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Understanding the diversity of rural areas

Nov 10, 2023 | Events, News

GRANULAR and RUSTIK projects developing new ways of looking at rural areas, to be explored Knowledge Transfer Accelerator event on 27 November.

A key starting point for the GRANULAR project, of which AEIDL is a partner, is that there is a need for a more nuanced understanding of the diversity of rural areas and the interlinkages within the rural-urban continuum in Europe.

Against this background, one of the activities of GRANULAR is to develop a multi-criteria territorial typology for EU rural areas that is aligned with key policy priorities. The initial phases of this work have consisted of scoping existing territorial typologies across Europe and a comparative assessment of these typologies, focusing on how they are used and how they are constructed, as well as their main strengths and weaknesses.

This resulted in a scoping report on European rural typologies, to which AEIDL contributed, which provides a way forward for the coming stages of work. This is also complemented by a study on Screening Rural Data Sources as the quality of data is essential to then understand the different types of rural areas. 

Of course, we are not alone in this as GRANULAR’s sister project RUSTIK has also been very active and recently published its first deliverable, “Exploring the rural-urban continuum”. This methodological framework aims to define Functional Rural Areas and propose a new approach to their classification.

To make rural areas ready to adapt to changes it is important to understand how different drivers and trends impact rural areas, and how they respond to change. Hence the need to develop a conceptual framework that explains rural areas’ capacity to respond to the socio-economic/demographic, environmental/climate and digital aspects.  It is important to develop a place-based path and scale up successes at a local level,with appropriate facilitation from national, regional, and local governments.

Furthermore, the SHERPA project, which concluded in September, is busy publishing its final set of studies. Last July  SHERPA published a report on this topic, “Foresight  prospects for the future of EU rural areas”, which identifies some drivers of change and plausible scenarios that will be instrumental in defining the trajectory of rural areas within the European Union. To advance this thinking further AEIDL will facilitate a joint event between RUSTIK and GRANULAR to share and compare findings of our respective studies. A first opportunity will take place at the Knowledge Transfer Accelerator event organised by AEIDL on 27 November.

You can register here.