BF 156/17: ROBUST - Rural-Urban Outlooks: Unlocking Synergies


Spatial development processes are increasingly characterised by exchange relationships between different regions. This also includes the different spatial types, so that urban-rural relationships are becoming increasingly important for the sustainable spatial development of rural areas. This EU project aims to improve the understanding of the relationships and interdependencies between rural, peri-urban and urban areas. Appropriately adapted policies, institutional processes and practical experiences for support will be analysed and elaborated in this project to exploit mutually beneficial relationships. These synergies should contribute to sustainable regional development, economic development and job creation in rural areas.

Status of the project

The Corona pandemic also left its mark on international research cooperation in 2020. The planned consortium meetings in Lucca, IT, and Graz, AT, did not take place or were held online. The work in 2020 took place primarily in work package 3 (in-depth case studies). The Federal Institute of Agricultural Economics and Mining Research (research partner) together with the Regional Management Styrian Central Region (practice partner) evaluated the interviews conducted with the 52 mayors in the study region, produced five good practice examples and worked intensively on four short reports. The Federal Institute for Agriculture and Mining is also responsible for the thematic leadership of the Community of Practice (CoP) "Public Infrastructure and Social Services". In the course of 2020, the preparation and publication of 28 good practice examples and four short reports was coordinated. In addition, the partners of the Austrian Living Lab prepared numerous contributions for conferences and specialist journals. The BAB serves as a contact for the LL teams and establishes the connection to the lead partner as well as to the work-package managers.

Work 2021

In the course of 2021, the implementation work for the selected project proposals will be completed in the 11 study regions. Due to the Corona pandemic, an extension of the project duration by six months until November 2021 was obtained from the EU Commission. As a research partner, the BAB will therefore be very intensively involved in the completion of the projects in the Styrian Central Region.  The Living Lab is also involved in the development of further good practice examples and short reports. In 2021, both the Living Lab report and the report on the Community of Practice "Public Infrastructure and Social Services" must be completed. In addition, there will be intensive dissemination work.

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Project Leader


Mag.a Theresia OEDL-Wieser

Rural Sociology and Library



Mag. Lisa Bauchinger

Mountain Areas Research and Regional Development
DAX, Thomas

Dr. Thomas Dax

Mountain Areas Research and Regional Development
Dietrichgasse 27
1030 Wien
 +43 (1) 71100 - 637415

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