Overarching objective

To enable rural communities’ actors and policy makers ​to design better strategies, initiatives and policies ​fostering sustainability transitions of rural areas,​ through advancing our understanding of ​different rural functionalities, characteristics and ​ future scenarios of rural areas, ​their potentials and challenges.

Central key transitions on which RUSTIK will focus on:

Socio economy 

- Demographic change
- Economic diversification processes
- Deepening inequalities

Climate change & environment 

- Ensuring a neutral or positive environmental impact of the food chain.
- Ensuring food security, nutrition and public health.
- Preserving the affordability of food, while generating fairer economic returns in the supply chain.


- Addressing the digital divide between urban and rural areas in terms of infrastructure, and human capital.
- Finding ways to use digital technologies to address territorial inequalities.

Rural functions

Five types of rural functions are RUSTIK’s starting point for characterising the diversity of rural areas and their capacity to respond to these transitions.