A few words from Federica Ammaturo

Could you introduce yourself briefly? Tell us a few things about your background, studies, and general interests.

I studied urban, regional, and environmental planning in Naples. Thanks to my studies and interests, that brought me to travel to different geographical contexts, I learnt how the perspective of regional planning and development is important to me: the interrelations among different scales and spatial dimensions, the socio-economic complexity of the analysed context are fundamental for seeing “the big picture” without losing the slightest facets of our lives on Earth.

My research interest for urban-rural relationships is connected to this relational and integrated planning approach as well as to my origins: I come from Irpinia, an almost rural province in southern Italy. In the last few years I delved into the urban-rural linkages from different angles, touching issues of waste management, land takeover, internal migrations and citizen services at many latitudes, also confronting myself with the North/South dichotomies.

How was your moving to your new home? How are things going for you in your new place?

From the first weeks, life as an ESR has been surprising and challenging! Finding an accommodation in Berlin is not always easy, but it seems that I found my way through it; starting a new chapter in another city and country also brings some conflicting emotions. At the same time, the IRS research group has warmly welcomed me and I feel appreciated in the work environment and carefully accompanied as a young researcher.

You are preparing for your Work Package meeting, how is your work going?

I am currently working on my research proposal, with a particular focus on the typologies of CWS that are more relevant to my investigation: during this phase I am fully immersed in readings that can guide me through the conceptualization of my research idea and how it can contribute to the overall WP3 on Policy perspectives. Although it is still an early stage, I see some progress every day, discovering the broadness and timeliness of the topic, as well as the specific direction I would like to take.

Could you share with us some key insights/ “aha moments” from your work so far?

I am looking at the impact of CWS on the surrounding rural community, especially in terms of value creation. These emerging places could provide a range of services and innovations that are able to spread and foster development in the region, but their impact depends on many factors. Among them, I would like to explore the opportunities of CWSs beyond their performance for location-independent job sectors, and their capacity to promote open innovation for communities that keep rooted in their rural identity. Some parallel cases of CWSs in Italian, French and German regions will help me reconstruct innovation biographies in order to provide future policy recommendations.

What do you expect from the WP meeting?

I wish it will be a moment for sharing all our steps forward, but also critical issues and doubts: being at the beginning of this journey, this exchange could be beneficial for everyone. I also hope that we will have the opportunity to discuss our common objective as a team with our WP leader.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955907.