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35. Participation and inclusion

Tuesday, June 27, 2023
15:45 - 17:15


Dr. Elyze Storms-Smeets
Associate Professor Cultural Heritage And Participative Spatial Planning
Wageningen University & Research

Heritage and society: participation and co-creation in research, design, management and policy-making at Dutch country estates


In the Netherlands participation is becoming increasingly important, particularly with the European Faro Treaty (2005) and the upcoming Dutch Environment Law (‘Omgevingswet’). Indeed, in recent years participation has become increasingly important as a part of transformation processes at heritage sites like country estates. However, the imbedding of the Faro Treaty within national and local policies and the implementation of its principles in everyday life, though seen as crucial, turns out to be complex and slow. This is specifically true for heritage sites that are part of our living environment (for instance, historic hamlets, water mill landscapes, country estates and large farmsteads) in which present-day challenges of climate change, urban expansion or shrinkage, and agrarian transition need to be addressed. This paper analyses the current ways of heritage participation in the Dutch countryside and introduces a new spatial ánd social approach that involves a deeper understanding of the past and present-day social and societal meanings and functions of heritage and the role of the community in shaping and transforming these spaces and places. This approach looks at heritage sites, specifically country estates, in terms of interconnecting ensembles and systems, physically, functionally and socially. Linking this ensemble approach to heritage participation offers interesting new insights to the role of participants and to the social meaning of country estates.
Laura van Oers
Phd Candidate - Copernicus Institute
Utrecht University

Setting-up a participatory guarantee systems (PGS) initiative in the Netherlands


The concept of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) has emerged as part of critical debates, both in academic and practitioner circles, around third-party certification (TPC) and the ‘scaling of organic’ into a market-driven and export-oriented model. IFOAM (2008) defines PGS as ‘locally focused quality assurance system [that] verify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks, and knowledge exchange’. PGS can empower producers and consumers to formulate and work towards their locally based understanding of sustainable production and consumption, and therefore constitutes a potential different way of defining, measuring, and assessing sustainability. Created by the local communities that they serve, PGS are adapted and specific to the context they originated in, with each PGS responding to local challenges and conditions, capable of accounting for diverse economic, ecological and sociocultural demands and values of sustainable farming.

While growing in popularity in other European countries (France, Belgium), PGS are rather novel in the Netherlands. This submission explores the collaborative design process of a PGS initiative, in which we consider PGS as supportive of alternative food communities. Data was collected through a qualitative and engaged approach, in which we facilitated discussions around PGS together with a citizen-led food community in the Achterhoek. These sessions encouraged reflection within the community of farmers and consumers on how to define, measure and assess sustainability. We conclude with critical reflections on PGS as spaces for collective learning and its potential or pitfalls, for renewed politization of the food system.
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Prof. Dr. Iván Tartaruga
Centre of Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning (CEGOT), Faculty of Arts and Humanities,
University of Porto

Typology of Rural Productive Inclusion: a study of the impacts on sustainable rural development in Brazil


The current data about food insecurity and poverty in Brazil are showing worrying signs of alert. Family farms are part of this problematic landscape which frequently include malnutrition, economic exclusion, unsustainability, and further inequalities. The literature identifies these problems focusing in the multidimensionality and multiscalarity of complex phenomena characterized by different forms of exclusion. One way to deal with these issues is using the concepts of rural productive inclusion (RPI), in general, and of inclusive innovation, in particular. The first is related to generation of work and income for populations in situations of poverty or social vulnerability. The latter is defined as a type of innovation addressed to vulnerable people (low income or low education level), and eventually these innovations are created by these very people. The aim of this paper is to empirically distinguish the different forms of facing the exclusion in rural areas using the ideas conceptually devised before (RPI and inclusive innovation) – at CEBRAP funded research project “Typology of rural productive inclusion and its impact on sustainable rural development policies”. Specifically, based on recent different databases of family farms’ experiences in Brazil (North, Northeast, and South Regions), we can proceed by building a typology of RPI rooted in bottom-up innovative initiatives from family farmers. The research has focused on three fields of interest: production, food security and nutrition, and access to markets. The results showed that there are four main groups of inclusion based on innovations with different levels of interaction and learning dynamics.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Juergens
University of Kiel

Food waste chains in rural areas – based on focus group discussions and expert interviews in case studies from Germany


The aim of this study is to expand the discourse on food waste with a spatial perspective that has not been taken into account so far. This perspective no longer only focuses on the disposal of food waste in the homes of private households at the micro level, but also on producers and retail sources of (fresh) products that are particularly susceptible to food waste at the meso level. Attitudes and perceptions of private households towards food waste can be explained and spatially differentiated beyond the areas of origin and structural specifications of their food such as production conditions or packaging sizes. In this way, behaviorally segmented target groups among private households will be identified, and their perceptions and behaviors will be linked to purchasing patterns and localizable attitudes toward food such as locality, region, and home. For this purpose, quantitative and qualitative surveys were conducted in rural (and urban) areas in order to identify the type and extent of mutual communication between different groups of actors and to derive learning potentials for the prevention of food waste. Focus group discussions and expert interviews with producers and retailers will be presented as a case study for the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein in order to break down practical experiences on the topic of food disposal to the meso level of a federal state and, in this presentation, to the micro level of individual households and food producers.

Session host

Elen-Maarja Trell
Assistant Professor
University of Groningen



Contact for questions about abstracts or registration: groningen@congressbydesign.com 

Contact for questions about the content of the programme: ruralgeo2023@rug.nl