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Geographical and demographic variables to analyze the rural communities and rural development

Geographical and demographic variables to analyze the rural communities and rural development

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Published by Ricard Espelt
Once the response is submitted to the UOC, it will be posted on my blog where it can be
assessed and discussed online, under the creative commons license agreements indicated.
Once the response is submitted to the UOC, it will be posted on my blog where it can be
assessed and discussed online, under the creative commons license agreements indicated.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Ricard Espelt on Jan 13, 2011
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Geographical and demographic variables to analyze the rural communities and ruraldevelopment
ICT4RD : Generation and regeneration of the rural Catalan communities in theenvironment of Knowledge Society
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Presentation UOC
21|12|2010
Keywords
rural communities, ruraldevelopment, ITC,knowledge society, rurality
Public on blog
21|10|2010
This short article is written in response to the PAC3-GIR of UOC. This article is part of theaction research into ICT in the organization of rural communities.Once the response is submitted to the UOC, it will be posted on my blog where it can beassessed and discussed online, under the creative commons license agreements indicated.
1
Abstract
Rural Development is a valuable concept for the development of any country. If we speakabout economic development of any country we shouldn’t forget rural areas. Their specificcharacteristics, geographical situation, demographic evolution and socio-economic developmentare present more difficulties than other geographical areas.For this reason, throughout history, the rural world has needed to develop collaborativeways of working. These relationships have evolved into communities: social and economic spaces.The objective of this article is to investigate which variables have been used to analyse the ruralcommunities and rural development. For this reason it is important to know the social structures,patterns and processes that make up the communities.Finally,this study analyses which variables can be used to show how the new toolsassociated with the Knowledge Society allow the rural world to begin new ways to relate (social)and develop (economic) on the Internet. However, the existing organizations have the opportunityto adopt new structures and new forms to communicate through ICT and collaborate online.
1. Introduction
To identify the variables to be analyses, first we must look at the social organization of thecommunity. Bartle, in the module of indicators needed to empower communities, shows us how tocategorize the analysis in six-social dimensions: Technological, Economical, Political, Institutional,Values and Worldview. Also he indicates Geographical and Demographic, non sociologicalcategories, which we need to order our observations.In this study we try to analyse the data of the Atles de la Nova Ruralitat (Fundació del MónRural, 2009) by using the Bartle indicators. We also use the specific bibliography of the ruraldevelopment in Catalonia. Of course we focus our attention on the indicators to help us to studythe possibilities of ICT tools in the rural spaces.In this article we focus our attention on the geographic indicators, but we will start tointroduced the demographic approach. In any case we will analyse further in a future article tostudy the relation between the Bartle approach and Catalan data.
1
Ict4rd
 research bloc.
E-mail address
: ricardespelt@gmail.com
 
Geographical and demographic variables to analyze the rural communities and ruraldevelopment
ICT4RD : Generation and regeneration of the rural Catalan communities in theenvironment of Knowledge Society
2
2. Geographical and demographical indicators
In the introduction of the Atlas of Catalan Rurality, Trepat (2009) indicates the mostimportant causes of the changes of structures in the rural Catalan areas. The process of Catalanindustrialization caused a large fall in population, a change in the social structure and opened anew way to develop the economy, through the tertiary sector, in areas that traditionally hadtraditionally been based on agriculture or livestock. However, for a long
 
period of time, Cataloniahad been considered an agricultural country until the beginning of the industrial and urbanizationperiod. (Vilà,1973).Industry began to complement traditional agriculture. These complementary activities werethe most important value in the economy of the rural spaces. (Ferrer i Alòs, 2009).In the next part of the article we analyse the Catalan data using the Bartle approach aboutgeographic indicators. The relation between geographic and demographic values will give us thevariables to study the rural communities.
Fig. 1. Effects of demographic changes in communities
Bartle indicates some effects of demographic changes in communities (Fig.1) that will beimportant to analyse to determinate the variables to observe the characteristics of our community.
3. The Geography of the rural communities in Catalonia
The first questions we have to answer about the geographical communities according tothe Bartle method of analysis are focused on terrain and climate:“Where is the community located? Is the terrain hilly, mountainous or flat? Is it next to anocean, a lake, a river? Is the climate cold, hot, mixed, wet, dry, misty? How does the weatherchange over the year?
 
Geographical and demographic variables to analyze the rural communities and ruraldevelopment
ICT4RD : Generation and regeneration of the rural Catalan communities in theenvironment of Knowledge Society
3What crops, herds, gathering, hunting, and/or agriculture are suitable in the climate and terrain?Are there well defined planting, harvesting, hunting, fishing seasons in the year?What is the size by area of the community? What shape is made by its boundaries? How isit influenced by its geography? What is its location: latitude, longitude, proximity to othergeographic features?What is the community relationship with the environment –– ecology? What naturalresources are in or nearby: forests, fish, minerals, soil, wildlife, water, oil, or animals? Is thecommunity taking advantage of any of those resources?Where does the community fit in (location) with its district, region, province and nation?How do each of these geographic variables affect the community, and its ability to helpitself to become more self reliant? ” (Bartle)Catalonia started a lengthy agricultural period in the IX and X centuries. This periodcontinued until the second half of the XIX century when the industrial process began. The problemof disperse settlement was the diversity of the land exploitation and geographical features. (Vilà,1973). These characteristics of geography are very important to the analysis of the importance of collaboration in rural areas. We find more economic activity in the areas with more geographicalbenefits: more infrastructure, more proximity with the big urbanized areas and the warmerclimate.The map (Fig.2) of the surface area andland use show us three different types of characteristics of the land. This division hasdifferent levels of anthropisation: themetropolitan area around Barcelona and thecoast are the most urbanized areas. Then wecan observe a long strip of crop area across thecountry. The forest area is concentrated in thePyrenees. Even so, the physical rurality it not tobe confused with the social rurality. Here thesocial and human activity is more importantthan the surface terrain. Synthetic indicators,such as the number of habitants and populationdensity, are often used to reach finalconclusions. (Aldomà, 2010).
Fig. 2. Surface area and land use, 2003.Mapa de la Nova Ruralitat (2009)

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