The research was composed of two parts. In the first one, an attempt was made to determine spatial variations in the level of sustainable development of rural areas in the region of Green Lungs of Poland by means of taxonomic analysis. The level of sustainable development was presented as a meta-feature made up of three components: environmental, economic and social. The environmental component, which was the most difficult one to operationalise, was defined with the use of the typical pressure-state-response framework. The economic component was understood as characteristics of the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, economic activity characteristics, and the level of affluence (budgets) of rural communes. The social component was described by demographic structure, educational characteristics, social activity and living standards. The second part of the research project was designed to identify factors determining the current picture (level) of sustainable rural development within the region of Green Lungs of Poland. The main rationale for conducting the research, in the context of objectives and methods used in its first stage, was to verify the hypotheses proposed, select partial variables, and supplement the analysis with some important content to allow a more valid interpretation of research findings.


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