Table of Contents

Amenities and Rural Development

Amenities and Rural Development

Theory, Methods and Public Policy

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

Edited by Gary Paul Green, Steven C. Deller and David D. Marcouiller

Amenities and Rural Development explores the paradigmatic shift in how we view land resources and the potential for development in amenity-rich rural regions. Amenity-based growth can lead to several paths, based largely on proximity to urban areas and the type of development that occurs, whether it be seasonal residents, retirees, or tourism. The distributional implications of amenity-led development are an important consideration for policy, both within and between communities and regions. The contributors conclude that public policy needs to focus on maximizing complementary and supplementary uses while minimizing antagonistic uses of amenities.

Chapter 3: Rural Amenities Policies: Future Stakes

Jean-Eudes Beuret and Marie-Christine Kovacshazy

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology, urban and regional studies, regional studies

Extract

3. Rural amenity policies: future stakes Jean-Eudes Beuret and Marie-Christine Kovacshazy When residents of the countryside go into the city they often have to pay for a parking space and so pay for a service that is provided for them. When city dwellers head out to enjoy the quiet of the countryside, admire farmed landscapes and amble up country lanes to reach the best viewpoints, however, they pay nothing for the service they are provided. Yet it is indeed a service because the upkeep of the assets provided by rural areas has its costs. Farming practices change and what agriculture once produced naturally for our great satisfaction such as country lanes, landscapes, traditional buildings and so forth is no longer produced. Hedgerows and embankments are essential features of many country landscapes to which the French feel an attachment. Previously farmers would spend long days clearing out ditches and preparing for winter by cutting wood from the hedges, which by the same token were carefully tended. Some of these hedgerows have been ripped out today because they were in the way of farmers looking to work larger plots of land and needing wider lanes. The same is true of assets related to crafts, businesses and religious practices: the upkeep of chapels, mills and other buildings costs individuals and rural councils dearly for beneļ¬ts which are often slight or even nonexistent. Such assets provided by rural areas are vanishing: citizens grouped into numerous associations complain of this and criticize certain economic...

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