The countryside is facing considerable societal challenges, related to population decline, agricultural industrialization, and declining biodiversity. The cluster focuses on the following three subtopics:
- Ecological networks require long-term and large scale planning, but traditional approaches of purchasing land are costly and often lack societal support. We therefore explore and evaluate alternative modes for realizing ecological networks.
- More nature-inclusive agriculture is a clear societal wish, but farmers are often stuck in their traditional ways of farming. We explore new modes of landscape governance, which lead to more sustainable food production.
- Cultural heritage and tourism may create new opportunities for rural entrepreneurs, but this can lead to competing claims and contestation. We explore new modes of landscape governance that bring about a sustainable balance of exploitation and preservation.