Making the most of rural-urban partnerships

A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development explores how the changing relationship between neighbouring urban and rural areas crosses “traditional” administrative and political boundaries in economic development. The distinction between urban and rural is becoming increasingly vague as people live, work and play in areas that include both.  Although these areas have different assets, they often complement each other. Successful rural-urban partnerships can improve the provision of public services and increase growth opportunities and quality of life for people, helping these regions reach economic development objectives.

Rural-Urban Partnerships: An Integrated Approach to Economic Development provides an analysis of rural urban partnerships and discusses the dynamics that can support and obstruct cooperation between rural and urban areas. It provides regional data analysis and evidence from 11 case studies, describing very different rural urban partnerships, from OECD countries around the world. This analysis demonstrates that regional economic performance increases when urban and rural areas are closer together and consequently more integrated. Cooperation is also improved where these areas are of similar size and have similar resources and capacity. Four governance models to manage rural urban partnership are also discussed, each with its own characteristics that vary depending on the goals of the partnership and the regional context. Finally, the report offers recommendations to help develop integrated rural and urban public policy at all levels of government to create effective and sustainable rural-urban partnerships for better economic development in those areas.

The report, which can be purchased in hardcopy or read at no cost online, is a useful resource for those trying to make the most of the social and economic benefits created by rural-urban partnerships.

This post originally appeared in TINAN 50Subscribe to TINAN to get the latest economic development news and resources.