Big Foot is set out to tackle key issues at European level: marginalization of the rural mountain areas and their ageing population - by focusing on the valorization and maintenance of the elderly population, traditional knowledge and specific local culture. The Big Foot approach is implemented in three rural municipalities: Berkovitsa, Bulgaria; Trikala, Greece and Gubbio, Italy.
Mountain regions in Europe are centers of traditional cultural and natural diversity. At the same time, far away from the urban centers and marginalized, they are facing many challenges, including the lack of economic opportunities, and as a result - migration of the younger population towards urban centers. This process exacerbates the challenges of the rural mountainous areas - because the ageing population is not properly integrated in the development process - and leads to the loss of traditional knowledge by breaking the connection between the older and younger generations.
The idea of the Big Foot project is to bridge the gap - and establish intergenerational learning and dialogue in the mountain areas, enabling and valuating the skills and knowledge of the older generation of locals, combining traditional knowledge with modern communication tools and expertise in order to enable innovative, creative and productive joint solutions for local sustainable development.
The project aims to achieved the above by offering training to locals in selected mountainous communities and supporting community consultations as sharing opportunities for young and old inhabitants. Results can be seen through the multiple Publications and in the Press and Media, available in several languages.
Blending tradition and development is the key in Big Foot. For this reason, traditional handicraft go together with digital technologies, and hiking along historical paths becomes an opportunity to discover both local food and online video. Innovation in Big Foot takes different forms and the pace of the population of mountain areas: it is not introduced as a revolution, rather as a sensible and agreed-upon evolution towards a better understanding and integration in a world that is changing. Methodological information can be found in the Intergenerational Approach Handbook, Participatory Mapping Guidelines and in the Transferability Tool Kit, both availabble in the Publications section.
Implemented with support of the EU Lifelong Learning Program