European Rural Futures - New opportunities to secu.. (EURUFU)
European Rural Futures - New opportunities to secure the provision of public services in rural cities and municipalities
Date du début: 30 avr. 2011,
Date de fin: 29 janv. 2014
Most of the European rural areas are facing the problem of shrinking population and a significant increase in the proportion of elderly residents; associated with related challenges like; increasing costs for provision and maintenance of public services and infrastructure, changes within the economic situation of communities and unbalanced labour markets. The consequences of demographic change and shrinking population have been identified as a new global issue. The transnational cooperation projects can here help to find an appropriate framework to enable share of experiences and test new innovative solutions in order to fight with the problem.This is also the intention of the EURUFU project that seeks to promote actions for the provision of innovative solutions to restructure services and infrastructure in shrinking regions and cities, bearing in mind the sustainable development of rural regions by developing and adapting integrated measures and strategies. Achievements: Demographic change is one of the great contemporarily challenges for many European regions. Even rural areas are marked by losses of population by migration or negative natural population balances. The CENTRAL EUROPE project European Rural Futures - EURUFU is tackling these problems of demographic change in rural areas within eight Central European Regions. Eurufu faces concrete topics like lack of educational and job opportunities, dying surplus and migration. These framework conditions influence the number of population. EURUFU analyzes the situation in rural partner regions, recommends specific fitting actions and realizes them in different fields of action like housing, social, transport infrastructure. The new transnational network is actively framing the demographic change in regions with typical problems. The starting phase was marked mainly by administrative and coordinative work, building up a management and communication structure. This phase was replaced by a phase with focus on identifying rural potentials by regional analyses, final definition and delineation of rural areas in Central Europe and the setting up of scenarios. Now the development of Pilot Actions (exemplary pilots that are solving certain challenges in the field of demographic change) could be finished and the realization (implementation) and testing of pilot actions was starting. According to the pre-defined field of actions the ideas for pilot actions became reality and visible in the regions. For example mobility advisors or courses for unemployed people helped to rise the attractiveness of regions or to avoid migration. From originally planned 10 pilot actions the consortium developed 17 pilot actions. This is a great success showing the engagement and creativity in this phase. Realizing pilot actions is the core element of EURUFU, because ideas have to meet real challenges. They have to be proofed in real conditions concerning social infrastructure, social housing, education, job opportunities, mobility. The consortium shared its results with representatives of media and stakeholders. During the pilot action development was made a joint conclusion that shows the single steps and difficulties in realizing the pilot actions. This kind of guideline is useful for stakeholders that wants to imitate the EURUFU pilots in their regions. For identifying rural potentials relevant criteria and standards were defined and a regional idea contest took place. Here a plenty of practilcal ideas for stabilizing shrinking regions were worked out.
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