Unlocking Rural-Urban Synergies

Creating strong, mutually-supportive linkages between rural and urban areas is key to realising smart, circular and inclusive development for a sustainable Europe. Rural-Urban Europe explores how synergies between the two areas can be applied in practice to strengthen regional collaboration, interdependence and interconnectivity. 

Rural-Urban Europe draws on findings from ROBUST – an innovative transdisciplinary rural-urban research project – and other European and international projects. ROBUST examines current governance systems, processes and practices in 11 different city-regions, and recommends more effective arrangements and better policy frameworks. Explore the Rural-Urban Europe website to get the latest information about cutting-edge research on rural-urban issues.

Living Labs

A ROBUST Living Lab is a placed-based form of experimental collaboration that emphasizes co-creation in a real-world setting. Policy-makers, researchers, businesses, service providers, citizens and other stakeholders work together to develop and test new ways to solve problems in a specific geographic region.

The ROBUST project includes 11 Living Labs that represent typical rural-urban settings throughout Europe. Click on the images below to explore what is happening in each ROBUST Living Lab.

Communities of Practice

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a community of people who share a common interest, practice or problem, who share information and experiences with one another to better learn about that particular practice.

The Communities of Practice in ROBUST are organised around five rural-urban themes that provide a structured forum for sharing real-time experiences and findings from the various ROBUST Living Labs. Click on the icons below to explore each Community of Practice for the ROBUST project in more detail.


News about Rural-Urban Europe and the ROBUST project is published regularly in the INFORMED CITIES newsletter.

ROBUST is a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. ROBUST receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.

European flag