Inspire Policy Making by Territorial Evidence
  • PURR - Potential of Rural Regions

    Thematic scope

    ESPON has identified demographic and economic change in peripheral rural regions as an issue of European concern. The ESPON “Scenarios” project 3.2 showed that a range of external influences will have an impact on these regions, and that innovative actions would be needed. The innovative approaches towards territorial development of such regions are key issues for achieving territorial cohesion.

    The aim of the PURR project is to create and test new ways to explore the territorial potentials of some rural areas and small and medium-sized towns in peripheral parts of Europe around the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the Baltic Sea. These places face problems such as ageing, migration, poor accessibility, restructuring of traditional industries and are further threatened by rising energy costs. However, they also possess some territorial assets related to their natural and cultural heritage and in the sense of identity that many have.

    The analysis will use ESPON results to benchmark the stakeholder regions in their European context and will develop and apply methodologies for identifying and realising territorial potentials in these places.

    Please read more about the main areas of analysis and main results envisaged on the next page.


    • Notodden Municipality, Norway (Lead Stakeholder)
    • Cesis District Council, Latvia
    • North Yorkshire County Council, United Kingdom
    • Welsh Assembly Government, United Kingdom
    • Dumfries and Galloway Council, United Kingdom

    Lead Partner

    Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR)

    Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

    Budget : € 209 605,00

    Project’s lifetime: February 2010 – July 2012
    Delivery of Reports
    Inception Report: 30 June 2010
    Interim Report: 1st February 2011

    Revised Interim Report: 30 May 2011
    Draft Final Report: 31 August 2012
    Final Report: 5 July 2012

    Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

    More information

    Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:

    Sara FERRARA, e-mail:

    Name Type Size
    Final Report PDF 5.16 MB
    Draft Final Report PDF 5.14 MB
    Interim Report PDF 4.03 MB
    Inception Report PDF 958.43 KB
    Annex Inception Report PDF 136.53 KB
    Project Specification PDF 70.11 KB
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