TASTE methodology
An original interdisciplinary research methodology combining data set analysis, case studies and partnership knowledge transfer
The privileged method used in the TASTE project will be based upon the three following items:
1) Data set
We will use data from the EDORA data base, as well as national data bases in order:
  • to build a comprehensive data set about various land uses figures in European rural and peri-urban regions
  • to collect and merge main economic, technical and social figures concerning the large regions including our case studies
The objective is to apply the same methodology of multicriteria analysis to each five countries to produce a common typology of rural areas:
  • The EDORA data base will have to be completed with complementary data sets on issues related to quality of life produced by private or public national institutions. This implies that a common framework will be elaborated on which each partner will indicate where to find the missing elements.
  • A WP will be specifically devoted to coordinate the data mining, gather EDORA and national data sets and run the multicriteria analysis.
2) Case studies
We have identified several case studies corresponding to the main topics of our research (land use occupations, various types of activities, need for territorial governance). We will use them for two purposes:
  • perform enquiries in order to collect data and information socio-economic processes and actors’ behaviors
  • use them as models of transfer of knowledge, and laboratories of our applications of the participatory principles
Due to these goals, the project will include two types of case studies:
  • test case studies, selected in order to test our hypotheses at the local level. These case studies will be located in various areas in the different countries involved in the project (France, Italy and Sweden). We will collect quantitative and qualitative data about their main land use occupations, activities and actors behaviors, and then use them as test for the implementation of the principles of transfer of good practices for the sake of territorial governance and smart development.
  • pilot case studies, located in French regions. These case studies are more mature, because they have already been studies by the French teams in the previous three years. We have identified several economic, social and spatial evidences about them, and we already possess valuable information about local actors’ behaviors.
Dissemination principles: for WP 3, 4 & 5, we have identified at least 2 test case studies and 2 pilot case studies (France). Involved researchers are a) gatekeepers in test case studies b) experienced French persons who are used to apply the PSDR method and principles for regional and territorial development analyses in French Regions. They have learned how to cope with these principles, how to apply them, and gained know how and tacit knowledge. They will help gatekeepers in the setting of the principles and the transfer of knowledge from pilot to test areas.
3) Knowledge transfer
Building a smart rural Europe also means to promote and to apply participatory tools and new methods of research. We need adapted researches for rural and peri-urban areas; these methods should drive to the setting of policy recommendations and to the building of territorial governance tools.
We plan to disseminate the methods used and tested at the French level during 15 years in the framework of the so-called PSDR programs (PSDR stands for Pour et Sur le Développement Régional, e.g. For and About Regional Development). The works and projects were devoted to the study of the conditions of development of rural and peri-urban areas, with special focus over agriculture and involvement of local partners in the research process.
This program has been successfully applied in ten French regions, and involved more than 700 researchers over the 2007 – 2011 period. It is a multidisciplinary program, which intends to deliver tools for local practitioners and partners as well as recommendations for local or national policymakers concerned by the territorial dynamics of the local areas. The method is partly an original one and follows a succession of peculiar steps, in order to bring new knowledge in favor of territorial development:
  • a) Multidisciplinarity, partnership with local actors
  • b) co-construction of research questions with researchers and partners
  • c) joint production of call for proposition : joint definition of case studies (not concerned in TASTE)
  • d) joint work during partnership projects
  • e) production of scientific researches on the basis of go-and return between lab work and grounded researches ;
  • f) valorization of the results in terms of :
- scientific publications
- teaching courses
- tools for local partners
- tools for policymakers
This method has already been applied to various places and sectors, through different experiences during the last 20 years in French Rural areas.
3 Steps
Step 1: Data (Year 1) Step 2: Surveys (Year 2)Step 3: Transfer (Year 3)
Collection and gathering of various data related to land use figures and development of peri-urban zones as well as business, agriculture, and services activities in rural and peri-urban areas Various surveys and local interviews at the case studies level. They will be launched in the zones defined by the case studies in order to bring information about local evolutions and actors’ behavior Construction and dissemination of tools: governance and technical tools for local stakeholders, and policy recommendations for policy makers
Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity
Overcome scientific borders and between agriculture, rural areas and sustainable development
TASTE is a multidisciplinary project, based on a combination of various scientific disciplines: economics, business, geography, sociology. This combination is thought to enrich the understanding of the issues of smart growth and sustainable development, which are known as complex phenomena. It allows to better reflect the complexity of the development process of rural areas and to take into account the diversity of functions and images of these areas. It also contributes to elaborate an analytical framework on what can be a smart development for rural areas, taking into account the diversity of situations and trajectories, especially considering rural-urban agriculture design, and the management of environmental resources.
TASTE is supported by the European Commission
and funding bodies in 4 countries
in the framework of FP7
European Commission FP7 Ruragri
Keywords Smart rural development - Land use and management - Innovative agriculture and business - Territorial governance
- Entrepreneurship - Rural Urban relationship

Scientific Coordinator : André TORRE (INRA) - torre@agroparistech.fr
Project Manager : Frederic WALLET (INRA) - wallet@agroparistech.fr