The New Countryside, Geographic Perspectives on Rural Change
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Throughout the developed world, rural areas are in economic, social, and visible transition. Resource industries are typically in decline, while in the orbit of large towns and cities the countryside is increasingly a functional extension of the city: hamlets and villages mushroom into bedroom suburbs, backroads suffer a rash of “exurban” housing, golf-courses take over farmland, and trailer parks or industry blight the landscape. Even beyond commuting range, the countryside is increasingly in thrall to the cities, as land is valued more highly for recreation, tourism, retirement, or natural processes, and less highly for the production of food or fibre.