Sunday, May 29, 2022

The Links Between Urban and Rural Development

Rural and urban development are two sides of the same coin.They can’t be separated, as rural areas contribute to the economy of cities and vice versa through the exchange of goods and services. Damon Becknel, an experienced entrepreneur and land developer, understands that the links between urban and rural development are what help communities thrive and grow. Here we take a look at some of these links:

What is Rural Development?

Rural development is how rural communities can flourish within their local context. Rural development harnesses the indigenous potential to promote sustainable economic growth, social cohesion, and environmental well-being.

Why should we care?

Urban economies rely on rural areas for raw materials and other production inputs, while urban consumers depend on fresh food produced in nearby rural areas. Furthermore, many key aspects of the urban economy depend on conditions in nearby rural areas: climate, soil fertility, etc. At the same time, declining productivity in agriculture can reduce returns to labor and capital used in cities. This makes it more difficult for individuals who leave the agricultural sector to find employment opportunities that pay enough income to sustain over time.

What is Urban Development?

Urban development is creating and improving the structures, spaces, and functionality in cities. This can be achieved by providing a range of commercial, residential and industrial facilities within a city that will allow it to grow sustainably.

What is Rural-Urban Interaction?

Rural-urban interaction involves meeting urban demand for goods produced in rural areas while at the same time promoting urban investment in rural areas to raise living standards

in rural communities. Both sides gain from this arrangement: urban consumers get access to fresh food grown nearby. At the same time, producers in the rural area benefit from new jobs created around production facilities provided by cities. Additionally, there’s potential for increased agricultural productivity due to improved infrastructure between both sides.

Rural Products Provide for Urban Centers

Agricultural products provide many inputs for industrial production in cities (e.g., feedstock for livestock production, fertilizers). Rural areas also provide essential services for urban centers, both in inputs like foodstuffs and outputs like waste disposal.

Rural Entrepreneurship Drives Industrialization in Cities

Rural entrepreneurs are often pioneers of industrial production in cities because they are familiar with local resources, understand consumer demands, and are accustomed to small-scale operations.  

Livestock Feed

Livestock feed often comes from woodlands, which themselves need protection against agricultural encroachment; if they’re destroyed, this leads to deforestation, causing further problems such as flooding or poisoning/contamination of groundwater by erosion run-off.

Urban Production and Consumption

Urban production and consumption of goods have a knock-on effect on rural areas. For example, the production and consumption of fast food create an increased demand for livestock feed (from grain), which puts pressure to increase agricultural land at the expense of woodland; this, in turn, decreases carbon absorption by plants, which contributes to climate change.

They Are Codependent

Urban growth depends on immigration from rural areas where young people emigrate in search of jobs. This is problematic because it leads to the depopulation of rural areas and exacerbates negative effects such as school closures/shortages, farming & forestry shortages, relocation/purchase of farm equipment increasing house prices beyond young farmers’ means.

Final Thoughts

It is important to consider the links between urban and rural development when considering economic growth, social cohesion, and environmental well-being.

Urban economies rely on rural areas for raw materials and other production inputs, while urban consumers depend on fresh food produced in nearby rural areas. Furthermore, many key aspects of the urban economy depend on conditions in nearby rural areas: climate, soil fertility, etc. At the same time, declining productivity in agriculture can reduce returns to labor and capital used in cities. This makes it more difficult for individuals who leave the agricultural sector to find employment opportunities that pay enough income to sustain over time.

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