Nord-Pas de Calais and Flandres have been affected by sub-urbanisation over the past decades. This term
refers to the phenomenon of urban sprawl caused by the establishment of inhabitants on the countryside
near the cities. However, the community wants a quiet, diverse countryside, where it is enjoyable to relax.
The challenge for countryside management is to welcome new residents while preserving or improving the landscape and environmental qualities of the municipality without putting the farms at risk.
In addition, in view of sustainable development, urban sprawl should be limited and more economic space management methods implemented. This challenge requires an important effort from the rural villages that
do not always have the expertise, nor the means. The partners support rural municipalities in this effort. They develop an action programme to build the city of the future while preserving the countryside, supporting agricultural activity and preserving the fragile biodiversity.