Project Overview

ROBUST was a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. It was coordinated by Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The project received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988. ROBUST kicked off in June 2017 and ran for 54 months until November 2021.

The overall goals of ROBUST were:

  • to advance our understanding of the interactions and dependencies between rural, peri-urban and urban areas, and;
  • to identify and promote policies, governance models and practices that foster mutually beneficial relations.

Improved governance arrangements and synergies between rural, peri-urban and urban areas will in turn contribute to Europe's smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, maximising the creation of rural jobs and value-added.

To achieve these goals, ROBUST worked with 11 Living Labs and 5 Communities of Practice (CoPs).

In the Living Labs, policy actors, researchers, citizens, business and other stakeholders developed and tested new solutions for rural-urban interactions.

In the Communities of Practice, members shared their findings and experiences across Europe. The communities focused on five overlapping thematic areas: New businesses and the labour market, Public infrastructures and social services, Sustainable food systems, Cultural connections, and, Ecosystem services - all addessed through the lens of rural-urban and peri-urban linkages and synergies.

The project's dedicated website is


Last updated: 20 August, 2023