ROBUST was a four and a half year research project funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme. Led by Wageningen University, a transnational consortium of 24 partners worked together to explore the nature of rural-urban linkages and governance arrangements across Europe. PURPLE led on the element of the project which drew together a series of policy reports and recommendations to be used at European, national and local levels.

Four main deliverables - each in the form of a written report - were produced by PURPLE at the culmination point of the project. Each was assessed and approved by the European Commission as part of the formal project review and closure process in 2022.

At the 35th PURPLE General Assembly held in Brussels in June 2022 it was resolved that PURPLE would take forward the results and findings of ROBUST through a project exploitation plan to be developed by its Working and Lobbying officer groups.


PURPLE Project Deliverables:

D6.1 Thematic Topic Papers (TTPs) on key aspects of Rural-Urban co-operation

Thematic Topic Papers (TTPs) were brought together into one document to mirror each of the five ROBUST Communities of Practice (CoP) and to form a single set of thematic topic papers.

Approved by the EU: "It is very convincing and of great use for policy makers at EU, national and sub-national levels or anyone else with an interest in how policy might be contextualised in the context of rural-urban linkages and synergies between rural and urban actors, interests and places."   Download here.


D6.2 Place-based policy in the context of rural-urban linkages and dependencies

“This deliverable provides good guidance on how governance arrangements might best be used to bring about greater synergy between rural and urban places, actors, and interests, based on the work and findings of the ROBUST project. It is directed at the level of policy making and policy work more generally, across a wide range of contexts in which these rural-urban relationships might occur, as well as with regard to policy relating to governance itself”. Download here.

D6.3 Synthesised Policy Recommendations

“Synthesised Policy Recommendations are a rich set of policy recommendations arising from the work and findings of the ROBUST project and arrived at over a period of four and half years between June 2017 and November 2021. I assess them as very well prepared.” Download here.


D6.4 Manifesto for Future Policy Making on linkages and dependencies between urban and rural activities

“This deliverable is very interesting and scientifically clear set of conclusions and statements on linkages and dependencies between urban and rural activities. I believe that this is an important and extremely practical study that can serve not only as a set of rules and guidelines for policymakers, but also as a map of directions for further research useful for the scientific community”. Download here.




Last updated: 20 August, 2023