Despite the fact that the rural commuter belts of cities are major loci of population change, economic growth and dynamic social change within city regions, most research tends to ignore this area while focusing on the built-up city core.
However, with the current emphasis on the role of rural areas in policy debates, it is vital to recognize the importance of the 'commuter belt'.
By comparing four major European cities (in England, France, Germany and Spain), this book offers the first comparative investigation of the dynamism of city rural hinterlands.
It assesses whether rural areas will become effectively integrated into quality of life improvements as a result of their inter-dependencies with cities, focusing on the critical arenas of employment change, housing and service provision.
In doing so, it investigates how change in these three fields impact on the quality of life and physical environment of rural hinterlands.