Casa Romualdo, experience and reception in Ribeira Sacra

It is the life project of a family from the city of Vigo who decides to move to a village in the Ribeira Sacra. It influences a change of values and self-esteem related to rural identity.

In the family's surrounding environment, the mainstream opinion was that the future is in the city, therefore, this experience breaks down this general idea. An example of this change can be taken from the house rehabilitation: contractors and construction builders strongly advise to demolish the house and rebuild it. Nevertheless, they now show people how the house was rehabilitated.

imaxen casa romualdo

In rural tourism, the focus is not in business, but in an experience and in a welcoming land (Galicia, the Ribeira Sacra); the house functions as a gate that connects visitors to the land. It represents a way of life people want to know.

We are a rural development element for people in our environment. More than six thousand people stayed in the house, generating income and life expectations for many people. As an experience, it transmits that there is a future outside the village, but there is a future also here.

Main issues to be discussed
  • The Promotion of cultural patrimony
  • The provision of differentiated tourist services and the necessity to diversify

Phone Consultation in Primary Health Care

image Consultation

Within the strategy of SERGAS of focus the Health Care System on patients' service, and considering the scattered population, its aging and other facts, they are seeking to improve the accessibility to the public health system and its relationship with health services, promoting a system of remote consultations and interaction with them.

Regarding to the attention to chronic diseases, they try to promote the implementation of organizational systems of care that allow remote consultations and interaction with patients and caregivers by using the information and communications technologies (ICTs).

The project relies on new technologies: interaction can be made by phone, medical appointments can be requested through a web and to provide service the medical staff can refer to electronic medical recordings and to use, if necessary, the e-prescription application.

The main issues for discussion:
  • New communication technologies and improvement of health care.
  • Responses adapted for areas with population dispersion.

Rural resettlement in Ireland

The objective of this initiative is the relocation of urban residents to rural settlements. It targets generally unemployed families from highly congested and marginalised urban communities (mainly from Dublin). Candidate families are assessed so as to ensure low failure rates. For instance, they are asked to be proactive in job seeking in the target locations. They offer help to locate and pay the rent of houses in rural areas.

image Rural resettlement in Ireland

One of the significant groups with which they promoted the resettlement of population in the countryside are the migrant families, trying to mitigate the effects of its concentration in urban "ghettos".

It is an initiative bottom-up, in charge of a non governmental organization founded in 1990. So far about 700 families were rural, with a success rate higher than 80%.

The main issues for discussion:
  • The unused potential of rural communities for social & labour inclusion
  • The strength of bottom-up initiatives
  • The chances to minimize the territorial imbalance with initiatives “against the tide”

Estruming Days, innovative initiatives in rural areas

imaxen estruming

Estruming Days is a platform for innovative training, intrasectoral networking, and current communication of small organisations linked to rural Galicia. It is a group of companies and professionals that use, transform, and energize rural resources in an innovative and sustainable way.

They want to naturalise the so common rural-urban hybrid identity in contemporary Galician society, and to promote it as a differential value. In addition, they want to facilitate the meeting, exchanging and collaboration between professionals from different sectors and disciplines, especially between companies from the primary sector and companies from the knowledge-based economy: R&D, design and technology.


Main issues to be discussed:
  • From community mutual aid to networking.
  • A connection between urban culture and initiatives in rural areas.

Campa da Braña, a way of life on the mountain

It is a tourist establishment, with lodging, restaurant-bar and hostel, located on the mountain, on the Serra dos Ancares.

The fact of being run by people who come from the urban world is reflected in the type of service they provide: the establishment responds to the expectation of going to the mountain to disconnect and stay in touch with nature.

The fact of being foreigners causes that to carry forward such an initiative becomes harder, especially because they don't count on networks of family support, and also because it takes time to integrate the initiative into the community.

imaxen campabranha

The initiative had a positive impact on recruiting and maintaining population roots in an area in deep crisis of depopulation. The economic impact goes beyond, because it offers a restoration based on local product that contributes to support other initiatives in the area.


CampaBranha from SymbiosProyect on Vimeo.

Pousada na monaña dos Ancares.

Main issues to be discussed:
  • The prospect of the potential sites seen from neorrurality
  • Economic activity from the appreciation of the natural heritage

Feiraco, promoting the role of women in rural economy

Feiraco is an agricultural cooperative created in 1968 in the region of Barcala. It is a large cooperative, with a turnover of 100 million Euros, almost 200 employed personnel, 3.460 partners, and more than 500 daily farms.

Feiraco has an equality plan in which reconciliation measures for its employed personnel is included. Moreover, Feiraco promoted a plan of generational renewal in farms, which often had as a result an increment in female farm holders: 65% of dairy farms have now a female farm holder.

Feiraco, impulsando o papel da muller na economía rural

In line with the previous information, and with the role of women in rural areas, Feiraco is promoting women's participation in the board and working groups, training initiatives, tours, productive diversification projects, home support services...and strengthen the presence of women in promoting and creating new projects.


Video Feiraco, impulsando o papel da muller na economía rural

Main issues to be discussed:
  • Employability opportunities for women.
  • Home support services and reconciliation measures

Arqueixal, tradition has economic viability

imaxen arqueixal

Granxa Arqueixal is an economic initiative that integrates: an ecological dairy farm of 30 hectares in which cheese, yoghurt, and milk are produced following traditional methods, an agrotourism activity, and initiatives to recover the cultural rural heritage.

Its main feature is its commitment to ecological agriculture, which is adapted to the territory, to the traditional landscape, and to the smallholding structure of the field..

Arqueixal supports itself in four main pillars:

  • Milk production, with 35 cows in 30 hectares of land, some hectares in property and others rented.
  • Transformation of milk products based in the production of different types of cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products.
  • Active agrotourism, in which using the group of houses belonging to the initiative is fundamental.
  • Culture of awareness based in tradition, by promoting activities such as “Son da Aldea”, the flax cycle, “as Mallas” (a traditional activity to separate grain from chaff)...


Main issues to be discussed:
  • Sustainable development based on endogenous resources in opposition to dimensioning, mechanization, and external resources.
  • Diversification of activities and put into value rural patrimony.

If it is needed, it is possible: the experience of O Viso's CDR

In 1985 “Asociación Cultural o Cruceiro” (Crossroad Cultural Association) was created, and, in 1990, it turned into O Viso's CDR. Its main goal was to recover the community spirit that used to be present in rural areas. The school, which was abandoned, was recovered and turned into a social centre. Festivals such as “Entroido” (Carnival) or “Magosto” (a Galician Autumn feast) were also recovered.

imaxen mulleres de O Viso

O Visos's CDR always attempted to provide a community response to different necessities and challenges that emerged progressively. Currently, its initiatives cover a provision of a proximity service for the elderly, educational intergenerational activities organised in the village-school, a community home, employability and training promotion, and cultural and patrimony recovering activities, among others.


Main issues to be discussed
  • Local community's leading role and its traditional knowledge.
  • Technical staff's challenge: to provide a service suitable for a rural area and identity.

Monte Cabalar, recovery of the mountain wealth, through traditional uses and cooperative organization

Monte Cabalar joined 3,600 properties comprising more than 1,000 owners in a farm in extensive exploitation with over 700 hectares of forest in the parishes (Galician districts) of A Somoza, Tabeirós, Nigoi, Arca and Souto (A Estrada municipality) in order to intervene on abandonment and smallholdings.

imaxen Monte Cabalar,

The social process generated from March 2006 culminated in the establishment of a cooperative exploitation of communal land, with the participation of over 360 members, and that has as activity the forest exploitation and pasture use under a cooperative formula.

The direct impact on employment was important until 2010 keeping eight jobs that were reduced to two today. It was also an example for other initiatives in the area: they were created in recent years, 13 small farms in extensive, managing abandoned farmland belonging to different neighbors.

Its impact goes beyond local and Mount Cabalar is a reference to other territories, contributing to the creation and dissemination of extensive farming culture dissemination, land and properties management, and the cooperative model. To have an alternative to abandonment of the mountain means to create wealth and curb environmental degradation that has its maximum expression in the fire.


Main issues to be discussed:
  • Land custody and recovery of traditional uses
  • Cooperative management model, compatible with the maintenance of land micro-ownership

The Neighbourhood of tomorrow.Designing and building the sustainability for the futurein Limburg (The Netherlands)

imaxen cabeceira web The Neighbourhood of tomorrow

debuxo vivendaThe purpose of the Project is to create an exciting environment for the transition to a sustainable built environment and sustainable energy provision. Educational institutions, researchers, businesses, and public authorities join together in this project, developed at Harleen, which was for a long time a centre for the coal mining industry in the Netherlands and which is facing today a deep demographic challenge. Avantis is the place where The District of Tomorrow is actually being created.

This innovative programme, started in 2006, involves designing, studying and testing sustainable technologies so that they can be utilised “tomorrow” in new neighbourhoods and buildings. Up to 2013 four innovative buildings will be constructed in this cross-border business park. Each building willhave a different theme.

The Projects vision implies the idea that over a period of some thirty years the neighbourhood will be transformed into one which is environmentally neutral, with zero impact, zero energy, zero materials, zerowater, zero land, and zero air.

Key questions for debate
  • Alternative strategies in depopulated/degraded areas
  • The deconstruction and re-construction -in a completely innovative way- as a strategy to generate new activity and attract new inhabitants.