By 21 diciembre, 2021No Comments

A closer interaction between rural and urban municipalities is increasingly essential, especially in times when social and demographic challenges are growing due to an ongoing trend towards urbanization and the depopulation of rural areas. Most recently, the pandemic raised the question of how urban and rural local governments have fared during the pandemic, and what the impact on public services in this emergency was in the different contexts.

Over the last months, an international group of researchers involved in the LoGov* project have sought to answer some of the questions arising from the urban-rural divide. They have, for instance, collected examples for municipalities cooperating on specific agendas, e.g. on climate protection, or the provision of public services such as public transport. The researchers have investigated to what extent citizens are involved in the decision-making at the community level, e.g. when it comes to planning the urban spaces. Among others, they identified practices of different formal and informal cooperation mechanisms between municipalities, regional and national governments, and they looked at the role municipal associations play.

The pandemic has raised several additional questions and new practices have become relevant. How have municipalities fought Covid-19, how have they adapted their budgeting and planning during the emergency, and how transparent was the procurement?

The LoGov researchers have collected their findings in a comprehensive compilation of 16 country reports, thematic introductions, and a total of 174 practices from 16 countries. All reports are displayed on the project website and can be browsed and downloaded open access also on Zenodo.

Time will tell whether the experience of the pandemic will accelerate urbanization, slow it down or even reverse the trend. Time will tell whether the experience of the pandemic will accelerate or slow down urbanization, or even reverse the trend. The researchers have joined forces to take a closer look at these developments in the future.

*The LoGov project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 823961.


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