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Stories of rural action from across Europe

  • by JW

Local initiatives to build rural resilience, empower communities and improve the lot of people and planet


ARC is an active group which looks at rural projects across Europe:

Agricultural and Rural Convention – ARC2020

So Who Are These ARC People? | Agricultural and Rural Convention

One project they’ve initiated started in France last year:

Nos Campagnes En Résilience is a new project to build rural resilience in France, coordinated by ARC2020. It’s about rural communities finding ways to live and grow with respect for people and nature. We want to connect communities that are making rural life fairer and more sustainable on the ground, and empower them to realise their own socio-ecological and fair transitions.

France | Building Rural Resilience From The Ground Up | Agricultural and Rural Convention

And here’s an update – which shows how much ‘on the ground’ the project is:

The project is centred on connecting with rural actors on the ground: we go out and meet people effecting change in their territories. In different parts of rural France, these actors have told us about their work to improve the lot of people and planet, through initiatives that are unique to their territories, each shaped by a particular set of challenges and needs.

What France Can Teach Us About Rural Resilience | Agricultural and Rural Convention

ARC has also just released a publication, fizzing with good local practice:

In June 2022, together with Forum Synergies, ARC2020 launched a book: “Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual”. We’re spotlighting its stories of rural action and key messages for policymakers through a series of extracts.

Cargonomia delivers boxes of colourful produce weekly from Zsamboki Biokert to loyal customers in Budapest and the surrounding area. You can read more about Zsámboki Biokert organic market garden  in ARC2020’s Letter From The Farm series. Photograph: Noémi Bulecza

In this extract, we are introduced to Cargonomia, a cargo bike delivery service and community collective based in Budapest. Cargonomia features in Rural Europe Takes Action in the chapter on “Local and Circular” alongside other heartening stories including that of the municipality of Plessé, Brittany where elected officials are designing and implementing a Local Agricultural and Food Policy (PAAC).

A summary of the policy action points for people-and-planet-centred local and circular economies is followed by a conversation with Logan Strenchock, co-founder of Cargonomia. Among other activities, Cargonomia delivers food boxes from Zsámboki Biokert organic market garden, 50 km outside Budapest, to customers in the city.

Rural Europe Takes Action | Creating Alternatives, Creating Community

Here’s another example of rural action from the heart of Europe:

Ukraine | the Green Road of Ecovillages – Communities that Protect 

And here are some ideas of how an island’s rural economy might produce for a local market:

Ireland, Food Security & Feed(ing the World) – Ireland’s own food security