Do rural and urban Scotland need each other?

SCRR / SRUC ‘round table’ discussion

Tuesday June 30, 2015

Venue: Stirling University

UPDATE: please see below for event report.

In policy, there are ‘place-less’ approaches operating throughout Scotland, designed neither for ‘urban’ or ‘rural’; there are also policies designed specifically for urban and rural places, as well as spaces in between. Researchers tend to focus on either rural or urban rather than look at interconnections between the two.

This event took place on June 30th 2015, and provided the chance for people from different backgrounds and sectors to discuss: (1) whether ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ Scotland exist as separate spaces and places in research and policy fields, or are they interdependent; (2) why this matters; and (3) what needs to change in research and in policy.

The discussion will inform SRUC’s two-yearly publication, Rural Scotland in Focus 2016.

There were 21 participants in attendance from policy, practice and research backgrounds. Each participant was asked to write a short ‘think piece’ reflecting on four questions and these were circulated prior to the event.

Two suggested actions emerged in relation to policy and research. First, more evidence of appropriate rural development could be gathered and showcased so that policy recognises that rural Scotland is changing and indeed needs to change (i.e. grow). However, given the emphasis on rural areas as places for recreation and ‘breathing space’, this could be challenging and illustrates the potential conflict about appropriate types of development in rural areas.

The Scottish Rural Parliament was suggested as a potential help to ‘updating people’s reality’ in order to be ambitious for rural Scotland. Second, a suggestion was proposed that each policy issue should be ‘stress tested’ according to equalities and geography.

Further information

Please see the event page on the SRUC website.

www.sruc.ac.uk/info/120403/rpc_events/1537/2015_do_rural_and_urban_sc

Event report

An event report is available via the SRUC website.

www.sruc.ac.uk/downloads/download/1026/2015_do_rural_and_urban_scotland_need_each_other

There is an article about this event on page 11 of our newsletter, SCRR News issue 84, Autumn 2015 (PDF, 3 MB)

scrr.ac.uk/downloads/scrr-news-84.pdf