Citation: Pallares-Barbera, M. & Tulla, A. (PI) (2007). RURAL WORLD IN THE 21ST CENTURY: A COMPROMISE BETWEEN RURAL CULTURE, COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURES, NEW TECHNOLOGY AND LOCAL INITIATIVE. Abertis Foundation Sumary.
This research is a continuation of the project entitled “The Rural World in the 21st Century: A Compromise Between Rural Culture, Communications Infrastructures, New Technology and Local Initiative”, financed by the Abertis foundation (2000-2004). The aim of the study is to find out about the social, economic and territorial situation of the mountain regions of Catalonia through analysis of homogeneous territorial units. The qualitative and quantitative
methodological basis and structure were established on the basis of the preliminary results. First of all, local initiative within a framework of “local firm embeddedness”; secondly, the protection or fostering of substantial experiments in the fields of agriculture and tourism and, in third and final place, consideration of landscape as an overall model covering human activities and the natural environment in the homogeneous territorial units studied.
The comarcas (a comarca is an area more or less equivalent to a county) classified as
mountain areas are those laid down in the high mountains act 2/1983 passed by the Catalan Parliament on 9th March 1983: L’Alt Urgell, L’Alta Ribagorça, El Berguedà, La Cerdanya, La Garrotxa, El Pallars Jussà, El Pallars Sobirà, El Ripollès, El Solsonès and La Val d’Aran. They cover a total of 9,559.80km2 and their population according to the 2001 census was 188,255 people, spread over a total of 162 municipalities. In relation to Catalonia as a whole they make
up 29.97% of the land area, 2.97% of the population and 17.12% of the number of
The three pillars upon which this study rests are, firstly, local development within the framework of the local embeddedness model. The primary goal of the embeddedness model is to foster the revival of economic relationships within the social structure of a place, as well as inter-relating
human capital, social capital and economic capital and generating a network favourable to the development of industrial and service activities. Secondly, taxonomies of areas as a method for establishing analytical typologies in the Catalan Pyrenees: identifying homogeneous areas makes it possible to separate the development of the different “constructed landscapes” within the administrative limits of mountain areas, in order to construct specific development proposals
tailored to the problems identified in each area.
Thirdly and finally, landscape as a method of synthesis for analysing changing land use.
Studying the landscape involves a dynamic combination of variables within the natural,
historical and social settings that, taken together and as a whole, explain the relationship
between nature and society. The multi-disciplinary techniques required for the study of the
landscape should make it possible to explain the technological and social context at each point in time, and to link up the techniques and methods used with the natural and social worlds. This should make it possible to create tools for the proper management of territory.