The main goal of the PROSPERA project is to prevent biodiversity loss, soil consumption and degradation of natural assets, and to improve regional attractiveness and economic sustainable development in the peri-urban areas. The PROSPERA partners identify at least 15 Good Practices from the 5 participating cities: Aristotelis, Debrecen, Ghent, Reggio Emilia, and Varberg. During a process of interregional learning that comprises field visits and other workshops, the partners exchange knowledge about these Good Practices and discuss their transferability with a focus on policy making for the peri-urban areas. The knowledge feeds into the definition of local action plans to improve a local policy instrument.

Fields visits in the PROSPERA project are key points of adapting and implementing easier and faster the Good Practices of each region. Hosting partner presents information about its Good Practices and project partners and stakeholders share their experience. Building on the Good Practices that are presented, the various PROSPERA regions share their past and current experiences with policy making for the peri-urban areas.

As the PROSPERA partners prepared for the project’s first field visit in the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting travel restrictions dramatically altered the initial plans. The PROSPERA partners had to organize the field visits in an online setting. Since the field visits are keystones of the interregional learning process, it was crucial that the online field visits did not lose their essence of inspiring events that inform participants, provoke discussion and foster collaboration.

Now that PROSPERA partners have organized all the online Study visits foreseen by the project, ILVO researchers Anna Verhoeve and Jeroen De Waegemaeker collected the knowledge developed during this process and created a guideline for online field visits, to illustrate the methodology and share tips and tricks for interregional learning in an online setting.

The PROSPERA guideline for online field visits includes tips for organizing a study visit in a hybrid or in an online format, including, among others, how to define the agenda, timing and organizing process; how to maintain the enthusiasm of participants and stakeholders; and how partners and stakeholders can make use of the knowledge acquired in the field visits to draft their Local Action plans.

The guideline is available for reading and downloading in the Interreg PROSPERA Library.

Link: PROSPERA guideline for online field visits