Population migration from rural to urban settings has been a dominant trend in Europe since the Industrial Revolution, while urban-to-rural fluxes and “back-to-the-land” movements are marginal phenomena. Can we, in modern Europe, create a process of ruralisation as a counterforce to urbanisation? What are the drivers behind the demographic and economic dynamism of some rural regions? How do regenerative patterns in agriculture (generational renewal, access to land for peasant agroecology, multifunctional farms) materialise and impact the development rural areas?
These are some of the overarching questions that will mobilise the partners of the EU-funded RURALIZATION project in the next years. A 4-years long, 18-partners strong, €5.9 million-resourced project, RURALIZATION has high ambitions. Our work will be organised in thematic work packages to (1) improve understanding of the trends impacting rural regeneration and the aspirations of new generations, (2) define enabling contexts and practices which allow newcomers, new entrants into farming, and farm successors to thrive in rural areas (3) study patterns of land access in EU member states and develop cutting-edge knowledge of the innovative practices to favour access to land.
The full potential of the project shall be realised through an integrated, multi-disciplinary consortium of practitioner organisations, universities, a state agency and a SME; with an innovative methodological framework and a locally-adapted communication and dissemination plan. These assets will enable the consortium to develop strong policy tools, strategies, and recommendations to meet the challenges of rural regeneration in Europe.
* Access to Land members and partners involved in Ruralization include: De Landgenoten (Belgium), Eco Ruralis (Romania), Kulturland eG (Germany), Shared Assets (UK), Terre de Liens (France), Xarxa per a la Conservació de la Natura (Spain). See our members page for more information!