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EDORA: European Development Opportunities for Rural Areas. Led by: UHI Millennium Institute, Inverness, Scotland Co-ordinated by: Andrew Copus, NordRegio Presentation by: David Meredith, Teagasc. Presentation Structure. EDORA: An Overview

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Edora european development opportunities for rural areas

EDORA:European Development Opportunitiesfor Rural Areas

Led by: UHI Millennium Institute, Inverness, Scotland

Co-ordinated by: Andrew Copus, NordRegio

Presentation by: David Meredith, Teagasc

Presentation structure
Presentation Structure

  • EDORA: An Overview

  • Future perspectives through the medium of regional potential

  • The Conditionality of Potential (Drivers and constraints)

  • Role of regional innovation systems in leveraging regional potential

Edora an overview
EDORA: An Overview

  • Partners

    • 16 in total

    • 3 UK based (MAP)

  • Timeline

    • Commenced 2008

    • Completion 2010

      • Final report due Summer 2010

  • Budget: €700,000

Project objectives
Project Objectives

…to develop a better understanding of the development opportunities and challenges facing diverse types of rural areas in Europe.

…to support targeted policy development, relating (inter alia) to job creation and social change.

… support the practical implementation - across a range of policy fields – of spatial development principles which have evolved out of … the Fifth Cohesion Report, and the Territorial Cohesion Green Paper.

The edora approach
The EDORA Approach

  • Rural data availability is strongly influenced by the agrarian rural development tradition.

  • Whilst this is of certain relevance to NMS, being driven by data availability risks “slipping into well-trodden paths…” with the result that new forms of RD are ignored.

  • EDORA applies a hybrid “deductive/inductive” approach:

    • establish territorial concepts and theory as basis for the development of a strong evidence base that supports empirical analysis and an assessment of the policy implications.

Edora s structure
EDORA’s Structure

  • Drivers of Change

    • Detailed thematic review

  • Grand Narratives

    • Synthesis of various drivers of change into three ‘Grand Narratives’

  • Typology Development

    • A tool for:

      • assessing the spatial distribution of rural change

      • the development of future perspectives and identification of policy considerations

  • Future Perspectives

    • Evaluation of the potential implications of the drivers of change on rural region’s development trajectories

  • Policy Implications

    • Assessment of existing and emerging policy gaps in the face of contemporary trends and prospective future challenges

Future perspectives
Future Perspectives

Econometric modelling limited in the extent to which it takes into consideration unforeseen events, e.g. financial crisis.

Raises the question as to the significance we should ascribe to such ‘Black Swan’ events.

Scenarios enable one to develop alternative, plausible narratives of the future.

Foresight activities take major uncertainties as the building blocks of a conceptual framework within which to consider possible alternative futures.

Within EDORA we were asked to consider the possible futures of rural regions within the EU.

Approaching the future
Approaching the Future

Identification of meta drivers of change

Detailed thematic review

Expert group

Climate and Energy


Significant implications for economic activities in rural areas given:

Importance of economic sectors dependent on specific environmental conditions (including tourism)


Peak oil will pass (if it has not already) around 2020

Implications for rural areas stem primarily from

Higher transport costs

Dispersed settlement

Energy requirements of traditional industries

Implications vary according the type of policy pursued ranging from ‘clean coal’ – renewable energy sources


It is not necessarily ‘climate change’ that will drive change but policies aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of climate change that will affect rural areas in the period to 2030

Greater recognition of the costs of disruptive weather events (floods / drought / storms) will facilitate State and EU initiatives designed to mitigate the negative impacts of a warmer global climate

These initiatives will have significant implications for rural regions

Land use

– greater demand for space to develop renewable energy

– conflict over changing land use

Settlement patterns

– Will there be a need to concentrate development in CTVs


– Food security issues

– Energy production requirment


Peak oil will be reached during the time period covered by these scenarios.

Post 2020 will be characterised by the prolonged(?) decline of oil / gas production

Heightened awareness of the need to diversify energy supplies

Energy security issues will increasingly dominate EU and National policy debates

A number of possible futures are imaginable

Clean Coal



Magic Bullet? Hydrogen / Cold fusion

Depending on where the emphasis is placed and the viability of any of these solutions rural areas might be empowered or disenfranchised.

Future contexts
Future Contexts


Energy Sources


Climate Policy

Climate Policy


Energy Sources


Future contexts1
Future Contexts


1. Nuclear

2. Rural Revival



3. Fossil Future

4. Factory Floor


2 rural revival
2. Rural Revival

Rural regions are repositioned within the EU and national economies by virtue of the increasing significance of land in the rise of the ‘Green Economy’

Production of increasingly scarce resources, energy and food, revitalises all types of rural economies

Increasing emphasis is given to regional and national food security with the EU devolving greater responsibility to national governments for the strategic development of their agri-food sectors.

This development mirrors increasing consumer awareness of the environmental consequences of intensive food production and associated dietary changes.

The location of energy generation capacity in rural regions encourages the redistribution of industry seeking lower production costs.

Energy production results in significant infrastructure development which spills over into the broader regional economy increasing accessibility and quality of life.

4 fossil future
4. Fossil Future

Resistance to renewable energy production in rural areas results in continued dependence on conventional sources

High fossil energy costs associated with rural industry and dispersed settlement patters make rural regions increasingly uncompetitive.

Food production systems diverge into intensive and extensive systems – in both instances returns to producers are marginal. There is a continued need to subsidise farmers to ensure food is produced. Periodic food shortages occur at times of high energy prices.

Rural regions become increasingly insular with fewer opportunities for travel (decline of tourism)

Population decline affects many rural regions