Rural-Urban Economies and Societies

Research focused on social and economic development.

Ensuring both rural and urban economies and societies develop sustainably is a critical sustainable development goal. This imperative will involve new approaches to innovation and enterprise to develop sustainable economies and increase equitable results for all communities. Rural and urban spaces have challenges, such as access to services (e.g. broadband) in rural areas and green infrastructure planning for more climate-smart cities. The distinctive lens that the CCRI offers is to approach these relationships from a rural-urban perspective, reversing the dominant paradigm of assuming the predominance of urban areas. The Rural-Urban Economies & Societies cluster undertakes research across the urban-rural continuum focused on social and economic development.

Areas of research

  • Rural economies and levelling up
  • Rural innovation and the future of rural areas in economic transitions
  • The foundational economy
  • Rural-urban relations
  • Impact of changing policy environment on rural communities
  • Geo-spatial analysis and geo-visualisation of rural and urban systems (GIS)
  • Green infrastructure planning
  • Increased inequalities within and between rural communities
  • Social return on investment
  • Realising climate neutral cities

Sustainable Development Goals

Set by the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

  • GOAL 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • GOAL 13: Climate Action

Related research projects

View current research projects related to Rural-Urban Economies and Societies cluster.

  • Evaluation of the annual Defra grant to Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE)

    Evaluation of the annual Defra grant to Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE)

    The evaluation adopts a comprehensive mixed-methods approach to assess the annual grant support provided to ACRE by Defra, leveraging a Theory of Change (ToC) framework.

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  • Rural Wales Local Policy and Innovation Partnership

    Rural Wales Local Policy and Innovation Partnership

    This three-year programme will focus on the challenges of building a regenerative economy, supporting the net zero transition, enhancing health, wellbeing and access to services, and empowering communities and culture, including Welsh language revitalisation.

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  • Assessment of Social Value Derived from CLA Activities

    Assessment of Social Value Derived from CLA Activities

    This project, a study for the Country, Land and Business Association, examines the social contribution of CLA members to enable aggregate estimates of social value generation across the CLA membership to be made.

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