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Torre A., Wallet F., Corsi S., Steiner M., Westlund H., 2020, Is there a smart development for rural areas?, in Torre A., Corsi S., Steiner M., Wallet F. and Westlund H. (eds.), Smart development for rural areas, Routledge, 226p.

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Abstract

Today, the question of rural-urban peripheries and their place in development processes is being raised all over the world. Once overlooked as areas of secondary significance and places that don’t matter in comparison with cities - with their smart development peripheral areas and regions are now emerging and are having their revenge by causing a series of unexpected electoral victories, such as that of Donald Trump in the United States, of Brexit in the UK or of populists in Italy, by counteracting votes from big cities. The revolt of the so-called Yellow vests in France can in part be explained by the isolation of peripheries, which are faced with difficulties related to rising fuel prices and the demise of public services. The EU's growth strategy, whose ambition is to make the EU a "smart, sustainable and inclusive economy", represents the core priority of the European policy, relating to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as economic governance. This objective requires the identification, in a context of global competition, of a region's comparative advantages and that they be taken into account in the context of global value chains and innovation processes, but also in priority sectors. The purpose of this book is to provide clear answers to two major questions: a) Is there a possible smart development policy for European rural areas? b) Which type of smart development solution (agriculture, business/industry, peri-urbanization, tourism/leisure …) should be selected in view of regional specificities? It also aims to provide recommendations regarding new policies and stakeholder-relevant knowledge on conditions for and factors behind rural development, which can be useful for improving rural and peri-urban development policy at local/regional, national and European levels, be it as part of smart development and smart specialization policies or not.
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