What is remote-rural and why is it important?

Sayed Abdul Majid Gilani*, Naveed Yasin, Peter Duncan, Anne Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The discourse related to explaining the meaning of rural, particularly in contrast to urban areas, is well established and crucial for policy as well as other decision makers. However, it can be argued that not all rural can be classified as the same. In comparison to rural in general, the discussion related to the nature of “remote-rural‟ is comparatively under-explored. The aim of this paper is to contribute towards the understanding of the concept as well as definitions related to remote- rural, particularly (but not exclusively) in a Scottish context. Based on a conceptual literature review, key findings in this paper are introduced in the form of five dimensions of rurality. The dimensions are (1) population and population density, (2) proximity to urban areas; (3) development, (4) culture and (5) social perceptions. These dimensions are then applied through a mini-case study on the Island of Islay. Another key finding from this paper is the recognition of rural as well as remote-rural being a multi-faceted concept in which traditional quantitative measures such as proximity to urban settlements may be woven together with modern measures such as broadband access/speeds. This paper also proposes for policymakers to consider the concept of remote-rural while formulating policy to improve broadband adoption/use in isolated/remote areas in Scotland. The limitations of the study as well as avenues for future research are discussed in the final section.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Dec 2021


  • remote-rural, rural areas, isolated areas, rural classification and rural


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