Centre for Rural Economy


Rural Futures - Scenario Creation and Back-casting

Rural Futures was a study of what the English countryside might look like in 20 and 50 years time, from a social geographical perspective.

The study was commissioned under the ‘meeting people’s future needs’ component of DEFRA’s Horizon Scanning programme and represented a collaborative initiative between CRE and the Future Foundation throughout 2004. In the study, the countryside is portrayed as a differentiated space resulting from the interplay of endogenous and exogenous factors and given statistical and graphical form as a new typology of present-day English rurality. Three 20-year scenarios were produced by projecting forward from present trends, whilst a more speculative approach was used to produce a set of four 50-year scenarios.

The final report from this project is available here - Rural Futures