Facilitating rural newcomers

Nieuws - 22 mei 2019 - Communication BK

Rural areas in the EU are faced with depopulation and apparent poor development opportunities. The Ruralization project, funded by the European Commission under the H2020 programme, aims to develop knowledge and support policy making in answering these challenges. The goal is to facilitate rural newcomers and new entrants to farming. BK Bouwkunde leads the consortium of 18 organisations from 12 European countries. 

The economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU is threatened by the unequal development of urban and rural areas. For instance, the population is expected to grow with 12% in urban areas between 2014 and 2020, while a decline of 7% is expected in rural regions. Significant differences are registered in per capita GDP as well. All in all, rural areas are faced with specific constraints related with depopulation and apparently poor development opportunities and the transition from primary sector focused areas.

The Ruralization project, funded by the European Commission under H2020 programme, aims at developing knowledge and support policy making in answering some of the challenges above mentioned. Specifically, the project aims to facilitate rural newcomers and new entrants to farming. The project will improve understanding of rural regeneration in particular. This includes the issue of access to land, define innovative instruments and strategies to facilitate generational renewal in agriculture and rural development and support policy making to make rural dreams for new rural generations true.

The project involves the participation of 18 organisations from 12 European countries, including universities, research institutes, SMEs and other practitioners, such as five members of the Access to Land Network. This multi-disciplinary consortium will put in place research and innovation activities ensuring the involvement of farmers, young people and rural entrepreneurs, following a multi-actor approach.

The project will last for 48 months starting and started on 1 May 2019. Representatives from the project partners and from the Stakeholders Advisory Board convened to Barcelona for the kick-off meeting on 15 and 16 May, to discuss further details and project activities. The kick-off meeting has been enriched by the participation of the European Commission services (DG AGRI) and the Research Executive Agency, as well as the contribution of some of the members of the Advisory Board.

Project partners: BK Bouwkunde TU Delft (the Netherlands), Terre de Liens and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, with as linked third party Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France), ILS-Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung and Kulturland eG (Germany), Xarxa de Custòdia del Territori and Consulta Europa Projects and Innovation SL (Spain), Uniwerytet Wrocławski (Poland), Shared Assets (UK), Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Pro Vértes and University of Debrecen (Hungary), Università della Calabria (Italy), De Landgenoten (Belgium), University of Turku (Finland), Eco Ruralis (Romania), NUI Galway and Teagasc–Agriculture and Food Development Authority (Ireland).

More information

Contact project leader Willem Korthals Altes for more information.