|10 pages

Small Regional Centres at the Periphery of Switzerland

Porrentruy and Brig-Glis

chapter 18|14 pages

Small Towns in Rural Space

The Case of Czechia

chapter 19|15 pages

Urban Growth Engines or Relational Proximity?

What Can We Learn From Enterprise Population and Business Demography Indicators in the Context of Rural and Small-Town Scotland?

chapter 21|15 pages

Agri-Food Workers

Transnational Connections in Small Towns and Rural Areas

part Section 4|104 pages

The Small Towns Planning Challenges

chapter 22|17 pages

Inter-Municipal Spatial Planning as a Tool to Prevent Small-Town Competition

The Case of the Emilia-Romagna Region

chapter 24|15 pages

Small Town Survival in Rural Australia

A New England Case Study

chapter 26|13 pages

Small Towns in the Planning System

The Experience of the United States

chapter 27|18 pages

Disturbing the Creation of a Spatial System

Outside Intervention and Urbanization in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

chapter 28|11 pages

Challenges of Local Planning in Peruvian Small Towns

The Example of Alexander von Humboldt Town in the Amazonian Basin