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Defining and Assessing Rurality/Urbanity and Delineating Rural/Urban Areas in Europe (DARDRA)
Start date: Jan 1, 2009, End date: Dec 31, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The conceptual rural/urban area definitions can be divided into two main categories based on whether they favour spatial (population and settlement density characteristics based on population and/or land use/cover data, and relative-location characteristics) or non-spatial properties (demographical, social, cultural, economic and ecological characteristics). Policy related definitions evolve together with their main objectives. With the recent increasing integration of environmental concerns into most of the (EU) policies and the growing availability of spatial data on the environment (associated with information technology advancement), a number of initiatives have been launched to develop environmental indicators for policy impact evaluation, with many of them being based on spatial data (e.g. Corine Land Cover), including the ones for alternative rural/urban area definition development. The main objective of the project is to develop methodology for quantification of settlement system morphometric attributes indicating rurality/urbanity based on land cover spatial structure data and population spatial distribution data. While it will be applied to most of the European territory, some smaller model areas will be selected within Europe for specific applications (e.g. finer/coarser scale effect testing). Rurality/urbanity assessment will take into account not only the composition, but also the configuration component of land cover structure. This will be accomplished through application of some known as well as new landscape metrics / spatial pattern metrics. Additional purpose suited metrics will be developed (using e.g. Nearest Neighbour Index, Ripley's K, Moran Correlogram) capable of measuring the intensity of dispersion at different scales. The impact of each of the land cover structure component will be assessed with expert method. In the process, the issue of scale will be of major interest (e.g. upscaling/downscaling, convolution/deconvolution)."
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