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Transdisciplinary Rural Development Studies (TRUST)


“Integrated rural development” is an academic research topic which is increasingly in demand, both nationally and internationally. Other European states have recognised the necessity and opportunity, and they are stepping up their efforts to support the strong transformation of rural spaces academically.  This fulfils the OECD’s call for a change in the matrix of planning and developing rural spaces.

In Germany, rural spaces are very important living spaces, economic zones, and natural environment, too. 65% of the population lives outside cities, and over 75% of all German municipalities have less than 5,000 inhabitants. The majority of business are based in municipalities and mid-sized towns, and the majority of transport- and social infrastructures are located in rural areas.  As a result, these rural areas constitute an extremely important economic potential for Germany, and their maintenance and progression is vital.

The, in part, dramatic changes (Changing role of agriculture, demographic change, reconstruction of the EU’s agricultural policy, climate change) and increasing social demands and expectations on rural spaces (leisure and recreation, supply of sustainable raw materials and natural resources such as drinking water, clean air, mineral resources, ecological compensation area) have created a new situation.  It requires developing new innovate plans which stop analysing rural areas by sectors and focus on integrating economic, ecological, and social factors into one analysis instead.