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Doctoral thesis, 2012

Reutilisation of agricultural buildings

Bocz, György Ängelkott


Agricultural buildings (ABs) dominate the countryside and their reutilisation in periurban areas is important in rural diversification and in maintaining a living countryside. These constructions have been examined in various studies, but the reutilisation of ABs in tourism in a spatial context has not yet been scientifically analysed. This thesis analyses agricultural buildings and their properties in order to identify key issues concerning sustainable reutilisation in tourism and the Swedish periurban context. Using statistical data combined with information gathered from surveys, the thesis charts the dynamics of change in periurban AB stock in Sweden and the underlying reasons for these changes. Additional field studies examine the connections between human behaviour patterns/lifestyle and the use of built periurban infrastructure, including analyses of functions, use of materials and issues concerning aesthetics. Finally, actual tourism enterprises using ABs in Sweden are examined in terms of sustainability issues. The results show that rural tourism operators and visitors differ in their views and experiences of reused buildings and the services therein, although both groups consider aggregated building-related factors to be significantly more important than aggregated tourism-related factors. Differences in spatial character provide both advantages and disadvantages. The approaches and efforts of owners to create a sustainable business show similar patterns, irrespective of geographical location. A caretaker role, holistic thinking, management style, quality of service and personal relations are perceived as the cornerstones of sustainable operations. However, approaches to sustainability differ depending on the owner’s personality, lifestyle and background. Operators are also aware of the advantages and disadvantages of reutilising ABs in tourism. This thesis provides a better understanding of spatial issues and their influence on reutilisation of ABs in tourism that may help improve locally anchored sustainable development strategies for the countryside and assist authorities in addressing problems concerning owners, conservation and utilisation.


tourism; agricultural building; rural; architecture; periurban; vernacular; sustainability; rural construction; rural building; ; reutilization; Sweden; sustainable management

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2012, number: 2012:82
ISBN: 978-91-576-7729-7
Publisher: Dept. of Rural building and Animal Husbandry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Bocz, György Ängelkott
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Rural Buildings and Animal Husbandry [LBT]

Associated SLU-program

Built environment
Agricultural landscape

UKÄ Subject classification

Applied Psychology
Other Agricultural Sciences not elsewhere specified
Business Administration

URI (permanent link to this page)