On behalf of the partner regions involved in the 2015 Open Days seminar “Urban Agenda & ESIF 2014-2020: Involving peri-urban territories in order to boost urban-rural links” held in Brussels on the 14th October, the Randstad Region has now published and distributed a set of "KEY MESSAGES” arising from the event.
This hugely successful event, supported by PURPLE, drew an audience of over one hundred delegates from more than ten countries and from all sectors.
Although PURPLE and its members continue to have deep reservations about the use of terminology such as “urban-rural links” and the refusal on the part of some EU decision-makers to move beyond the old rural–urban duality, the event proved a hugely successful opportunity:
- to showcase “on the ground” experiences of urban-rural integration measures in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK
- to make the peri-urban case and to receive endorsement from several speakers - including two MEPs, as well as representatives of both the European Commission and the forthcoming Dutch EU presidency
As stated by PURPLE president Helyn Clack in her introduction to the event, Urban Policy is not just policy for cities and Europe cannot be simply broken into territories of different types and labelled, “urban”, “rural”, “remote” or anything else. “Any urban agenda should indeed include a consideration of urban impacts on surrounding territories and vice versa”, she insisted.
Pierre KANUTY, President of Ile-de-France Europe, concluded the event by expressing the frustration of seeing the key role of peri-urban areas acknowledged by many of the event’s speakers, but not translated into concrete reality within funding programmes etc.