Urban-rural connectivity in non-metropolitan regions (URRUC)

Coventry University Project Team
Dr Jason Begley
Dr David Jarvis
Dr Andrew Jones
Prof Stewart MacNeil


Value to Coventry University

Total Value

University of Valencia
Politechico di Torino



Project Overview

The aim of the project is to improve transport policy and systems related to connectivity by engaging the participating stakeholders in knowledge transfer activities, developing networks of information exchange and advancing understanding of flexible and sustainable urban-rural mobility and accessibility. This process shall help identifying good policy practices upon which recommendations can be derived for policy makers and stakeholders in the stakeholder regions, as well as at the national and European levels. The stakeholders behind this activity represent the following four non-metropolitan regions: Scarborough Borough Council (UK), Marina Alta (Spain), Regione Liguria (Italy), and Västerbotten County (Sweden).

Project Objectives

The main objective of this activity is to contribute to improving transport policy and systems related to urban-rural connectivity in four non-metropolitan areas and to advance understanding of urban-rural mobility and accessibility by engaging the participating stakeholders in knowledge transfer processes and activities based on networks of exchange. More concretely, this activity should satisfy the stakeholders’ knowledge needs as defined below:

  • How can efficient public and private transport networks and sustainable solutions be advanced to enable access to key services, activities, employment opportunities and commercial possibilities for the population in remote non-metropolitan regions?
  • What are the potentials, opportunities, and challenges for developing flexible and sustainable urban-rural transport connections and systems in non-metropolitan regions?
  • What kind of innovative solutions can be utilised, such as demand-responsive vehicle systems? What potential impacts can the emerging technologies associated with climate change, such as low emission vehicles and electric vehicles, have on the modes of travel?
  • What institutional and administrative barriers associated with cross-agency services impede the efficient implementation of transport policy in remote and inaccessible areas?
  • What can be learned from existing practices in Member States in developing and maintaining flexible and sustainable urban-rural transport connectivity in nonmetropolitan areas?
  • How can existing and future transport policy and other relevant policies be further strengthened to support the development of flexible and sustainable transport connectivity and solutions in non-metropolitan regions, including transport policy initiatives at EU-level, such as the Intelligent Transport Systems initiative, as well as in the stakeholder regions and countries?


A conceptual and methodological framework to explore and analyse the three main thematic areas of this activity and their inter-linkages, i.e. urban-rural interactions and cooperation, non-metropolitan regions, and flexible and sustainable transport systems.

  • An overview of the patterns of urban-rural transport connectivity in non-metropolitan areas and the policy initiatives and instruments that have been launched and implemented in the local and national contexts of the four stakeholder regions and at EU-level.
  • Maps and data collected and analyzed during the implementation of the activity related to the specific urban-rural transport connectivity situation in the stakeholder regions.
  • Enhanced understanding through exchanges of experiences on how to develop flexible and sustainable urban-rural transport solutions/systems in non-metropolitan regions, as well as the challenges encountered and how these have been dealt with.
  • Policy recommendations to further strengthening transport policy and systems related to urban-rural connectivity and interaction in non-metropolitan regions targeting actors and policy makers in the regions and countries of the stakeholders as well as at the EU-level.

By producing original evidence and providing a platform to share knowledge and experiences, the stakeholders should gain insights to better design their own flexible and demandresponsive transport solutions and systems based on emerging technologies and new modes of travel. Improving mobility and accessibility will also promote economic development and employment opportunities in the stakeholder regions.

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