Geografie 2011, 116, 23-45

Rural Areas – Living Space: Regional Differences in the Perceptions of Representatives of Rural Municipalities in Czechia Regarding Rural Areas

Pavel Chromý, Vít Jančák, Miroslav Marada, Tomáš Havlíček

Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Přírodovědecká fakulta, katedra sociální geografie a regionálního rozvoje, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czechia

Received November 2009
Accepted February 2011

This article seeks to contribute to discussion concerning the concept of countryside in geographical sciences. In the first section it discusses selected approaches for assessing rural areas and presents key stimulants from the new regional and cultural geography (rural areas as a socio-spatial process and as living space). The second section presents examples of empirical findings from a field survey, the respondents to which were mayors of rural municipalities – with up to 3,000 inhabitants – in Czechia. We empirically explore the truthfulness of a thesis concerning the existence of several distinct types of rural areas in Czechia: rural areas with differing development potential and diverse problems, calling for the use of different instruments in overcoming the problems in question. The results of the survey make it possible to assess the territorial differences of so-called soft factors of ruralmunicipality development (perceptions regarding rural areas, inhabitants’ relationship to the territory of their municipality, local pride, the conditions and indicators of a successful municipality).


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