Γωνί - Οροπέδιο Ασκύφου
Goni – Askifou Plateau | Regional Unit of Chania | phot. Nikos Skoutelis

The rapid developments of the past few decades have created a complex new global reality that inevitably requires the redefinition of both global and local systems. However, societies and institutions alike have been taken unawares, unable to provide any answers.

Global and local often appear to be two poles that both repel and attract each other. Threats and opportunities coexist as a result of these developments.

Reading this complexity correctly and, above all, handling it is the self-evident responsibility of actors and societies that wish to have a say in all that concerns them. Seeking answers, however, is directly connected to their determination, their abilities and the tools at their disposal, in order for them to act in a timely, comprehensive, informed and effective manner.

Society and actors need to be equipped with ‘modern support/regulatory tools’ allowing them to monitor and intervene in the developments determining their future.

This responsibility is highlighted and responded to by the partnership between the Region of Crete (providing the funding and political will), the Technical University of Crete (scientific supervision) and the Ploigos Educational and Development Company (database coordination and management), coming together for the establishment and operation of the Rural Crete Observatory, the first of its kind in Greece.

This project also highlights the duty of Cretan actors to respond to challenges, opportunities or threats with the appropriate modern tools, as the policymakers and decision-makers responsible for planning the future of Crete.

The Rural Crete Observatory, a state-of-the-art, flexible scientific tool, is placed at the service of the ‘rural system’ as a whole, allowing it to interpret today’s complex reality and transform it into a ‘quality development narrative’ centred on the new attractiveness of the Cretan countryside.

It is also a further weapon in the ‘development arsenal’ of Crete, since neither willpower and desire nor wishful and rhetorical references to rural Crete are sufficient in themselves to accomplish the comprehensive revitalisation of the countryside, implement agricultural revival strategies or recreate relationships and sectors, all of which require a holistic approach and planning.

Μαχαιροί Αποκορώνου
Maxairoi – Apokoronas | Regional Unit of Chania | phot. Nikos Skoutleis