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SPAN – Locality & Community in rural Northern Ireland

This paper forms a significant output from an action research project SPAN (Strategic Planning Action Network) involving four regions within four EU member states: Northern Ireland (UK), Greater Dublin (Ireland), Wallonia (Belgium), and Champagne-Ardenne (France).  Within Northern Ireland the partnership involved the Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning at Queens University Belfast and Rural Community Network.  This paper reviews the various definitions of rural Northern Ireland by Government Departments along with statistical data in regard to different patterns of settlement change.  The statistical data presented form part of a toolkit aimed at opening up local discussions on the future directions of dispersed rural settlement pattern in Northern Ireland.

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