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International workshop series "Disseminating Knowledge - Networking People" Rural-urban co-operation: A challenge for the Alpine region

WS Autrans/F

Projects which seek to bring town and country closer together always involve a large number of players. CIPRA France

The eighth workshop in the series on "Disseminating Knowledge - Networking People" was held in Autrans on June 4 and 5 and focused on the subject of regional concepts and rural-urban co-operation. The organisers, CIPRA France and the further education organisation Association de Formation des Ruraux aux Activités du Tourisme, provided an opportunity for an exchange of views on the shift in relations between rural and urban areas.
The discussions among the seventy participants, who included association representatives, technicians, local councillors and scientists, were preceded by the presentation of three concrete projects. Land use, mobility, agriculture, tourism and services were highlighted as the key spheres of action for the implementation of sustainable relations between town and country.
The topic was illustrated by two field trips. The large number of players involved was underscored during the visit to leisure facilities and the guest reception at the Vercors Regional Nature Park. During the second field trip a farming couple talked about its experiences in developing local produce and setting up an agricultural consumer association. The round-table at the end of the event made clear that the initiatives, methods and tools available to enable a rapprochement between urban and rural areas were still too little known or insufficiently developed. The workshop demonstrated that the rural-urban issue mirrors virtually all the great challenges faced by the Alpine region in the future.
The Workshop documents are soon to be posted online at www.cipra.org/future ("Downloads").