Geografie 2011, 116, 231-255

Counterurbanization: Condemned to Be a Chaotic Conception?

Martin Šimon

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

Received August 2010
Accepted May 2011

This paper presents an overview of past and current debates over the conceptualization of migration into rural areas – counterurbanization. It begins with the history of the term itself, leading us from its original use to the contemporary plurality of its meanings. Key issues in the process of defining counterurbanization are examined, in light of the term’s historical development. The article illustrates a shift in counterurbanization research from the study of the settlement system to the study of local dimensions of counterurbanization and finally to the discursive production of counterurbanization. Secondly, contemporary residential decentralization in Czechia and the theoretical framing of counterurbanization are linked together in order to discuss the relevance of the counterurbanization research agenda in Czechia. The article concludes by stating the need for new ways to approach migration into rural areas.


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