Inderscience Publishers

Rural development programmes and strategic environmental assessment: towards a sustainable rural territory

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The rural landscape and the areas of the agricultural production represent, for Italy in particular, one of the main cultural and ecological richnesses of its territory. It is, however, a complex reality in continuous growth, contaminated by a growing urban sprawl, more and more dissimilar from its bucolic idealisations and less and less coherent with the rhetoric of the environmental protection and safeguard. In these months, all over Europe, the rural development programming 2007-2013 (RDP) is in progress. On this subject, all the regions are elaborating their own RDP, equipping it with a strategic environmental assessment (SEA). The authors elaborated the SEA for the RDP of two regions of Northern Italy. The article discusses the ability of the SEA to produce sustainable endogenous development in a territory, in which the sustainable development of its rural areas and the neo-metropolitan dimension which it belongs to, can concur.

Keywords: sustainable development, rural development, town-countryside, strategic environmental assessment, SEA, sustainability, Italy, regional development, rural areas

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