Rururban Partnerships: Urban Accessibility and Its Influence on the Stabilization of the Population in Rural Territories (Extremadura, Spain) | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
August 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

The process of population concentration in cities is a worldwide phenomenon—not yet finished—which has led to a widespread rural exodus and abandonment of rural areas. In Spain it occurred very abruptly from 1960, leaving numerous population centers abandoned in the northern half of the country. It is the so-called “empty Spain”. This problem has recently transcended from the local to the European level and has become part of all political agendas such as “the fight against the demographic challenge”, which the European Commission will finance in the next programming period 2021–2027. However, retaining the population in rural areas is a very complex problem that is difficult to solve. The aim of this article is to show that a polycentric system of towns, well distributed throughout the territory—as happens in Extremadura—has sufficient capacity to stabilize the population in the rural environment and is a viable and global alternative to the demographic challenge through the rururban partnerships and the integrated territorial investments. This article studies, as an empirical reality and demonstration effect, the autonomous community of Extremadura, an inland region bordering Portugal, in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, which has no abandoned nucleus and still maintains 50% of its population in rural areas, compared to a national average of less than 20%.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Gurría Gascón, José L.
Nieto Masot, Ana


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