Rural regeneration through systemic heritage-led strategies

2018 - 2022

European rural areas embody outstanding examples of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CNH) that need to not only to be safeguarded, but also promoted as drivers for competitiveness, sustainable and inclusive growth and development. RURITAGE establishes a new heritage-led rural regeneration paradigm able to turn rural areas into sustainable development demonstration laboratories through the enhancement of their unique CNH potential. RURITAGE has identified six Systemic Innovation Areas (pilgrimages; sustainable local food production; migration; art and festivals; resilience; and integrated landscape management) which, integrated with cross-cutting themes, showcase heritage potential as a powerful engine for economic, social and environmental development of rural areas.

The knowledge built in 13 Role Models (RMs) and digested within the project will be transferred to six Replicators (Rs) across Europe. Through a multilevel and multidirectional process of knowledge transfer, RMs will mentor and support the Replicators in the development and implementation of their strategies and, at the same time, will further increase their knowledge and capacities. A robust monitoring system will assist this process. Local Rural Heritage Hubs, gathering stakeholders and civil society, will be settled in Replicators to work as living labs where heritage-led rural regeneration strategies will be co-created and implemented, while, in RMs, they will reinforce the ownership of CNH.

Both RMs and Rs will also benefit from the RURITAGE Resources Ecosystem – a set of tools including, among others, a rural landscape mapping tool (RURITAGE Atlas) and a Replication Toolbox within an online and interoperable platform. These tools will foster knowledge-building, providing evidence and supporting replication and up-scaling activities of implemented, heritage-led regeneration strategies and plans, contributing to mainstreaming heritage in regional, national, European and global policies.

See also the article published by the European Commission (CORDIS): Supporting resilience in rural communities to face life-changing challenges.


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 776465.