What could the desirable future for Tuscany rural areas be in 2040? And what factors could potentially enable or hamper that vision to be attained?
Members of the MAP Tuscany have reflected upon this and related issues with several external experts in the Consensus Meeting, which was held online on 22 September. A vision – delineated by the MAP members along the whole MAP cycle (May-Sep 2020) – was carefully looked into by participants, who were asked to add what was missing and/or to validate it.
The meeting accomplished its aims: all participants shared similar views on adjusting the vision by including 1) a greater appreciation for the role of farms, particularly multifunctional ones; 2) a territorial, economic and demographic rebalance between rural and urban areas; 3) a strategic approach to governance arrangements and tools already in place, such as rural districts; 4) the key role played by digitalisation in facilitating such processes. It is worth noting that, besides the absence of conflicting views, a flexible and responsive facilitation style made the conversation easier.
Despite the challenges due to organising the meeting online, and the staff changes in the SHERPA team of the University of Pisa, MAP members – and even external experts – showed enthusiastic and keen on doing the next steps.