Why a Rural Crete Observatory?

Θραψανιώτες αγγειοπλάστες - Δήμος Μινώα Πεδιάδας
Thrapsano’s potters | Regional Unit of Heraklion | © Minoa Pediada Municipality

The traditional tools and means at the disposal of Cretan public bodies and actors are no longer enough to ensure the up-to-date solutions the island needs. They must be enriched and supplemented, evolving and connecting with modern functions and approaches.

The RCO is a vital step in this direction, supporting the planners and decision-makers concerned with rural Crete, as a ‘new strategic tool’, state-of-the-art and capable of codifying and interpreting both the dynamics of the countryside and the threats it faces.

The basic aim of the RCO is the systematic collection, analysis, deciphering and translation of a large mass of data, followed by its processing and transformation into specific proposals and directions addressed to the actors responsible for planning the future of Crete.

The RCO was not created to collect or record information that is already known to us. It was created mainly to collect, evaluate, exploit and combine the huge volume of data resulting from studies, research and experience from institutions in Crete and elsewhere, in order to capitalise on this knowledge to the benefit of rural Crete. This capitalisation is made visible and specific before the RCO places it at the disposal of the Cretan actors via suggestions, proposals and guidelines, presenting them with a ‘road map for the development of rural Crete’.

Furthermore, the RCO operates as a catalyst for fruitful partnerships, connections and collaborations among data production, management and collection structures, creating a ‘system of relations and interconnections’ with the ultimate aim of reinforcing local and regional governance in its management of the complexity of the countryside.

Work on the RCO has begun as a pilot project implemented by the Municipality of Lasithi Plateau, with a view to gradually expanding its activities to cover the whole of Crete.

Φωτ. Χρύσα Παγκάλου
Weaving art – Aimonas | Regional Unit of Rethymno | phot. Chryssa Pagalou