ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


ICLEI World Secretariat
Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 7
53113 Bonn

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

RURITAGE – Rural regeneration through systemic heritage-led strategies

What we are doing

RURITAGE establishes a new heritage-led rural regeneration paradigm able to transform rural areas in sustainable development demonstration ‘laboratories’, through the enhancement of their unique Cultural and Natural Heritage potential. Based on past research and experiences, RURITAGE identifies 6 Systemic Innovation Areas (SIAs) (Pilgrimage, Sustainable Local Food Production, Migration, Art and festivals, Resilience, Integrated Landscape management) and 11 Cross-cutting Themes transversal to every SIA (Business models and investment strategies, Governance and regulatory framework, Legal aspects and land tenure, Technological innovation, Social innovation, Environment and climate change, Cultural Ecosystem Services, Mental wellbeing, Tourism and Marketing strategies, Cultural and natural heritage safeguarding, appreciation and interpretation, Mobility and accessibility of the areas) which represent the ways in which cultural heritage acts as driver for regeneration of a rural area and its economic, social and environmental development. Through the analysis of 13 selected Role Models in Europe and beyond, and of how SIAs and cross-cutting themes successfully interacted in the Role Models, RURITAGE will support the co-creation and implementation of heritage-led regeneration strategies in 6 Replicators, involving local stakeholders in the formulation of the strategies, ensuring a collective approach in the management, responsibility and ownership of Cultural and Natural Heritage.

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What we are achieving

ICLEI leads the dissemination and communication. In this context a plan is delivered responding to the particularities of the rural areas, that are often “hard to reach” and both physically and technologically remote. The team engages with national and local independent production companies for television and radio broadcasts as internet use may not be available or widespread in all rural communities. Furthermore, ICLEI supports local partners in developing their local plans through capacity building, including one local communication workshop and one local communication webinar to provide additional training. ICLEI, together with UNESCO, enhances the link between RURITAGE and a wider community of interested parties at global level based in the mandate of sustainable development and performed by their networks. More precisely, ICLEI supports the cooperation with the countries covered by the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) by identifying key conferences and events where the RURITAGE Replication Tool Box can be disseminated. Finally, ICLEI hosts a Dialogue Breakfast with European policy-makers in Brussels using the ICLEI Breakfast@Sustainability series.

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Almende, Association Institutio Pro Educati, Borghi Italia Tour Network, CARTIF Technology Center, Centre for Systems Solutions, Colombian Federation of Municipalities, Compostela Pilgrim Ways Agency, Consulta Europa Projects and Innovation, Distretto Agroalimentare Regionale, ÉMI, Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Geo-Naturepark Bergstrasse-Odenwald, Gornja Radgona Institute for Culture, Harghita County, Haute-Provence Geopark, Innovation and Management Centre, Italian Agency for the Promotion of European Research, Katla Geopark, KIBLA Multimedia Centre, Magma Geopark, Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Polytechnic University of Turin, Project for the Integration and Welcoming of Immigrants, Santa María la Real Foundation of Historical Heritage, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Tourism and Promotion, UNESCO - United Nations Educational, University of Bologna, University of Crete, University of Plymouth, Visegrád City Council,

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RURITAGE Resource Ecosystem
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