Rural areas

Rural Europe is characterised by a diversity of natural areas and cultivated agricultural landscapes. More than half of the European population lives and works in these regions, which have grown slowly over centuries. Changing social and political conditions always lead to new political challenges. For example, demographic change and the associated emigration, the increased mobility of the population, or the globalisation of markets.

Integrated rural development has long been an important field of research and consultancy for the IfLS. We deal with the sustainable development of rural areas and the associated local and global issues of the future. We develop concepts, work in the field of research and consulting, record ecological and social interrelations and evaluate them.

Contact person/s at IfLS: Jörg Schramek (schramek[at], +49 (0) 69/9726683-14) und Simone Sterly (sterly[at], +49 (0) 69/9726683-15)

Projects in the field

Pilot project

Preparatory Action on Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century – Smart Rural 21

'Smart villages' in the context of the Smart Rural 21 project are understood as rural areas and communities which - building on their strengths and challenges - follow a development and innovation process based on participation and cooperation....

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EU-wide LEADER Evaluation – Case Study Germany

On behalf of the European Commission, the study investigates the contribution of LEADER to a balanced territorial development. For this purpose, it draws on document analyses, online surveys and case studies, including expert interviews with a wide...

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Ongoing Evaluation of the Rural Development Program of Rhineland-Palatinate until 2024 – EULLE

Following an EU-wide invitation to tender, the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Food, Viticulture and Forestry, Rhineland-Palatinate commissioned the IfLS with the ongoing evaluation of the Rural Development Plan of Rheinland-Pfalz  2014-2020...

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Ongoing evaluation of the Rural Development Programme of Baden-Wurttemberg until 2024 – MEPL III

Following an EU-wide invitation to tender, the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection (MLR) commissioned the IfLS with the ongoing evaluation of the Rural Development Plan of Baden-Württemberg 2014-2020 (MEPL III) in...

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Socio-economic analysis and SWOT analysis within the framework of the elaboration of the EAFRD Rural Development Programme of the Federal State of Thuringia (funding period 2014-2020)

The Institute for Rural Development Research has been commissioned by the Federal State of Thuringia to support the elaboration of its EAFRD Rural Development Programme (RDP) for the 2014-2020 funding period. As a basis, a comprehensive...

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Needs analysis for investment support in regions with marginal agricultural productivity – GrenzInvest

Studies have shown that the demand for investment support is lower in regions with marginal agricultural productivity than in favoured areas. This is especially true for the support of agricultural investments (‘Agrarinvestitionsförderungsprogramm’ –...

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Transition Pathways to Regional Sustainability of Agriculture in Europe – FarmPath

In FarmPath, we propose that increasing sustainability in agriculture is best addressed by enabling flexible combinations of farming models, which vary to reflect the specific opportunity sets embedded in regional culture, agricultural capability,...

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Enlarging the theoretical understanding of rural development – ETUDE

Rural development policies are widening the scope from a focus on farm structures to a broader framework that includes the rural economy as a whole and the quality of life in rural areas. Simultaneously, patterns of governance have started to change:...

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Capitalisation of research results on the multifunctionality of agriculture and rural areas – MULTAGRI

With a partnership of 26 research organisations from 15 countries this project will provide a complete overview of the research that has been carried out, particularly in Europe, on the different aspects related to the multifunctionality of...

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