Day 2 — First Day of Session

15 July 2016 — Day 2

Blog post by Jana Dietershagen, University of Bologna, Italy

As a beginning of the ICRPS 2016 summer institute we first of all learned and discussed about “What is rural policy?” The definition of rural that has captivated me today was defined as: density and distance to density. Having lived in the Netherlands for five years, I experienced that the density concept is very relative, because the Netherlands is the most densely populated OECD country and a very small distance from the city could mean already rural. Further, we have learned about the difficulties the inhabitants of the rural northern sphere face in regard to food security (a small cabbage could cost up to $28!), and the effects of climate change on the way of living and moving (earlier melting of the ice layer). Then, we finished the day by thinking and discussing about our own identities and connection to rural and the impact we could create to rural communities.

Blog post by Aoife M. Ní Fhlatharta, National University of Ireland, Galway

Day 2 of the ICRPS 2016 Summer Institute consisted of extremely informative and intriguing sessions which engaged with a range of key topics such as rurality, the dimensions of rural policy, and life in the rural North. Both the lectures and group work activities furnished us a with a broader perspective of what it means to reside in a rural area and how one should look at developing it through the policy framework. It was suggested that when exploring a model for rural policy less emphasis should be placed upon markets and economic dimensions; instead priority should be given to the environmental component as it remains as an imperative facet to society. Undoubtedly this point seemed to capture the attention of the students as numerous discussions emerged on the importance of economic and environmental relationships for rural areas. Students were also furnished with the difficulties faced by those in the rural North and the difficulty they have in accessing fundamental resources and services such as food and transportation. Undoubtedly day one was an extremely productive and thought-provoking day that allowed us to compare and contrast the disparities of rural areas within various countries across the globe.