Rural Development

Rural areas in their totality form the focus of this research area. We do not focus exclusively on the agricultural firm, but rather on the complex physical, economic and social context. The researchers examine the specific characteristics of regions, the spatial quality of transformations, and the possibilities for steering, managing and monitoring rural developments. Bringing actors together in participative processes is another specialty of this research area.

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Spatial Transformations

Spatial TransformationsThe countryside is undergoing great changes. Agricultural land is increasingly being taken over for other activities (nature, residential developments, industry, recreation, etc.). ILVO develops scientific methods to collect accurate data about these transformation. At the same time, we also perform analyses on subjects such as agricultural impact studies, out-of-zone activities, fragmentation of open space, etc.

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Area-Specific Regional Development

Area-Specific Regional DevelopmentLarge-scale change processes (e.g. climate change, changing business composition, migration flows, etc.) challenge regions to adjust to new circumstances. We study and describe how rural regions deal with this quickly-changing context: which development paths do they follow, which mechanisms play a role, and how regions can strategically use their unique characteristics and assets in rural development.

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Governance

GovernanceUnderstanding and researching the mechanisms, rules and actors involved in rural development processes are the basis of governance. Governance itself examines the sustainable development of a rural area in social, economic and ecological terms. ILVO participates in this development by performing sociological background studies and research on ecosystem services, networks as the motor behind innovation, and the availability and management of natural resources.

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Participation

participationThe rural area is becoming increasingly multifunctional. Greater numbers and more diverse groups of stakeholders are involved in the processes happening in rural areas. ILVO is studying the participation in these processes: who is involved, and when; the role of agriculture in these processes; the critical factors for success or the stumbling blocks; the process by which people find a useful solution, etc. Researchers from ILVO can also be hired to guide processes and facilitate participative processes in the rural context.

More details on the ILVO research portal