Systemic Innovation Areas Webinar Series “Cultural and Natural Heritage as a Tool for Rural Regeneration and Social Inclusion of Migrants”

After a series of webinars introducing RURITAGE’s paradigm (recordings here) this autumn we launched a series of public webinars on RURITAGE Systemic Innovation Areas. The first theme was Resilience.

Beyond the challenges presented by the migration crisis, especially in the countries most affected by their arrival (e.g. Greece and Italy) and by the asylum seekers (e.g. Germany), the arrival of ‘incomers’ can also create opportunities for repopulation, growth and rural regeneration.

In this context, cultural and natural heritage (CNH), particularly local tradition, languages, art and crafts or even agriculture can play an important role in boosting and accelerating the process of integration and regeneration.

Indeed, despite the challenges posed, rural areas can take advantage of the opportunities provided by an influx of migrants as a source of new vitality to restore declining villages. In areas suffering from population decline and closing services, the arrival of migrants can create new opportunities for growth. Migrant contributions can be financial, but also in the form of social remittances, exchange of expertise and cultural change.

During this webinar, on the 27th of October, several RURITAGE partners shared their experience in building more inclusive and diverse communities. Experts from UNIBO Planning and Regeneration research group introduced the Migration holistic concept with focus on rural areas, to demonstrate that it is possible to contribute to the social inclusion of marginal communities, migrants and refugees. Partners from RURITAGE Migration Role Models – PIAM Onlus in Italy and the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest in Greece – shared their good practices on migrant’s hospitality and integration. Representatives from the Geo-Naturpark Bergstrasse-Odenwald (UNESCO Global Geopark) in Germany, one of the 6 RURITAGE Replicators, provided insights on how they capitalize from RURITAGE methodologies to use CNH as a sustainable tool to boost migrant’s integration in the area.

You can see this webinar here