Most of European rural areas are facing the same economic, social and environmental problems, resulting in unemployment, depopulation, marginalisation or loss of cultural, biological and landscape diversity. In most cases, tangible and intangible natural and cultural heritage is threatened. At the same time, some rural areas are managing to overturn these conditions by developing successful heritage-led regeneration strategies.
RURITAGE is a 4-year EU-funded project under the Horizon 2020 programme. The main ambition of RURITAGE is the creation of an innovative rural regeneration paradigm based on Cultural and Natural Heritage, consolidating the role of culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development and contributing to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability in rural areas. By establishing a new heritage-led rural regeneration approach, RURITAGE aims to turn rural areas into sustainable development demonstration laboratories, through the enhancement of their unique heritage potential. Based on past research and experiences, RURITAGE has identified 6 Systemic Innovation Areas, namely Pilgrimage, Resilience, Sustainable Local Food production, Integrated Landscape Management, Migration and Art & Festival, and 11 Cross-cutting Themes, which represent the ways in which cultural heritage acts as driver for regeneration of a rural area and its economic, social and environmental development.
Through the analysis of 13 selected Role Models (i.e. rural communities which have demonstrably and successfully pursued a heritage-led regeneration within one of the 6 Systemic Innovation Areas), RURITAGE will support the co-creation and implementation of heritage-led regeneration strategies in 6 Replicators (i.e. rural communities that replicate the heritage-led regeneration strategies of the Role Models to fit their particular contexts). Thanks to the high number of involved Role Models and Replicators, RURITAGE ensures the high transferability and adaptability of the developed novel rural regeneration paradigm. RURITAGE will thus boost knowledge about cultural and natural heritage management and valorisation in rural areas by identifying practices and solution for heritage-led regeneration strategies.
RURITAGE aims to foster the mainstreaming of cultural and natural heritage within regional policies and to make regions earmark funding resources for heritage. It aims at mobilizing sustainable funding by the direct involvement of all relevant stakeholders (both public and private) as well as citizens. Through the collective community-management, RURITAGE will gather stakeholders and local communities in a new form of collaboration, engaging them in a participatory and community based heritage management and planning to foster responsibility and ownership of Cultural and Natural Heritage through co-creation. The RURITAGE Resources Ecosystem, conceived as an open and online data platform, will ensure effective knowledge sharing and mutual learning by integrating the innovative tools (RURITAGE ATLAS, Decision Support System, My Cult-Rural App, the replication toolbox) developed within RURITAGE. All information and relevant tools will remain online available beyond the end of the project.
RURITAGE Knowledge Transfer Tree
Through the analysis of 13 selected Role Models (i.e. rural communities which have demonstrably and successfully pursued a heritage-led regeneration within one of the 6 Systemic Innovation Areas), RURITAGE will support the co-creation and implementation of heritage-led regeneration strategies in 6 Replicators (i.e. rural communities that replicate the heritage-led regeneration 'blueprints' of the Role Models to fit their particular contexts).