For the majority of policies, people and their activities are classed as either ‘rural’ or ‘urban’. However, the links between rural and urban locations, people and activities are key components of livelihoods and local economies; they are also engines of economic, social and cultural transformations.
Rural-urban interactions can be defined as linkages across space (such as flows of people, goods, money, information and wastes) and linkages between sectors (for example, between agriculture and services and manufacturing). In broad terms, they also include 'rural' activities taking place in urban centres (such as urban agriculture) and activities often classified as 'urban' (such as manufacturing and services) taking place in rural settlements.
It all started with a stroll. In 2007, residents of Xiamen, in Fujian province, decided they didn’t want a company that made a harmful chemical called paraxylene in their city. Using text messages they arranged peaceful demonstrations. The strolls soon spread into vast street protests and before long the local government had responded to their calls and relocated the chemical plant.
How can you marry environment and development? Over the past two years, governments and businesses have begun to trumpet ‘green growth’ as one way of boosting economic growth without compromising environmental sustainability.
Dubbed “mother of the nation”, Dilma Rousseff was elected as Brazil’s first female president this month. But this has been an election of two women. Taking the reins at a time of increasing growth, prosperity, and public works expansion in Brazil, will one woman’s touch alone be enough to bring new ways of combating destruction of the Amazon?