Archive of 2020

PURPLE and the EU LIFE programme

Dec 11, 2020

PURPLE was delighted to learn recently that the proposition in which it is involved to develop a piece of work focusing on the governance of green and blue infrastructure schemes in cross-border peri-urban areas has been approved at its first stage.

This approval allows for a full-stage application for support from the EU environment LIFE programme to be submitted early in 2021. Much work remains to be done, but the proposal to develop a project looking at how public authorities and others can best be supported to co-create joined-up pieces of work across administrative boundaries has clearly met with a favourable response to date. If successful, the plan at this stage is for PURPLE to be involved in plugging the project's work into the broader EU Policy agenda and to disseminate and exploit its findings and results across peri-urban Europe more broadly at both policy and practice levels.


33rd PURPLE General Assembly

Dec 8, 2020



The 33rd General Assembly took place on Wednesday December 2nd 2020. It was the second PURPLE GA which we were obliged to conduct virtually given Covid-19 travel restrictions. This in turn has meant our deferring our plans to hold a GA in Poznan with the direct involvement of of Peri-Urban Charter signatories.

We remain grateful nevertheless to the Wielkopolska region for their planning work, and in particular to Deputy Marshal of the region, Mr Wojciech Jankowiak who delivered an address explaining the situation regarding the management of the metropolitan rail system and service in the region during the time of the pandemic. More details of the address itself will be made available shortly.

PURPLE response to LTVRA public consultation

Dec 4, 2020

As previously reported, PURPLE has been closely involved in the work developing a Long Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA). In particular it has been keen to not lose sight of the complex set of territorial demarcations which are so inadequately captured in any binary rural/urban typology. Of course recognition of the peri-urban, where rural and urban co-exist, and the need to take due account of the hugely complex web of inter-relations and interdependencies between rural, peri-urban and urban places and people is central to our approach.

As part of our contribution in this area, PURPLE has now submitted a formal response to the public consultation exercise on the LTVRA by its November 30 deadline, together with a stand-alone paper which sets out our approach and position with regard to the need for a "Rural Agenda" to grow out of the visioning exercise and to act a key complementary policy tool alongside the EU Urban Agenda.



Long Term Vision for Rural Areas - first ENRD Thematic Group meeting

Oct 5, 2020

The new ENRD Thematic Group (TG) on the Long Term Rural Vision, #rural2040, made up of a cross-section of individuals from different countries, sectors, and interest areas, and including PURPLE Secretary General, Vincent O'Connell, as a member, met for the first time (virtually) on September 22 and 23.

The TG sets out to: 

  1. Contribute to and enrich the foresight exercise to be carried out for the Long Term Rural Vision in cooperation with the JRC. This will take place as the centrepiece of the first two meetings of the Thematic Group in September and December 2020
  2. Act as a platform or exchange hub sharing, discussing and communicating the results of different activities carried out by Thematic Group members and other key actors involved in contributing to the Long Term Rural Vision
  3. Improve the coherence and structure of dialogue that will take place among stakeholders on the Long Term Rural Vision in different parts of Europe
  4. Communicate more widely with stakeholders and encourage their sustained involvement in the dialogue
  5. Contribute to the ENRD conference on the Long Term Rural Vision (expected in spring 2021)
The initial meeting highlighted the need to identify drivers for change and transition in rural areas and rural-urban relations and the degree of risk entailed in not responding apporpriately to such drivers as a key part of any visioning exercise. The meeting also underscored the importance of incorporating emerging lessons learned from within relevant current H2020 projects amongst which ROBUST is very much a cited example.

A portal to capture the work and porgress made by the group has been set up at:







PURPLE response to Sustainable and Smart Mobility consultation

Oct 5, 2020

PURPLE has responded to the EU public consultation exercise regarding the planned Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy due to be unveiled next year. Transport and Mobility is one of five focus areas contained in the new PURPLE three-year work plan released this summer.

PURPLE has submitted a paper alongside its response to the online survey form, much of which focused upon an evaluation of the 2011 Transport White Paper as well. The PURPLE paper can be accessed here; it sets outs a series of positions with regard to the peri-urban dimension of issues relating to mobility and transportation and focuses itsels around three themes: issues realting to the Covid crisis; dimensions of the drive towards a green transformation directly related to mobility systems and services, and; barriers to achieving sustainability in these systems and servuces which have a particular peri-urban dimension.

The hope is that the paper, as well as being a consultation response, might serve as a reference point for work that both the PURPLE Lobby Group and PURPLE Working Group plan to do in the future with regard to peri-urban transport and mobility - not least, in the case of the Working Group, in producing a PURPLE Topic Paper on the subject, a process which began over a year ago and will shortly be revisited.

PURPLE at Agri Travel EXPO 2020

Oct 4, 2020

PURPLE Secretary General, Vincent O'Connell, was one of a panel of speakers at this year's edition of Agri Travel Expo. Other panellists included Herbert DORFMANN MEP, Maria Gafo Gómez-Zamalloa from DG AGRI plus representatives from both COPA-COGECA and ELARD, the event being moderated by the European Forum for Rural Tourism.

O'Connell  was invited to share thoughts from a peri-urban perspective on the session topic "Round table on future CAP: A VISION FOR RURAL AREAS". Drawing in part upon his experiences over the previous days as a member of the ENRD Thematic Group on the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA), and in part also on past PURPLE work on the future of CAP and from its work in the ROBUST project.

As well as explaining the key aims and purpose of the PURPLE network, Vincent focused primarily on the sorts of visioning and forecasting exercises that it is possible to do, largely in the context of planning Covid recovery, but also in light of longer term policy framework tools such as the European Green Deal, the LTVRA and CAP Reform. He outlined possible scenarios where the importance and contribution of peri-urban areas as bridging points between rural and urban interests and actors might be greater than ever before.

During a moderated QandA session, O'Connell also outlined a number of considerations with regard to the governance of CAP National Plans, to the nature of urban-rural relationships post-pandemic and on the mixed impacts that new ways of working utiilising digital technology might have on different groups of people, on different economic sectors and on different types of territories post-Covid,