Dynamics of Rural Areas - 2nd semester


a) To understand the concept of rural area;
b) To justify the diversity of disciplinary approaches in the study of the complexity of the rural areas;
c) To reflect about the importance of different perspectives for the protection of the intrinsic values of the rural areas;
d) To assimilate the basic knowledge about the Common Agricultural Policy and to articulate it with the real situation in Portugal;
e) To discuss the validity of alternative agricultural modes of production;
f) To recognize strategies to create dynamics in the rural areas;
g) To evaluate critically different representations of space;
h) To analyze the meaning of spatial relations between the city and the countryside;
i) To develop technical reports based on a holistic approach of the rural areas;
j) To show capacity to analyze and summarize when applying the acquired knowledge.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Maria Firmino


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Buttel, F. H. (2006). Sustaining the unsustainable: agro-food systems and environment in the modern world. In P. Cloke, T. Marsden & P. Mooney, The Handbook of Rural Studies, London: Sage, chapter 15, p. 213 – 229.

Firmino, A. (2014). Food and Consumption: How a Meal can Change the World. In M. Cawley, A.
M. Bicalho, L. Laurens (ed.), The Sustainability of Rural Systems: global and local challenges and opportunities. NUI Galway: Whitaker Institute and CSRS of the International Geographical Union, chapter 8, p. 84 – 94. [ISBN No: 978-0-9574255-0-7].

Indrio, F. (s/d). Agricultura Biológica. Mem Martins: Publicações Europa-América, pp.11-23; 57-72;77-81;111-120.

Rede Rural Nacional (2013). Turismo Rural. RRRN, nº 2, DGPR, p. 4-34.

Woods, M. (2005). Rural Geography. London: Sage Publications, pp. 3-16; 110-126.

Teaching method

Teaching methods:
Expositive and participative teaching; discussion of case-studies; field work.

Evaluation method

Test of all the program (60%), individual or group essay (until 3 students), based on literature and documental information, resulting from autonomous research, eventually field work (25%). Those who attended more than 60% of the practical classes will get a bonus of 5% in the practical work. Oral presentation with powerpoint (20 minutes) followed by public debate (10%).

(According to the FCSH Assessment Standards, the proposed evaluation elements to introduce students in the first class may suffer readjustments, particularly in the percentage of each element).

Subject matter

1) Definition of concepts of rural areas and global landscape
2) Multifunctionality of rural areas
3) Edapho-climatic hindrances and potentialities : soils and land use capacity; agricultural production and climate
4) Agriculture and changes in land use: environmental and landscape impacts
5) Agriculture and technological evolution: from green revolution to biotechnological revolution
6) The Common Agricultural policy and the modernization of the agricultural sector: EMA (European Modell of Agriculture) and the Agro-Environmental Measures
7) Environmental Ethics: introduction to alternative production systems (integrated pest management, organic farming, bio-dynamics and permaculture)
8) Development Policies for the rural world: instruments to boost the dynamics in the rural areas.


Programs where the course is taught: