RURITAGE - Rural regeneration through systemic heritage-led strategies

Challenge: WHY the innovation has been developed? What problem is addressed and why has not been not solved before?

European rural areas embody outstanding examples of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CNH) that need not only to be preserved but also to be promoted as a catalyst of economic competitiveness and sustainable and inclusive growth. Despite this, most rural areas are facing chronic economic, social and environmental problems, resulting in unemployment, disengagement, depopulation, marginalisation or loss of cultural, biological and landscape diversity. In most cases, tangible and intangible cultural heritage is threatened. This condition can be overturned by demonstrating the heritage potential for sustainable growth.

Solution: WHAT the solution is about? HOW it goes beyond the state of the art?

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. Through the identification of 6 Systemic Innovation Areas (SIAs) (Pilgrimage, Sustainable Local Food Production, Migration, Art and festivals, Resilience, Integrated Landscape management) and the analysis of 11 Cross-cutting Themes in 13 Role Models (RMs), RURITAGE will showcase heritage potential as a powerful economic, social and environmental motivator for regeneration, sustainable development, economic growth and improvement of people’s well-being and living environment in 6 Replicators (Rs). Moreover, through the creation of 19 Rural Heritage Hubs (RHHs) and 1 Digital Rural Heritage Hub (Digital RHH), RURITAGE will foster collective management, responsibility and ownership of Cultural and Natural Heritage.

End-users and examples of uses: WHO will beneficiate/ is beneficiating from the solution? WHERE and HOW the solution has been adopted? How will impact people or end-users? Add as more as possible examples of market and society uptakes

RURITAGE beneficiaries are rural communities as defined below: - Municipalities and towns in rural areas - Local Action Groups (LAGs) - Local agencies (public or semi-public organisations), responsible for the design and implementation of specific policies (economic development, energy supply, health services, transport, etc.). - SMEs and Start-ups - Private foundation, banks, investment agencies - Non-profit organisations (NGOs, local associations, etc.)

Future possibilities: Future market perspectives when the innovation will be fully available or in use

The rural communities that will beneficiate form RURITAGE approach will have the opportunity to learn from the Role Models, Replicators and knowledge experts and to access a wide range of tools and knowledge to develop heritage-led regeneration plans. This will enable them to subsequently implement strategies adapted to their own rural territory and increase the visibility of their region.

Media coverage



Simona Tondelli (

Application sectors:

  • Cultural Tangible and intangible landscapes
  • Heritage-led urban regeneration and adaptive reuse
  • Eco-systemic services
  • Restoration and conservation of CH
  • Nature Based Solutions for Rural and Urban CH
  • Tourism economy and impacts
  • Circular models for CH
  • Environmental sustainability and energy efficiency
  • Heritage communities and participatory approach


  • Consumers’ awareness and information, trust building
  • Supporting strategies, regulatory frameworks legislation and standards at EU and national levels
  • Supporting environment (Infrastructures, intermediaires, new business opportunities)
  • Regional/Local development
  • Knowledge sharing and education

RRI Dimensions:

  • Gender Equality
  • Science Education
  • Open Access
  • Ethics


  • Circular, sustainable and creative cities
  • Heritage at risk
  • Shared management of cultural heritage