Even though rural and urban areas are considered as detached entities in regional development efforts, they are mutually dependent in their development. Rural and urban areas are tied together by various types of rural-urban linkages and the understanding of the reciprocal relationship behind these areas and consideration of this relationship in regional development strategies are very effective in the development of both areas. The main purpose of this article is to discuss rural-urban linkages and the conceptual underpinning of regional development, emphasising how this reciprocal relationship brings positive impact on regional development. Attention will also be drawn to explore the nature of rural-urban linkages in both developed and developing countries. Research papers, books and articles written on this field were used for this article. These two areas are absolutely connected to each other in terms of complex linkages such as physical, social, economic, infrastructural, demgraphical, technical, attitudinal and environmental linkage and the intensity of these linkages vary region to region, depending on different factors or situations in each region. As studies from different parts of the world show, rural-urban linkages have been strongly established in developed coutries with high rate of urbanisation than developing countries where rural-urban linkages are mostly weak with slow and low rate of urbanisation. A number of studies have been done on rural-urban linkages in Sri Lanka as well and have revealed that, despite the fact that the country has a large number of small and medium size urban centers, relationship between those towns and their peripheral areas is weak and warned of this weak relationship negatively affecting the regional development in Sri Lanka. However, recently established new mega projects in remote areas such as Hambantota by the government and emergence of new marketing trends such as Cargill’s supermarkets and their collective systems of rural productions, and agreements with farmers by the privet sector are much favorable to strengthen the rural-urban relations in Sri Lanka. These new emerging trends are good signs for the regional development in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences 2015 38(1): 1-11
How to Cite:
Uduporuwa, R.J.M., 2016. Rural-urban linkages and theoretical underpinnings of regional development. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 38(1), pp.1–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljss.v38i1.7382