Rural development in an urbanising world

Urbanisation is often seen as damaging to rural development. But the opposite is true. There are strong links between rural and urban areas, people and enterprises, and it can be argued that there is no rural development without urban development, and vice versa. Small towns are generally neglected in either rural or urban approaches, but they play essential functions as mobility and market nodes. Their role is not only related to socio-economic development, however, as they also provide services to the surrounding rural population and are the seat of local government and institutions that are critical for sustainable development.

Cecilia Tacoli
Senior Researcher
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
London, Great Britain

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