1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Small Towns

Edited By Jerzy Bański Copyright 2021
    448 Pages 60 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Small Towns addresses the theoretical, methodical, and practical issues related to the development of small towns and neighbouring countryside. Small towns play a very important role in spatial structure by performing numerous significant developmental functions for rural areas. At the local scale, they act as engines for economic growth of rural regions and as a link in the system of connections between large urban centres and the countryside. The book addresses the role of small towns in the local development of regions in countries with different levels of development and economic systems, including those in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and Australia. Chapters address the functional structure of small towns, relations between small towns and rural areas, and the challenges of spatial planning in the context of shaping the development of small towns. Students and scholars of urban planning, urban geography, rural geography, political geography, historical geography, and population geography will learn about the role of small towns in the local development of countries representing different economic systems and developmental conditions.


    SECTION 1: Small Towns: Theoretical Background and Research Issues

    1. The Functions and Local Linkages of Small Towns: A Review of Selected Classifications and Approaches to Research

    Jerzy Bański

    2. Small Towns in Settlement Systems: A Return to the Foreground?

    Ewa Korcelli-Olejniczak

    3. Small Towns: Theoretical Background and Research Issues – Perspectives from the United States

    Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

    4. Small Towns: Theoretical Background and Research Issues. Exploring the Diversity of Small Towns in France

    Christophe Demazière

    5. Spanish Small Towns: Evolution, Functional Structure, and Characterisation

    Carmen Vázquez-Varela and José M. Martínez-Navarro

    6. Determining Villages’ Status and Their Economic Functions: The Case of Mongolia

    Altanbagana Myagmarsuren, Solongo Bayarsaikhan, and Mungunchimeg Batkhuyag

    SECTION 2: The Role and Significance of Small Towns in Socio-Economic Development

    7. The Small Romanian Towns: From Creative Destruction to Destructive Creation and Back?

    Ioan Ianoş

    8. From Informal to Formal: Towards the Sustainable Transformation of Small Towns in Africa

    Miguel Amado and Francesca Poggi

    9. Small, but Resilient: A Case Study of the Town of Utazu, Kagawa, Japan

    Atsushi Taira

    10. The Natural and Migration Movements Versus Population Ageing in Poland’s Small Towns

    Jerzy Bański, Wioletta Kamińska, and Mirosław Mularczyk

    11. Performance of Small Towns in an Economically Lagging Region: A Case Study of the Spiš Region, Slovakia

    Ladislav Novotný, Marián Kulla, Janetta Nestorová Dická, Loránt Pregi, and Stela Csachová

    12. Small Towns in the Energy Transition Era: Local Drivers for Climate Change Adaptation?

    Francesca Poggi, Ana Firmino, and Miguel Amado

    13. Contemporary Status of Small Towns in Bulgaria: Functions and Role in the Development of Rural Regions

    Boian Koulov and Chavdar Mladenov

    SECTION 3: Small Towns in Rural Space

    14. Changing Urban–Rural Relations in Israel’s Periphery

    Michael Sofer, Nir Cohen, Levia Applebaum, Irit Amit-Cohen, Yardena Shaul, and Irit Shmuel

    15. Urban–Rural Linkages: An Inquiry into Second-Home Tourism in the Nordics

    Elin Slätmo and Iryna Kristensen

    16. New Rural–Urban Relationships of Small Towns in North-Western Germany

    Kim Philip Schumacher and Karl Martin Born

    17. Small Regional Centres at the Periphery of Switzerland: Porrentruy and Brig-Glis

    Walter Leimgruber

    18. Small Towns in Rural Space: The Case of Czechia

    Antonín Vaishar and Jana Zapletalová

    19. Urban Growth Engines or Relational Proximity? What Can We Learn From Enterprise Population and Business Demography Indicators in the Context of Rural and Small-Town Scotland?

    Andrew Copus

    20. The Role of Farmers in Small-Town Community Development in an Age of Austerity: Reflections from Australasia

    Etienne Nel and Teresa Stevenson

    21. Agri-Food Workers: Transnational Connections in Small Towns and Rural Areas

    Ruth McAreavey

    SECTION 4: The Small Towns Planning Challenges

    22. Inter-Municipal Spatial Planning as a Tool to Prevent Small-Town Competition: The Case of the Emilia-Romagna Region

    Giancarlo Cotella and Erblin Berisha

    23. Ukrainian Small Cities in the Perspective of Sustainable Spatial Planning

    Eugenia Maruniak, Leonid Rudenko, Sergiy Lisovskyi, Olena Dronova, and Artem Mozghovyi

    24. Small Town Survival in Rural Australia: A New England Case Study

    Anthony Sorensen

    25. Technologies of Government and Policy Implementation in Small Towns Economic Development Plans in Mpumalanga, South Africa

    Sabelo Tshabalala and Ashley Gunter

    26. Small Towns in the Planning System: The Experience of the United States

    Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

    27. Disturbing the Creation of a Spatial System: Outside Intervention and Urbanization in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

    Eberhard Weber and Camari Koto

    28. Challenges of Local Planning in Peruvian Small Towns: The Example of Alexander von Humboldt Town in the Amazonian Basin

    Ana Sabogal Dunin Borkowski


    Jerzy Bański is Professor of Human Geography and since 2018 Director of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences (IGSO PAS). His main research interests include rural and agricultural geography, land use, regional policy, and spatial organization and local development. Between 2006 and 2012 he was President of the Polish Geographical Society. In 2017 he was appointed Chairman of the Commission of Local and Regional Development under the International Geographical Union. He is an author of 390 publications, including 24 books and more than 190 papers with review processes. He has co-ordinated over 40 research projects and is a member of 35 other national and international undertakings (such as FP6, FP7, Horizon, ESPON).