Lighhouse Sites of the European Rural Mobility Network (ERMN) meet for the first time in person in Narni (Italy). The meeting aims to contribute to the mobilisation of the ERMN, creating an opportunity for the lighthouse sites to get to know the project activities and outcomes and each other better. The meeting will also include a site visit for participants in and around Narni. 

LIGHTHOUSE SITES EVENT, Narni (Italy), 15-17 May 2023

On 16 and 17th May 2023, the SMARTA-NET Consortium organised the first ever meeting with the Lighthouse Sites in Narni, Italy. Six sites coming from different EU regions joined the meeting organised by the SMARTA-NET Consortium to discuss issues around rural mobility and ecotourism.

The SMARTA-NET project is establishing a pan-European network to finally provide a forum and a voice for those working on rural mobility. Initially, the ERMN will consist of +70 rural municipalities from 15 EU countries, along with “multipliers” including LAGs, regional authorities, networks/associations, etc.

The “Lighthouse Sites” are core members of the European Rural Mobility Network. Each already has a range of tourism interests in its area, and either has an active rural mobility scheme or is actively seeking to develop one. Working with the SMARTA-NET team, they assess various aspects of transport behaviour and how this can be improved, contributing to set up the European Rural Mobility Network.

By the time of the meeting, 12 Lighthouse Sites from 11 countries have committed to work with the SMARTA-NET project and participate in the European Rural Mobility Network (ERMN). Of these, six Lighthouse sites joined the meeting in person: Narni (IT), Kilkenny (IE), Madeira (PT), Alentejo (PT), Kusel (DE), and Lake Balaton (HU), and five sites joined remotely – Jastrebarsko (HR), Saleska Valley (SI), Rethymno (GR), East Tyrol (AT), Vidzeme (LV). The Kalmar region (SE) is the 12th Lighthouse Site.

First meeting of the SMARTA-NET Lighthouse sites

In the afternoon of the 16th, participants joined a site visit organised by the local host. The aim of the visit was to get some insights on the mobility and transport mobility hubs in the Narni area, and appreciate the touristic attractions therein. The visit was also an opportunity to experience a half-day trip travelling with sustainable transport options.

The meeting was a great opportunity to mobilise the initial group of Lighthouse sites, to give Lighthouse Sites the opportunity to meet each other and build relationships, and for the Lighthouse Site to give the SMARTA-NET team feedback on what they would really like from the project. The meeting initiated the cooperation with the sites and opened the process of networking among different sites and the engagement of rural municipalities in target EU countries.

Welcome speech from the Councillor for transport and sustainable mobility in Narni