How to Regenerate the Rural Areas


Regeneration of the rural areas is not an easy task and requires a well planned strategy for each area individually. Basically, however, rural regeneration should cover the following areas:

Economy. Most of the rural population depends on agriculture and despite a slight economic growth in the recent years, the rural communities still earn less per head than the urban population. The economic policy for the rural areas should support businesses and initiatives which help a particular rural community to take advantage of its resources and potentials in a form of financial stimulation or education, or both.

Infrastructure. People living in the rural areas must be provided an access to the basic infrastructure to ensure a high quality of life as well as an easy access to information and to the “outer” world. Good infrastructure is also the key for economic development and in-migration both of which are crucial for preservation of the rural areas.

Affordable housing. Despite the increased interest in rural housing in the recent years, the access to a home in the rural areas remains highly inaccessible due to highly restrictive building policy. Limited rural sprawl helps preserve the rural environment and character but at the same time, it often hinders development of the rural communities and forces young people to move to urban and suburban areas. According to a study by BL Surveyors in order to keep the rural areas alive in their traditional form, the building policy should be reviewed because the problem with accommodation in the countryside cannot be solved without a larger number of newly built homes. In addition, the current situation poses a risk of dramatic change of social structure of the rural communities as homes in the rural areas remain mostly accessible only to the wealthy.

Access to quality education, health care and services. The rural communities should be provided an equal access to quality education, health care and services than the urban population.


Conservation of the environment. The countryside, unfortunately, is not what it used to be and faces a number of environmental challenges. To make things worse, the environmental issues in the rural areas are closely related to the rural economy which is why they are especially challenging to solve. Intensive agriculture involving the use of enormous amounts of artificial fertilizers polluting the groundwater and pesticides which are severely toxic to the environment and human health provides a living to most members of the rural communities. Organic farming and sustainable agriculture eliminate the majority of environmental issues related to agriculture, however, they do not bring instant results which poses the greatest obstacle for most rural communities. Farmers who make the transition from conventional to organic should therefore be provided a financial support during the transition period.

Protection of historical and natural heritage. Most rural communities have important historical and natural heritage which is of major importance for the local and sometimes also for national history and biodiversity/geodiversity. In order to protect the historical and natural heritage, the rural communities should be provided an assistance in expertise and funds.