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25 September 2023

Depopulation Villages in Poland—Current Status and Possible Transition Scenarios

The picture of many localities undergoing depopulation will change in the coming years. A significant scale of migration and advanced ageing processes will result in an increase in the number of vacant buildings, or the removal of social infrastructure. The term ‘shrinkage’ tends to have negative connotations, but can lead to positive changes, e.g., an improvement in land structure under conditions of fragmented, dispersed agriculture. Depending on the quality of the natural environment and communication accessibility, other functions will develop there, including housing and recreation. However, a large part of the village may disappear completely.

Keywords: Shrinkage; Depopulation; Rural settlement; Changes in the rural space; Visions of the countryside


28 January 2023

Current Challenges to the Sustainable Development of Rural Communities in Russia's Central Chernozem Region

The rural community system in the Central Chernozem Economic Region in Russia is undergoing a radical transformation under the interrelated influence of fundamental factors that have rendered the development of many communities unsustainable. This paper analyses the role of urbanisation processes in population changes and transformation of rural community systems in the region; determines the level of horizontal mobility among the rural population, as well as its impact on settlement evolution; assesses the share of small and extremely small communities in settlement composition; and outlines these communities’ future development prospects. The authors believe that the socio-demographic “desertification” of peripheral municipalities can pose challenges to rural development: a shortage of labour resources, changes in population quality, and problems of innovation diffusion. The study recommends improving the comfort of the living environment and accelerating the technical re-equipment and automation of agricultural production.

Keywords: Resettlement; Rural population; Depopulation; Population mobility; Settlement system; Region; Sustainable development