University of Thessaly, Polytechnic School, Department of Planning and Regional Development, Pedion Areos, 38334 Volos and University Blaise Pascal (CERAMAC), Maison des Sciences de l’Homme – 4, rue Ledru 63057 Clermont-Ferrand,
Marie Noëlle DUQUENNE
University of Thessaly, Polytechnic School, Department of Planning and Regional Development, Pedion Areos, 38334 Volos
Rural areas so-called ‘fragile’ have rarely been object of theoretical and methodological approach, aiming at delimiting the concept of fragility and at specifying his components. As well as there is no theoretical approach to define these milieus, there is no either general agreement on the notion of fragile space. Numerous are the authors who use this notion without specifying contents, or defining its outlines. Arise then the question to know, what is really meant by this concept. This is the first task of this article which seeks to trace the history of the concept and its use by authors. If the concept of fragility seems to have obvious filiations with the concepts of periphery, marginal and underprivileged space, we propose to show that this concept refers to a more complex reality and in any case, a fact.
Assuming that the fragility is not a state but indeed a process, the question is then, in on one hand, to specify-it through its multiple constituents and on the other hand to translate these last ones on a set of appropriate and quantifiable indicators.
By taking as study area, the northern region of Greece which has recently benefited from a great highway infrastructure (Via Egnatia), we propose using the methods of multicriteria analysis, to highlight the types and degrees of fragility of the subregional areas of northern Greece. The use of factor analysis methods and classification confer us the possibility to make a typology of these areas well beyond traditional approaches of disadvantaged areas, marginal or peripheral.