Neues EU-Projekt: Rural-Urban Outlooks: Unlocking Synergies – ROBUST

Theresia Oedl-Wieser

ROBUST is a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. It is coordinated by Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The project receives funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988. ROBUST kicked off in June 2017 and will run for 48 months until 2021. The overall goal of ROBUST is to a) advance our understanding of the interactions and dependencies between rural, peri-urban and urban areas and b) to identify and promote policies, governance models and practices that foster mutually beneficial relations. Improved governance arrangements and synergies between rural, peri-urban and urban areas will in turn contribute to Europe’s smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, maximising the creation of rural jobs and value-added.

The project focusses on five domains of urban-rural relations & interdependencies: 1) New businesses and labour markets; 2) Public infrastructures and social services; 3) Sustainable food systems, 4) Cultural connections, and 5) Ecosystem services. These domains will be studied in 11 place-based living labs: Ede (Netherlands), Tukums (Latvia), Helsinki (Finland), Mid-Wales (UK), Gloucestershire (UK), Frankfurt-Rhein-Main metropole (Germany), Ljubljana Urban Region (Slovenia), Styria (Austria), Valencia (Spain), Province of Lucca (Italy) and Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region (Portugal). Each Living Labs will focus on three domains of urban-rural relations.

Living Labs

Policy makers, researchers, citizens, business and other stakeholders develop and test new solutions for rural-urban interactions.

Communities of Practice

In 5 Communities of Practice the Living Labs share their findings and experiences across Europe. They are: New businesses and labour market, Public infrastructures and social services, Sustainable food systems, Cultural connections, Ecosystem services.

In each Living Lab a research organisation (university, research institute or consultancy firm) will collaborate with a local or regional authority. For the Austrian case the Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and Mountaious Areas will collaborate with the Regional Management Steirischer Zentralraum. In total the ROBUST consortium consists of 24 partners: 11 research organisations, 11 local or regional authorities and two umbrella organisations: the Peri-Urban Regions Platform Europe (PURPLE) and the European Secretariat of the International Network of Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI Europe).

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Kontakt: Theresia Oedl-Wieser und Thomas Dax, Bundeanstalt für Bergbauernfragen und

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