Rural Heritage – Cultural heritage as a driver of sustainable development in rural areas

Duration: 1.10.2016 – 7.3.2017


In view of the population decline in rural areas throughout Europe and the increasing number of unoccupied buildings, churches, monasteries or village centers of historic value resulting from this decline, solutions for how cultural heritage can contribute to sustainable economic growth are to be developed within the scope of an EU project that is to commence in the autumn of 2017.

The project focuses on an intensive dialogue between regions where already successful concepts have been implemented (“role model regions”) and regions that intend to adapt and implement these innovative development concepts (“replicator regions”).


Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) financially supports the extensive and time-consuming application process for this project, which the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW will coordinate together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP. The Fraunhofer IMW will focus mainly on the examination and coordination of the relevant socio-economic research aspects. This includes, for example, measuring the direct and indirect financial viability of public and private investments into the conservation of the cultural heritage in rural areas, and the development of a “cultural heritage services” concept on the basis of experiences gained in the field of “ecosystem services”.


  • Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP

Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, funding code 01UH1613.