What is Rural Land?
This is a question that has as many answers as there are people who are involved in Rural Planning. The crudest definition is that rural land is all land that is not urban. However, that is too simplistic for any definition of rural land. Wide open land, Farmland, Forests, National Parks, Mountains, River banks, Lakeshores, Urban Fringe and Rural Residential areas all make up the landscape that we describe as rural. It is not any one landform or land use. It is the mixture of them that evokes the term Rural Land.
This question has been asked to a number of groups of people who have been either students at Universities or been part of a workshop group dealing with rural planning issues.The answers they give are very different. They can be grouped under the following headings:
- agricultural uses and activities
- scenery and landscape
- sense of peace
- food and clothing
The full list can be viewed by clicking here. The thing to note is that everybody has a different definition of rural land, depending on a range of things such as their background, age, where they live, etc.
The main feature of rural land is that it has an unplanned, non-uniform, natural look and can be described as "chaotic". This describes rural land the most accurately - it is a mixture of uses where no one use is the dominant one. You could say that the dominant use is rural!
What is Rural Character?
Rural Character is a term that is often misunderstood and misused when applied to rural land. Rural character is made up of a number of components - the one thing they have in common is the feeling of openness. They include the following:
- open spaces
- grazing animals
- market gardening
- crop protection structures
- artificial housing
- vegetation (trees, shrubs and grasses) - both indigenous and exotic
- houses and outbuildings
- varying topography including rolling hills and steep gorges
- rivers and streams
The main feature of rural character is that it has an unplanned, non-uniform, natural look and can be described as "chaotic".
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The Rural Planning Wheel
Rural Planning is a complex and challenging discipline. Ultimately, it is all about Growth Management. All of the decisions that have to be made about development have an impact on the density of development, character and environmental attributes of the rural area.
There is need to look at all of the issues, which comprise a number of interrelated topics, which all have an impact on each other. You cannot treat any of them in isolation. They are outlined below. Click on the issue to find out more about it.
Segments Completed so far:
- Preservation of Agricultural Land
- Rural Land Use Conflict
- Rural Residential