Commercial Counterurbanisation: A driving force in rural economic development

Gary Bosworth*, Hanne Bat Finke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Counterurbanisation is transforming rural communities and has implications for entrepreneurial opportunities in rural areas. The rural economy has seen a shift away from the dominant productivist paradigm towards an increasingly consumption-led array of businesses, facilitated by increased mobility and connectivity. Part of this transition has seen increasing rates of new businesses started by people moving into rural areas. This ‘commercial counterurbanisation’, is stimulating local economies but the ensuing nature of ‘development’ demands deeper investigation. In particular, this paper explores the ways in which entrepreneurs moving into rural areas are able to recognise distinctive opportunities and assets associated with rurality, drawing on a combination of their extra-local connections and access to local forms of capital. We conclude that the spatiality of social capital and the degree to which commercial counterurbanites become locally embedded are key factors in determining the characteristics of the businesses that they develop.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-674
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number3
Early online date9 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


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