RURAL AGENCY'S METHOD
Our work is based on six guiding principles for sustainable rural planning. They serve as both vision and mission for our day-to-day work. We work to implement these principles in physical rural planning and architecture and to disseminate them to other actors in a rural context.
The six principles are formed out of one crucial experience in our work: rural spaces are highly complex and the future requires a significant change in our approach to rurality as such. For us, the six principles serve as pillars in a multidimensional approach to rural spaces which have to comprise a wide range of functions on little space.
Whether it is soil erosion or biodiversity loss, we are currently taking more from the countryside than we are giving back. We advocate for a regenerative approach to rural planning which focuses on supporting the entire ecosystem and critically reflecting how humans interact with the natural environment. We believe that we need to look at the entire picture even when planning just a hectare and, one step at the time, support nature’s regenerative processes.
The efficient use of resources implies making use of resources available on site - again and again. We believe that whenever possible rural communities should be stakeholders in their own infrastructure and have decision power in relation to the management of their own resources such as energy supply, drinking water, waste recycling and biodiversity. By bringing together different stakeholders around efficient and sustainable resource management in rural areas we can bring new synergies to work locally - what is waste in one perspective may be a resource in another.
Many rural communities face brain-drain and a loss in local knowledge. However, the future demands that we act with purpose and profound local understanding in order to meet the complex future demands on rural spaces. We believe that all rural development projects should promote local knowledge-transfer and enable the community to develop and manage their own future.
IOT, data driven technology, AI and 5g are altering the conditions of rural spaces and changing the future perspective for the countryside. It is vital that we understand the impact of future technology on a local level and support open source strategies and democratic uses.
Investment is a key factor in sustainable rural planning. Whether it be nature conservation schemes, education, sustainable housing or production development, in terms of investment many rural areas today face a financial gap.We believe that we need better rural investment systems which initiate local reinvestments and create visible local impact. We have ourselves taken the first step and have become a non-profit organisation dedicated to reinvesting our profit in the rural course.
The countryside has been vitnessning a demographic transformation and the social and structural changes that have swept through many rural areas have had wide material implications. Obsolete and left-over buildings and infrastructures in rural areas often need reconception and transformation. As architects and planners, we specialize in reusing the rural past for the rural future.