is a website operated by ROBUST, a project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 program. The site gives regular updates on the activities, news and results of ROBUST in particular and the topic of rural-urban interactions in Europe in general. It serves as an entry point into this topic and a place to learn about the latest developments of Rural-Urban Europe.

Rural-Urban Outlooks: Unlocking Synergies (ROBUST)

ROBUST is a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. It is coordinated by Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The project receives funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 727988. ROBUST kicked off in June 2017 and will run until November 2021.

The overall goal of ROBUST is to a) advance our understanding of the interactions and dependencies between rural, peri-urban and urban areas and b) 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 works with 11 Living Labs and five Communities of Practice.

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.


Communities of Practice

A Community of Practice 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 experiences and findings from the various ROBUST Living Labs. The five Communities of Practice are: New Business Models and Labour Markets, Public Infrastructure and Social Services, Sustainable Food Systems, Cultural Connections, and Ecosystem Services.

Project Partners

The 11 Living Labs are hosted and lead by the following ROBUST consortium partners:

Practice partnersMunicipality of Ede, The NetherlandsGloucestershire County Council, United KingdomWelsh Local Goverment Association, United KingdomFederation of Valencian Municipalities and Procinces, SpainLisbon Regional Authority, PortugalCity of Helsinki, FinlandTurkums Municipality, LatviaRegionalverband, Frankfurt Rhein Main GermanyRegionalmanagement Steirischer Zentralraum, AustriaRegional Develpment Agency of Ljubljana, SloveniaProvince of Lucca, Italy


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