North Europe: Urban-Rural Relationships Including Migratory Movements

Rural‐Urban relations draw together various story lines relating to migration, access to services, agglomeration (or its absence), and highlights the cumulative causation process which drives the differentiation of, and disparities between, accessible and remote/sparsely populated rural regions. In the current, increasingly globalised, context, urban areas and rural hinterlands are not discrete spaces, they overlap and interlink in a complex system of economic and social interactions. Such linkages are key to successful territorial development. ESPON investigations of territorial cooperation once again underline the importance of an appropriate array of consolidation of Urban‐Rural relationship as a fundamental precondition of successful regional development. At the same time, European small and medium sized towns are hardly considered subjects in EU policy yet. The hypothesis that this size of urban settlement has an important role within the wider regional and functional context has been defined as evidential. Towns can indeed make an important contribution to supporting EU strategic policies for the achievement of territorial cohesion. These investigations are based on the following ESPON projects: EDORA, DEMIFER, SEMIGRA, ATTREG, TOWN, and SGPTD (for abbreviations, see the last page).