Assessment of Transformations in Vitality, Vulnerability and Versatility of Rural Towns
The 3VRUT research project
Rural regions in both Europe and Japan are under stress in emerging global crises such as global pandemics, refugee-related migration, economy-related rural depopulation, and environment-related climate change. Communities in rural regions urgently require strategies to enhance their resilience. Strategies of resilience are however scattered and often based only on tangible and visible symptoms and indicators, whereby a lot of intangible yet crucial aspects are neglected.
The purpose of 3VRUT is to develop a methodology to evaluate, quantify, and classify the risks and threats that exist at the junction of cyberspace and physical space in rural settings in the developed world. For this, understanding the 3Vs (Vitality, Vulnerability, and Versatility) of rural societies is critical. The evaluation of the 3Vs will be done through a combination of approaches to study the population trends, ageing, transportation and commuting, agriculture and food availability, urban morphology and landscape transition, electricity, water, and digital connectivity in two rural towns per country in Japan, Germany, Poland, and Spain. The direct objective of the study is to combine remote sensing technologies with machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in order to spot and predict changes in socio-economic behaviours and opportunities in rural settings.
The research is aimed at deriving new methodologies for measuring and detecting the 3Vs, fostered by a consortium of partners with complementary knowledge and experience from the EU and Japan, who will develop a set of indicators using remote sensing data, socio-economic data, and archival research. The interlinkages of social sciences and geospatial technical sciences based on data collection analysis techniques applied in specific rural and less populated societal contexts will contribute to building the future rural towns for them to better handle and foster resilience, especially relevant in times of the global COVID-19 pandemic and cybercrime.
3VRUT gathers a multidisciplinary team of international researchers concerned about the vitality, vulnerability, and versatility of rural communities. Our team regroups researchers from more than 10 countries currently based in four countries: Germany, Japan, Poland, and Spain. Together, we are conducting studies and research to see how we can diagnose and detect the signs of transformation in rural communities that indicate how resilient rural communities are or can be in the face of current natural and anthropogenic threats.