Venkov - žitý prostor:regionální diferenciace percepce venkova představiteli venkovských obcí v Česku
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This article seeks to contribute to discussion concerning the concept of countryside in geo-graphical sciences. In the first section it discusses selected approaches for assessing rural areas and presents key stimulants from the new regional and cultural geography (rural areas as a socio-spatial process and as living space). The second section presents exam¬ples of empirical findings from a field survey, the respondents to which were mayors of rural municipalities - with up to 3,000 inhabitants - in Czechia. We empirically explore the truthfulness of a thesis concerning the existence of several distinct types of rural areas in Czechia: rural areas with differing development potential and diverse problems, calling for the use of different instruments in overcoming the problems in question. The results of the survey make it possible to assess the territorial differences of so-called soft factors of rural- municipality development (perceptions regarding rural areas, inhabitants’ relationship to the territory of their municipality, local pride, the conditions and indicators of a successful municipality).