Factors for the Development of the New Rural Economy on the Example of Northeastern Poland
Purpose: An essential element of local development is the possibility of multifunctional rural development, particularly the increased importance of non-agricultural functions, which is the basis of the new rural economy. The issue is essential in regions with a high share of rural areas; hence the article aims to determine the level of development of the new rural economy in urban-rural and rural communes in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Podlasie voivodships. Design/Methodology/Approach: The ranking of communes is carried out based on a synthetic measure constructed by the taxonomic step of development by Z. Hellwig. The artificial action is created based on specific indicators, the selection of which is justified by the literature on the subject. Findings: The new rural economy is characterized by a declining share of the primary sector of the economy, the development of the information society, extensive social networks, and a growing level of entrepreneurship. Its status in north-eastern Poland varies, and it is higher in the communes of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodship than in Podlasie. Practical Implications: The study supports the idea that the new rural economy does not mean that rural areas become more like the urbanized ones, which could adversely affect the quality of life through the decline of spatial features and landscape. Northeastern Poland has the characteristics to adopt the propose factors for further development. Originality /Value: The analysis shows the spatial concentration of municipalities with a high level of development of the new rural economy, which results from general socio-economic processes (e.g., urban sprawl) and favorable conditions for the development of non-agricultural functions. As a result, it is recommended to research the correlation of the level of development of the new rural economy with, for example, sightseeing and natural values.