Network conference 1998 overview conferences

Towards a Spatial Development Strategy for Europe: The role of spatial planning policy for rural regions

Bled, September 1998

At the conference in Budapest (1997), the development of rural regions was pointed out as one main research field in the future activities of the CEE-Network. This was regarded as an important challenge for a sustainable European Spatial Development Perspective. Therefore, the 1998 conference was organized on the topic of rural regions in order to create one further step on the way towards a European Spatial Development Perspective within the dialogue between the spatial research institutions and the governmental institutions. 

The following topics were discussed:


Plenary sessions

During the plenary sessions, Bernhard Müller from IOER/Dresden introduced the issue of institutional conditions and potential strategies for developing rural regions. He presented the institutional framework for the development of rural regions. He pointed out,  based on experience in Germany and other European countries, the strategy options that may contribute to the developing of more favourable conditions for shaping structural change and coping with new challenges. Peter Jordan from Wien delivered an overview about the development tendencies in space and settlement structures of rural regions in Central and Eastern Europe by comparing these processes in Germany, Austria and Italy in the West and in the Russian Federation and in Turkey in the East. 

Altogether 26 researchers from 11 countries participated in the call for proposals before the conference. The chosen papers were presented in three working groups:


Working group 1: Differentiation of various types of rural regions 

Irina Gukalova, from the Institute of Geography, National Ukranian Academy of Sciences, Kiev/ Ukraine, delivered a classification of rural regions of Ukraine by the impact of Chernobyl catastrophe and perspectives for their development. Volker Mothes and Jörg Pohlan, from the Institute for the Development of agriculture in CEE (Institut für Agrarentwicklung in Mittel- und Osteuropa, IAMO), Halle/ Germany, presented a classification of different types of rural areas as a basis for appropriate development strategies in Latvia. Finally, an additional statement about tasks for spatial planning policy in rural regions in the south of Russia  was given by Igor Kharitonov, from the North-Caucasus branch of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute on Nature Protection, Krasnodar/ Russia.


Working group 2: Changing function of small and medium sized cities for the development of rural regions 

Within the working group 2 Ivan Stanic from the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, gave an introducing statement about the regional context of urban and rural small-scale development. He was followed by Kri¹jane Zaiga from the Faculty of Geography, Latvian University, Riga, with a paper about the change in the importance of the small towns in Latvia. The discussion in this working group was closed by Ingo Gugisch and Jörg Maier from the Faculty of Economic Geography and Spatial Planning of the University of Bayreuth/ Germany, with the statement: Slovenia on its way towards Europe - Small towns resp. small centres as characteristic indicators of settlement structure and stabilizing elements in the developmental process of spatial structure.


Working group 3: Privatization and its effects on rural regions 

The working group 3 was represented by the following statements:


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