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Définir l'espace rural ? De la difficulté d'une définition conceptuelle à la nécessité d'une délimitation statistique

Author

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  • Bertrand Schmitt
  • Florence Goffette-Nagot

Abstract

[fre] Les définitions usuelles du rural le considèrent comme un espace s'opposant simplement à la ville. Il est alors un espace à faible densité de population, aux sols peu artificialisés, à forte prégnance agricole, etc. Cet article vise à l'appréhender au travers des mécanismes économiques qui rendent compte de la dispersion dans l'espace des populations et des activités. Deux catégories d'espaces non urbains sont distinguées: des espaces ruraux périphériques des villes, où dominent les mécanismes responsables de la dispersion relative de la population urbaine; des espaces ruraux placés hors influence urbaine et organisés autour de petits pôles d'emploi, où les forces de dispersion des activités sont responsables des dynamiques locales. La confrontation de cette approche avec les catégories du zonage en aires urbaines et de son complément rural fait apparaître une certaine convergence, mais aussi les limites de chacune de ces deux approches. [eng] Defining rural areas? From a difficult conceptual definition to a necessary statistical delineation - Usual definitions of urban areas often oppose this category to urban areas. Rural areas are then defined by low population density, low part of built land areas and presence of agriculture. This paper aims at suggesting a definition based on spatial economics theory. We focus on mechanisms that are able to explain the spatial dispersion of population and activities. Two categories of non urban areas are considered : on one hand, rural surrounding cities, where changes come from population spread mechanisms; on the other hand, rural areas with no urban influence, structured by small employment centres, where centrifugal forces are responsible for the location of activities. This approach is then compared to the zoning in urban and rural areas in order to show how they converge but also what the limits of the two approaches.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertrand Schmitt & Florence Goffette-Nagot, 2000. "Définir l'espace rural ? De la difficulté d'une définition conceptuelle à la nécessité d'une délimitation statistique," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 257(1), pages 42-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:recoru:ecoru_0013-0559_2000_num_257_1_5180
    Note: DOI:10.3406/ecoru.2000.5180
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    References listed on IDEAS

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