Archive of 2022

Horizon Europe PLUS Change

Dec 29, 2022

PURPLE was delighted to be informed recently that the Horizon Europe application "Planning Land Use Strategies: Meeting biodiversity, climate and social objectives in a Changing world"(PLUS Change), has been approved for financing. The project consortium, of which PURPLE is itself a key member, now progresses to the grant agreement phase. More news to follow

PURPLE Statement on the war in Ukraine

Nov 16, 2022

When the 35th PURPLE General Assembly convened in Brussels in June 2022, it adopted, with amendments to be made, a statement regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine ealrier in the same year and the ongoing war situation which has ensued.

In addition to deploring the situation and circumstances themselves, the network endorsed a statement which also highlighted its particular potential and actual ramifications for peri-urban places and actors. In particular, it highlighted:

  • Food security and affordability
  • Energy security and affordability
  • Impacts upon public service provision

In each context, the paper explained how the effects might be experienced in particular ways in peri-urban settings across Europe, but particularly in areas closest to the warzone.

The statement itself can be downloaded here





PURPLE Discussion Paper on Covid and post-pandemic recovery

Oct 26, 2022

The PURPLE General Assembly held in mid June 2022 - its 35th - adopted a paper regarding the actual impacts and potential future ramifications of the global Covid19 outbreak on peri-urban areas and actors.

Entitled, "Peri-urban areas and Covid-19: Impacts, challenges, recovery and opportunities" the adopted paper is the result of an iterative piece of work undertaken by the network's Working Goup over the previous two years with earlier versions of the text coming to the GA previously as a sort of "thinkpiece" and intended trigger for discussion and debate.

The version of the document adopted for publication at the General Assembly, comprises a number of free-standing sections:

  • A position statement which concludes that "PURPLE believes that there are lessons to be learned, and opportunities to be capitalised upon which, whilst of key importance to peri-urban places, actors and interests, are also of potential lasting and global benefit if developed and supported appropriately".
  • A twelve-point analysis of the broad impacts of the pandemic and responses to it
  • An eight-point summary of its more practical impacts and implications in a peri-urban context
  • An exploration of the ways in which the pandenic might shape peri-urban places and actors and the implications of same for the future work of PURPLE itself

The four-page paper can be read in full here:


Small Urban Areas and the peri-urban

Jul 13, 2022

PURPLE has continued its involvement in the development of a CoR Opinion "Small urban areas as key actors to manage a just transition",  and in particular in its ongoing liaison with the relevant CoR Rapporteur - Kieran McCarthy.

The text of the Opinion itself has now reached the stage of having being approved by the CoR COTER Commission at its meeting held in mid July and will next be submitted to the October CoR plenary for full and formal adoption.

Prior to the July submission date, PURPLE prepared an updated version of its previous position paper on small urban areas (SUAs) emphasising that although SUAs and peri-urban territory is in no way synonymous, in many cases we will be referring to the same geographies, especially in the instance of complex polycentric settlement patterns common in many parts of Europe.

The PURPLE paper suggests that: "Locations such as those focused upon within the Opinion play a unique role, and have a unique potential as places where the urban and rural actors and interests are  interdependent, where they overlap and indeed combine to form a distinct type of geography and sense of place. This role is valuable, often overlooked, ignored, or misunderstood, and has the potential to make a particular type of contribution that extends across both urban and rural policy agendas".

The July 2022 version also includes a number of relevant textual extracts drawn from the Policy Recommendations and Policy Manifesto documents which PURPLE had authored as part of the Horizon 2020 project ROBUST.

The latest PURPLE paper can be obtained on request:



PURPLE statement on the Long Term Vision for Rural Areas

Jul 7, 2022

At its 35th General Assembly held in June 2022, network members endorsed a formal PURPLE statement on the European Commission's Long Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA).

The published paper falls into two parts - outlining a series of positions which PURPLE has arrived at over a substantial period of time, but also including specific reference to the work which had been done with regard to the LTVRA by PURPLE as a part of its partner role within the Horizon 2020 project ROBUST.

By way of context, the document highlighted PURPLE's long-standing involvment in the topic, highlighting:

  • PURPLE's  long-standing advocacy for a Rural Agenda which would operate as a counter-weight to the Urban Agenda of the EU
  • The fact that PURPLE has been a participative member of both the Steering Group (European Rural Networks’ Steering Group) and the General Assembly (Rural Networks’ Assembly) of the European Network for Regional Development (ENRD) since its inception in 2012
  • Reminding readers that PURPLE President, Mrs Helyn Clack, was an author contributor to the 2016 Committee of the Regions brochure entitled “The need for a White Paper on Rurality from local and regional perspectives”.
  • That PURPLE Secretary General Vincent O’Connell was, in 2020 and 2021, a member of the ENRD Thematic Group on the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas

A series of nearly thrirty bulleted points set out PURPLE's position with regard to the development and content of the LTVRA up to the point in the process where the Rural Action Plan has been arrived at, and a Rural Pact has been established, to which PURPLE has publicly pledged its support.

The full seven-page document can be accessed here.


ROBUST receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.  The content of this publication does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s).


PURPLE and Interreg Europe

Jul 5, 2022

Further to previous news stories, the PURPLE Working Group has been closely following developments up to and beyond the first deadline for applications for the Interreg Europe 2021-27 programme - 31 May 2022.

By the point at which the first call closed, the group had made substantial progress in developing three project ideas, each with a clear peri-urban focus. The first and second both overtly address spatial planning and development issues - looking at the improved use of "green belts" and other similar demarcation regimes in the first case, and at the broader benefit and key role of peri-urban areas as part of larger functional areas in the second. The third piece of work (and potential IE project) looks at the critical role played by peri-urban settings in joined-up mobility systems and services. The three developing work strands will each be returned to as attention shifts to the second call deadline next year.

In the meanwhile, details of applications submitted to the first call have now been released by the programme secretariat - a short analysis paper has been prepared and circulated to PURPLE Working Group members for their consideration pending a return to the subject at the next group meeting scheduled to take place in September.

Contact if you are interested to learn more.