Between capital investments and capacity building—Development and application of a conceptual framework towards a place-based rural development policy | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
Julio 2015
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ISBN / Resource ID: 
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Within the debate about rural development policy (RDP), there has been increasing call for a stronger territorial focus emphasising the potentials, resources and demands of regions. Investments in territorial capital and regional capacity building have been considered as the two main cornerstones of a place-based approach to rural development (OECD, 2006). On the basis of an analytical literature review, we developed a framework to operationalise a place-based approach of RDP. In the proposed framework, the two cornerstones are further subdivided into six topics: “territorial capital” is broken down into physical, human, natural capital, while “capacity building” encompasses modernisation, restructuring and stabilisation of existing territorial assets. Regional RDP expenditure data for the years 2007 to 2011 are used to test the empirical validity of the framework, explore the regional implementation patterns of RD measures and their spatial distribution across European regions. A cluster analysis was applied to identify groups of EU regions with similar settings of RD priorities. In more than half of the regions either natural capital investments or stabilisation represent the dominant priority. Other regions make broader use of rural development topics and are able to combine different ones in their programme designs. The spatial heterogeneity observed in expenditures allocated to the different rural development topics is interpreted as evidence of the place-based character of the EU RD policy. The intervention of various authorities in the programming of RD policy (EU, Member State and regional), as well as the fact that spending ultimately depends on the voluntary uptake of the measures by individual rural actors are discussed as the important factors explaining this heterogeneity.

Autores y editores

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

Zasada, Ingo
Reutter, Michaela
Piorr, Annette
Lefebvre, Marianne
Paloma, Sergio Gomez y


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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