Centre for Rural Economy

News Items

Researchers contribute to major new rural studies book

Eight CRE researchers have made critical contributions to a major book advancing both rural studies and planning literature launched by Routledge (Taylor & Frances).

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning further evidences the University's leadership in rural studies research, already celebrated with the Queen's Anniversary Prize.

Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Rural Economy(CRE), Dr Menelaos Gkartzios co-edited the rural planning tome, along with Prof Mark Scott (University College Dublin) and Prof Nick Gallent (UCL Bartlett School of Planning).

State-of-the-art review of rural planning

The book provides a critical account and state of the art review of rural planning in the early years of the 21st century. Looking across different international experiences, it aims to develop new conceptual propositions and theoretical insights, supported by detailed case studies and reviews of available data.

The companion gives coverage to emerging topics in the field and seeks to position rural planning in the broader context of global challenges, such as:

  • climate change
  • the loss of biodiversity
  • food and energy security
  • low carbon futures

It also looks at old, established questions in new ways: at social and spatial justice, place shaping, economic development, and environmental and landscape management.

The book includes contributions from 77 authors across 22 countries, from Europe, North America and Australasia to the transition and emerging economies, including BRIC and former communist states.

Neo-endogenous rural development

Newcastle University contributions include a chapter on the CRE-led model of neo-endogenous rural development by Dr Menelaos Gkartzios and CRE founder Emeritus Professor Philip Lowe.

The authors argue for more reflexive approaches to development models that centre on the co-production of knowledge across academia and practice, as seen for example in the case of CRE's Northern Rural Network.

The role of gender

Duke of Northumberland Professor of Rural Economy Sally Shortall authors a chapter on the role of gender in rural planning debates drawing on the research she has led on women in agriculture, funded by the Scottish Government.

She demonstrates how the exclusion of the farmyard – an important family, work and social space – from planning scrutiny demonstrates gendered constructions regarding agricultural work and the risks that this might have for health safety.

Prof Sally Shortall said: "This is one of the first publications looking at the gendered construction of the farmyard. I am extremely pleased to see this work as part of an important collection, which challenges the boundaries of planning research."

Rural heritage

Professor John Pendlebury, based at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, co-authors a chapter on rural heritage and its importance to place-making in rural places.

Through the contrasting comparative experience between Ireland and England, he demonstrates (along with Arthur Parkinson) how heritage values are culturally constructed and vary over time and across spatial contexts.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Rural Enterprise UK researchers Dr Paul Cowie, Dr Pattanapong Tiwasing, Professor Jeremy Phillipson and Professor Matthew Gorton, provide a succinct review of innovation and entrepreneurship in rural areas, by focusing specifically on the role that 'enterprise hubs' hubs play in the North East of England.

Global nature of this publication

Co-editor Dr Menelaos Gkartzios said: "It is a real honour to see this published – a contribution which celebrates the dynamic of rural research in our own institution but also globally.

"Apart from the contributions of my colleagues at Newcastle University, I am particularly proud that we have included chapters focusing on China and Japan, as well as India and Brazil, evidencing the truly global nature of this publication.

"The book has already been praised by prolific Asian academics, which in turn opens up exciting opportunities and collaborations for us".​

A partial view of the front cover of the new book.

published on: 12 April 2019