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Regional Ambassadors – An Innovative Element for the Development of Rural Areas?
- Harfst, Jörn, Pichler, Patrick, Fischer, Wolfgang
- European countryside 2017 v.9 no.2 pp. 359-374
- rural areas, shrinkage, stakeholders, Austria
- Rural regions in Austria have been under increasing pressure for change in the last decades. On a regional level, varying development patterns of shrinkage and growth arise alongside economic, demographic and social parameters. In this paper, regional ambassador concepts will be explicated as a new instrument of regional development. Additionally, potential positive impacts of these approaches on the problems faced by rural, structurally weak regions will be highlighted. Notable advantages of these approaches are network and feedback effects between stakeholders. These, in turn, are capable of improving the economic and social situation in those regions. However, these measures require a high degree of control capacities which structurally weak areas often lack.