Our recently published zine draws on research, stories and practices from around Europe to explore what regenerative and equitable rural futures might look like…

How Can We Create Thriving Rural Places For All?

Shared Assets is in its fourth year of working as part of the Ruralization project, where research has explored how to overcome rural economic and population decline, investigating  ‘Ruralisation’ as a counterforce to urbanisation

In 2019, our Lead Research Coordinator Kim wrote a blog integrating ‘utopia as a method’ for the Ruralization project. They underlined the importance of visioning and dreaming for the future in order to work towards it:

“A large part of the Ruralization project is capturing the dreams of young people living in rural areas all over Europe, by asking them to imagine the future they’d like to have in 10 to 15 years’ time. Where would they like to live? What would they want to do for work, or fill their spare time with?”

Now in the final stages of the project, we wanted our final output to circle back to this idea, and we set out to create a zine answering: “HOW CAN WE CREATE THRIVING RURAL PLACES FOR ALL?”. This zine intends to transform complex research that has been conducted by the Ruralization Project into material that can be widely understood, celebrated and enjoyed; and we can’t wait to share it.

A graphic of four pages from the zine, displaying the cover page, contents and two half pages of colourful graphics and writing.

More about the zine…

We hosted an event last year to bring together people wanting to reimagine rural futures, hosting a discussion to understand which areas of the Ruralization project resonated most strongly within a UK context. We used these discussions to guide us, honing in on three main themes which we explored in the zine:

  1. Access to Land; exploring ideas and structures to help access and feel belonging to the land.
  2. Reframing relationships with people and the land: representing the narrative that people can live in relation to, and not in opposition to, beautiful and wild landscapes.
  3. How liveable is the rural?: spotting the differences and similarities in urban and rural environments, and pointing towards ways we live and thrive in both.
A colourful graphic organising the event 'How can we create thriving rural places for all' with details of time, zoom access and a description about the workshop.
Our event late last year: exploring ideas for the zine with people working and interested in rural futures, discussing themes of housing, agroecology, commoning and rural economies.

We are really hoping to bring the Ruralization project to as broad an audience as possible through this work. You can access the whole zine digitally below, and share it as far and wide as you can.

If you want to get in touch about a printed copy or printed copies to share with others, please get in touch with hello@sharedassets.org.uk.

We want to thank all the partners at Ruralization for their work. You can find more resources on the Ruralization website: including rural trends, case studies telling stories from around Europe, policy recommendations from the project.

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