The Covid-19 pandemic effects in rural areas

Rural communities tell us the story of a thousand of years of collaboration between nature, culture and humans. The current Covid-19 pandemic is considerably threating rural areas, posing challenges exacerbated by low available financial resources, not easily accessible health services and greater isolation. Rural areas are also considered safe shelters characterized by better daily living conditions thanks to easy to maintain social distancing and access to nature, to cultural and nature-based recreation activities. The Covid-19 crisis is revealing the crucial role of natural and cultural heritage for social cohesion, local development and mental wellbeing. The paper presents some responses to the Covid-19 crisis collected through an open call for action within the RURITAGE project. It aims at show how rural areas can cope with emergencies and it builds the basis to rethink the current crisis as a crucial tipping point for a resilient development of rural territories. It is key to overcome the idea of rural areas as mere food production system, calling for a broader vision of rural communities as poles of development based on local heritage, natural resources, creativity and social inclusion as essential elements to regenerate rural areas and to rapidly support their transition towards sustainable future.

de Luca, C., Tondelli, S., & Åberg, H. (2020). The Covid-19 pandemic effects in rural areas. TeMA – Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 119-132.

La rigenerazione delle aree rurali a partire dal patrimonio culturale: l’hub del Borgo per l’Alta Val Taro

Abstract: Coming soon

Pivetti, C., Conticelli, E., De Luca, C., & Tondelli, S. (2019). URBANISTICA iNFORMAZIONI, SPECIAL ISSUE, NO. 278 s.i., Marzo – Aprile 2018, PP. 66-71

Inclusion of migrants for rural regeneration through cultural and natural heritage valorization

Rural areas all over Europe are facing similar chronic economic, social and environmental problems such as depopulation, reduced service provision, ageing, decline of agriculture income, inhibited accessibility. At the same time, rural landscapes are continuously threatened by loss of biodiversity, climate change impacts and short-term management decisions and perspectives that further aggravate the economic and social conditions of rural communities. Despite these critical socio-economic conditions, rural areas are cradles of civilization, repositories of old traditions, dialects and languages, of uses, handcrafts skills and social practices which must be preserved and exploited. The majority of the European heritage is found in rural areas, therefore Cultural and Natural Heritage can represent a driver for migrants’ integration, by fostering a heritage based sustainable regeneration of rural territories that is able to support a new model of integration. The overall aim of the paper is to investigate the challenges and possibilities offered by migration trends in rural areas to create rural regeneration models for inclusion of migrants and refugees, based on cultural and natural heritage introducing them to the job market. Section 2 explains the methodology of the study and gives an insight of the research topic within the overall RURITAGE project methodology. Two case studies of rural regeneration through the inclusion of migrants into the valorisation processes of cultural and natural heritage are presented in Section 3, while the preliminary results and main findings are discussed in Section 4. In Section 5, conclusions and future research steps are presented.

Conticelli, E., De Luca, C., Egusquiza, A., Santangelo, A. & Tondelli, S. (2019). Inclusion of migrants forrural regeneration through cultural and natural heritage valorization. In C. Gargiulo & C. Zoppi (Eds.),Planning, nature and ecosystem services (pp. 323-332). Naples: FedOAPress. ISBN: 978-88-6887-054-6, doi:10.6093/978-88-6887-054.6