The end of 2023 was busy for RURENER as we had the chance to gather in the association of Communities Les Monts du Lyonnais from November 30th to December 2nd to continue the building of the Rural Resilience Roadmap for the LINK-EU project.
The event started off with the usual welcoming dinner so that participants can get to know each other. The next day, after the official opening in the Park Eco Habitat in Saint Symphorien sur Coize, we started with the first visit of the anaerobic biogas plant Méthamoly and the biogas station right next to it. An inspiring example illustrating a successful cooperation between private (farmers) and public (the association of communities) entities to promote circular economy, renewable energy and waste management.
We kept on going towards the municipality of Meys where we had lunch before visiting the eco-neighborhood. The eco-neighborhood emerged from the problem of the size of the school becoming too small for the growing number of children. After a local dialogue, the construction of a new school using eco-materials and promoting sustainable practices (saving rain water, having a vegetalized rooftop to optimize comfort, etc) was decided. Around the school, shared gardens have been developed as well as social housing with a wood structure. Quite an inspiring initiative that led the mayor to extend the discussion to the organization of the whole village.
Later on, we continue our travel to th participative bar “Le P’tit Clem” in Saint Clément les Place. The place opened after the previous shop closed and the village was left with no place to socialize. The team is kind enough to offer us the space for a workshop introduced by Veronique Rizzi explaining the different levels of participation. The group started working after that on their own trajectory to becoming a sustainable community, including discussions on citizen participation, clean and affordable mobility and circular economy in rural areas.
Back to the hotel l’Orée du Bois, the event close off with a concert by the local band Clume. What a day!
The next day was as stimulating with the visit of the public restaurant of Saint Martin en Haut as a start-off. A restaurant in a building with a wood structure and heated by biomass energy. And that’s not even the most impressive about the restaurant : they get about 80% of their food supplies from 20kms around, work on waste reduction and send their food waste to the anaerobic digestor visited the day before! A neat example of circularity and education.
A workshop followed to allow participants to focus on the next step they must take to move towards resiliency and sustainability of their community. Each community defined 4-5 actions that they will take in the next 6 months, before our next encounter in Avila, Spain.
In the afternoon, we visited the local concrete company that presented its actions to green the process of concrete production. Once again an inspiring example of an engaged private actor!
The event was closed with the discussions with the member of European Parliament Sylvie GUILLAUME who gave us the honor of joining us. Interesting discussions followed about the challenges faced in rural communities, but also the opportunity they represent on so many more subject than the energy transition.
Many thanks to all participants, we will see you soon!