When rural boroughs turn into inner peripheries: a link between their socioeconomic characteristics and distance to large cities
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Inhabitants of rural areas are subject to several pressures such as depopulation, income gap and infrastructure scarcities compared with urban areas. An analysis of rural boroughs in Poland is carried at the LAU-2 (NUTS-5) level, based on sustainable development framework indicators with the use of logit models, in order to verify the existence of heterogeneities among rural boroughs caused by metropolitan area spillovers. The research shows that the deconcentration hypothesis holds only for rural boroughs within 40 km of large towns. The remaining rural boroughs have a profile of inner peripheries – they are subject to adverse demographic and development pressures, with limited infrastructure stock and public services availability. These remarkable differences between rural boroughs imply the need for a reconsideration of the criteria for regional Cohesion Policies. Namely, more location-dependent regional policy instruments should be designed instead of the currently prevailing approach based on NUTS-2 criteria.