Polirural objective number 3 is to “explore the future trajectory of rural development in regions using a hybrid foresight approach (quantitative plus qualitative), taking into account both historic and current situation”.


System Dynamic Modelling (SDM), is going to help in the foresight approach. During the first year of project, a template model has been built (SDM edition 1) as well as some sample models to understand the usefulness of the modelling exercise. We are presenting in this article one of the sample models, specifically dealing with Rural Attractiveness, a central issue in Polirural project.


This is not a real model, in the sense that the data running the model are not taken from any local statistics. It is a sample model that considers Rural Attractiveness (RA) as the main factor regulating urban/rural population flows, in both senses (from rural to urban and the other way around).


In the example Rural Attractiveness is defined by two factors: the perception of natural capital and the relative cost of living (comparing cities and rural areas). Every one of these factors has a weight in the final definition of RA, and it can be regulated in the interface.


At the same time Rural Attractiveness is affecting three key variables:

  • Employment: only with a certain level of RA, rural areas will attract people to work there; then RA will be regulating the flow from potential employment to real employment in rural areas.
  • Commuters: RA will define the proportion of urban employed people longing to move to rural areas and commute every day to work.
  • Migration: RA is also defining the proportion of people moving from rural areas to cities.


An interface has been created on which you can adjust variables and see the results. Find below the meaning and scope of the variables.


Potential Population Ratio Moving: Proportion of potential people willing to leave rural areas. It goes from 0 to 30% of the present rural population.

Rural Attractiveness Threshold to Move: what is the value of Rural Attractiveness at which rural population will decide to move? You can vary the RA threshold from 0 to 0,6.


Potential Population Commuting: Proportion of regional population willing to commute for a given RA value. It goes from 0 to 10% of the total regional population.

Rural Attractiveness Threshold to Commute: what is the value of Rural Attractiveness at which commuters will decide to live in rural areas? Again, you can vary RA threshold from 0 to 0,6.


You can go to the interface in the following link. Think of feasible scenarios and run them to see the results, then extract your own conclusions.

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