The International Conference Rural Space and Local Development was inaugurated in 1998 by Professor Dr. Vasile SURD in order to emphasize the importance of rural areas as subject of study at the Faculty of Geography, Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca and to integrate it into the major scientific research aims at the geographical school of Cluj-Napoca. The five conferences up to now are the following:
1. International Conference Rural Space and Regional Development, June 2-5, 1998, Cluj-Napoca – Turda – Miceşti, ROMANIA.
2. International Conference Rural Space and Regional Development, September 26-30, 2001, Cluj-Napoca – Miceşti – Vadu Izei – Baia Mare, ROMANIA.
3. International Conference Rural Space and Local Development, June 22-24, 2006, Cluj-Napoca – Turda – Miceşti, ROMANIA.
4. International Conference Rural Space and Local Development, with the theme on Regeneration of the Rural Space, July 22-24, 2010, Bistriţa, ROMANIA.
5. International Conference Rural Space and Local Development, with the theme on Rural Mountain Areas. Experience, Preservation, Trends and Future Challenges, July 18-22, 2012, Sighetu Marmației, ROMANIA.
These have had a large national resonance, as well as international. Over the years we were honoured to welcome prestigious specialists from countries like Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia, USA, Ukraine, Japan, India, Iran, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, United Kingdom, Israel, Netherlands, Tunisia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Italy, Spain.
The first two editions (1998 and 2001) were focused on rural and regional development and the 2006, 2010 and 2012 editions on rural and local development.
The first three editions resulted in the publication of three volumes of conference proceedings that include all the works lectured at the conferences. Beginning with the fourth edition in 2010, the papers presented at the conference have been published in the Journal of Settlements and Spatial Planning edited by the Research Centre on Settlements and Urbanism.
The major subjects proposed for debate at the conference RSLD 2014 are the following:
- Theoretical and methodological approaches of the concept of peripheral rural areas
- Local communities in peripheral rural areas. Status, dynamics, tendencies
- Management of settlements and resources in peripheral rural areas
- Environmental reconstruction and preservation in peripheral rural areas
- Economic activities in peripheral rural areas
- Policies and practices for the development of peripheral rural areas
- Traditional vs. modern in peripheral rural areas
Tourism – alternative economic activity in peripheral rural areas
The conference is organized by the Research Centre on Settlements and Urbanism, Faculty of Geography, Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. It is held every two years, with a distinct theme driven by the social context and the research intensity in the field. The theme is structured in a variable number of panels that are designed to guide the thematic area of the papers.
Since it is an international conference the official conference languages are English and Romanian. The conference venue changes every year, whereas participants are previously announced. The conference lasts over 3-5 days. Besides scientific activities it also includes numerous social activities such as: folklore shows, book launches, theme exhibitions, as well as field trips. Each time, the field trip is organized on a route chosen in accordance with the theme of the conference, aiming to provide a thorough presentation the phenomena and processes in the field.