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Rural regions in Europe: Territorial potentials and main challenges December 15 th 2010, Luxembourg EDORA (European Development Opportunities in Rural.

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Presentation on theme: "Rural regions in Europe: Territorial potentials and main challenges December 15 th 2010, Luxembourg EDORA (European Development Opportunities in Rural."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rural regions in Europe: Territorial potentials and main challenges December 15 th 2010, Luxembourg EDORA (European Development Opportunities in Rural Areas) II: The Future for Rural Areas of Europe

2 Introduction and Objectives The earlier presentation proposed appropriate generalisations about rural change and rural differentiation – based upon data and information relating to the second half of the ‘noughties’ decade. In this presentation I will describe the work carried out by David Meredith (TEAGASC), which considered what the future might hold for different kinds of rural area in Europe. Objective: To consider how future developments may reconfigure the territorial capital and socio-economic development of different types of rural regions over the next two decades. Approach: Foresight techniques used to consider how a range of different “shocks” might impact on the four Structural Types i.e.: –Agrarian regions –Consumption Countryside –Diversified (Secondary) regions –Diversified (Private Services) regions

3 Future Present Future Possible Future Fear Future Past Future Perspectives

4 What is Foresight? (As distinct from forecasting) –Foresight = systematic activities embracing: critical thinking concerning long-term developments; debate and effort to create wider participation in decisions; and shaping the future, especially by influencing public policy and strategic decisions (Grol, 2005; Faroult, 2006). –Foresight exercises are used to: develop perspectives of the future, attain consensus on which perspectives are likely to come to pass, and to highlight critical issues that need to be considered if preferred perspectives are to be realised.

5 Evolution of Foresight Contemporary foresight exercises move beyond technological / linear considerations in terms of the range of issues considered There is an emphasis on identifying a number of possible or alternative futures. Such foresights use systematic, critical and integral methods: … more qualitative in approach socio-economic development not considered predictable beyond a broad generic level narrative scenarios used to sketch out potential implications of current trends, possible future events…

6 Foresight Scenarios, (AKA Future Perspectives): (alternative descriptions of possible futures) Snapshot scenarios (rather than chain scenarios) –They do not consider the individual, and highly complex, processes that bring about these futures. –They are not predictions of the future based on analysis and extrapolation from past trends,/these types of activities are more in keeping with linear forecasting activities. –Predicated on the concept of uncertainty which is inherently unquantifiable and gives rise to the prospect of several plausible alternative futures which cannot be ranked by probability and through numbers, but all have to be prepared for or anticipated in some way. (Richard O'Brien, 2009). Future perspectives are tools that assist reflection on the implications of contemporary and known issues within a medium – longer-term perspective.

7 EDORA Scenario Development A multi-stage process: Stage 1: Definition of the key challenges facing rural Europe Stage 2: Exploration of contemporary (high level) trends Stage 3: Futures Framework Stage 4: Preliminary Scenarios (differentiating four structural types) Stage 5: Expert Assessment Stage 6: Final Scenarios We will not follow this sequence step by step, but describe Stages 1-3, and then 4-6.

8 Challenges facing Rural Europe: ( Based upon expert discussion) Meta-narratives – incremental processes driven by “endogenous processes”. Looking into the future we need to take account of “exogenous shocks”, causing more rapid/radical change… The two most important/likely exogenous shocks form the structuring elements of the EDORA Future Perspectives analysis. These are: 1.Responses to Climate Change (rapid-gradual). 2.“Repositioning” of the state/EU, (intensity of regulation/support) in response to: oLong-term ongoing restructuring of the primary and secondary sectors. oShifting demands for, and cost of, local service delivery oFinancial/Sovereign Debt Crisis and Austerity/disengagement of state from the provision of direct supports to rural regions (limited resources /increased demands).

9 The Structure of the Future Perspectives Analysis:

10 Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Gradual response to climate change + limited State/EU support (S1) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Gradual response to climate change + limited State/EU support (S1) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2)

11 Scenario 1: Gradual climate change + deregulated market economy In many ways this is close to a “business as usual” scenario. Current processes of change continue, except:  Shift of agriculture towards the para- productivist model.  Substantial growth in new forms of energy production.  Manufacturing concentrates on research, design and development (rather than production)  Probably be associated with continued increase in regional differentiation.

12 Scenario 2: Gradual climate change + highly regulated economy Impact of the credit crunch  cautious and regulated forms of economic governance. Capital shortage inhibits private/public sector responses to gradual climate change effects. Limited CC mitigation  even gradual CC has significant impacts upon rural economic activity and QoL  intensified out-migration from agrarian/sparsely populated regions. Energy costs rise but development of renewables modest,  increasing dependence on nuclear power. Increasing freight costs provide some import protection,  slower decline of manufacturing in Europe. Reduced consumer spending and capital shortage inhibits expansion of the tertiary sector.

13 Scenario 3: Rapid Climate Change + deregulated market economy Rapid/disruptive climate change attaches premium to land as a basic resource underpinning both adaption and mitigation measures. Food prices rise. Renewable energy production and bio-technology industries expand rapidly. Agricultural production intensifies and increasingly adopts bio-technology. Concentration of control of the (rural) means of production in corporate hands. Tertiary sector buoyed up by expansion of financial services, and private investments in research and development, but the benefits largely restricted to accessible rural areas.

14 Scenario 4: Rapid Climate Change + highly regulated economy Rapid onset of climate change  coordinated consensus-based public policy response. Rapid public investment in new forms of nuclear power. Careful regulation of the use of rural land, to ensure food supplies. Strong/selective migration flows from S. E. and C. Europe into the N. and W., and towards major cities. Public transport systems, using low/zero emissions technologies  compact urban growth. Fossil fuel use reserved for food production. Cropping regulated to reduce the production of GHGs. Primary and secondary sectors reinvigorated by public policy focus on sustainability. Expansion of tertiary sector slows or is reversed.

15 Combining the Scenarios and the Structural Typology An expert panel was used to assess the likely outcome of the four scenarios on the four Structural Types. There is no ‘right’ or ‘correct’ scenario, but one may be more likely than another... Scenario impact on rural types reflects a very complex interaction between a range of environmental, political, social, economic and cultural factors. The expert’s assessments of the spatial implications of the scenarios varied considerably, reflecting differences in individual perspectives of the evaluators, informed by personal milieu, lifetime experiences etc. Taking an “average” is dangerous! An informative (pilot) exercise – proof of concept – would be rewarding to extend it… +

16 The Structure of the Future Perspectives Analysis: Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Gradual response to climate change + limited State/EU support (S1) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) S1 AG- CC+ DS+ DPS+ S3 AG- CC- DS+ DPS+ S4 AG+ CC+ DS- DPS- S2 AG- CC- DS+ DPS-

17 The Structure of the Future Perspectives Analysis: Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Gradual response to climate change + limited State/EU support (S1) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) S1 AG- CC+ DS+ DPS+ S3 AG- CC- DS+ DPS+ S4 AG+ CC+ DS- DPS- S2 AG- CC- DS+ DPS- The most likely scenario. Points to the need for policy measures to support Agrarian regions? The most likely scenario. Points to the need for policy measures to support Agrarian regions? Policy impact limited by low levels of intervention.

18 The Structure of the Future Perspectives Analysis: Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Gradual response to climate change + limited State/EU support (S1) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) S1 AG- CC+ DS+ DPS+ S3 AG- CC- DS+ DPS+ S4 AG+ CC+ DS- DPS- S2 AG- CC- DS+ DPS- Next most likely scenario. Only the regions with a strong secondary sector show positive impact – low redistributive effect. High levels of intervention mean that much depends on the policy institutions and governance.

19 The Structure of the Future Perspectives Analysis: Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Gradual response to climate change + limited State/EU support (S1) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) S1 AG- CC+ DS+ DPS+ S3 AG- CC- DS+ DPS+ S4 AG+ CC+ DS- DPS- S2 AG- CC- DS+ DPS- Diversified regions prosper, Agrarian and Consumption Countryside stagnate/decline Perhaps points to particular policy to strengthen U-R linkages? Low intervention limits policy impact.

20 The Structure of the Future Perspectives Analysis: Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Gradual response to climate change + limited State/EU support (S1) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) Rapid response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S3) Rapid response to climate change + low levels of State/ EU support (S4) Gradual response to climate change + high levels of State/EU support (S2) S1 AG- CC+ DS+ DPS+ S3 AG- CC- DS+ DPS+ S4 AG+ CC+ DS- DPS- S2 AG- CC- DS+ DPS- Agrarian and Consumption Countryside prosper, Diversified regions stagnate/decline. Potential convergence?

21 Some Concluding Observations None of the future scenarios foresees positive outcomes for all regions. There are however scenarios that seem to have a “balancing” affect on regional development and thereby give rise to greater territorial cohesion within the EU. Equally there are scenarios that would give rise to further imbalanced development. The former are not necessarily preferable since reducing disparities may also slow down aggregate growth/development. Need to explore in more detail the way in which the different scenarios allow different types of regions to fulfil their potential… Of course territorial cohesion could occur at a number of spatial scales. A key challenge is to understand how cohesion at local, national and EU scales interact.

22 Thank you for your attention. Further detail is to be found in EDORA Working Paper 26 (www.nordregio.se/EDORA)


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