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GRANULAR defines its next steps: Living Labs & Rural Compass

Jun 21, 2023 | GRANULAR, News

On the 19th and 20th of June, GRANULAR Executive Board and Living Lab facilitators met in Ede (The Netherlands) to discuss the upcoming steps of the project. The meeting focused on the role and needs of 7 GRANULAR Living Labs and the Rural Compass.

Living Labs in GRANULAR

Seven Living Labs have been set up as part of the GRANULAR project. These Living Labs are located in different European countries and represent a variety of rural territories. On 19th June, the facilitators of the seven GRANULAR Living Labs presented their thematic priorities, which have been identified alongside local actors. These cover a wide range of topics, from demographic change in the Pays Pyrénées Méditerranée and Ourense Living Labs to food value chains (Italy, Poland), climate (United Kingdom), and innovation (North of Sweden). 

Each Living Lab has defined a limited set of thematic priorities to be addressed in collaboration with GRANULAR partners and, for each one, specific data needs for which they would need more information. The table below provides an overview of what emerged from the discussion.

Living LabCountryThematic priorityExamples of data needs
Pays Pyrénées MéditerranéeFranceDemography, Natural capital, MobilityPublic transport usage, bicycle presence, sport activity data
Rural District Val di CecinaItalyAgriculture and food value chain, ecosystem services (water management), tourismWater availability, economic impact of tourism on farm profitability, environmental impacts of tourist flows
P10The NetherlandsWellbeingPublic service accessibility, resilience, rural housing affordability
West PomeraniaPolandFood value chainConsumer and producer perceptions
 OurenseSpainForest fires, demography (ultra centenarians), e-governanceWelfare services for very old population, forest biomass, potential implications of Artificial Intelligence in rural areas
North of SwedenSwedenPublic services, Business composition, InnovationN/A
Rural ScotlandUnited KingdomClimate change, natural capital, demographic change, community vulnerabilities, wellbeing economy, spatial inequalityClimate data, CAP-related data

The Rural Compass in GRANULAR

The GRANULAR Rural Compass was also one of the key points discussed during the meeting. The Rural Compass aims to become an analytical tool aimed at characterising rural areas and advising rural policy development, from policy design to implementation.

As conceived so far, the Rural Compass is conceived as a four-dimensional tool, looking at the four functionalities of rural areas:

  • Residential functionalities
  • Productive functionalities
  • Environmental functionalities
  • Recreational functionalities

At this stage, Wageningen University is developing a Prototype of the Rural Compass, that will be then tested in targeted rural territories and with respect to specific rural policies.

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