By tracing EU money streams, flowing from Brussels into the provinces of Eastern Poland, the project investigates the local effectiveness of Europe’s development policies, induced by their financial instruments. Frampol, a rural municipality and eponymous town planned by the Renaissance ideal, is studied as an example for the rural challenges the ex-Socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which accessed the Union in 2004 and 2007, are confronted with during the adaption period, subsidized by the Union until 2020. The dissection of Frampol’s seemingly unprepossessing landscape reveals the collision of post-Socialist political intricacy, EU subsidized developments and hampered rural productivity of land, capital and labor.
Activating Frampol proposes an integrated rural development plan for the town and its municipality. Design by means of an integrative governance using a common vision, is to mitigate the ongoing social and spatial deprivation. Key herein is the stimulation of existing spatial and cultural qualities by rendering a common vision for an active cultural landscape. By giving responsibility to the population in establishing cooperative means of economic and social organization, supported by spatial developments, the link between the collective and the individual is established.
Benefiting from its undiscovered condition, Frampol bears the potential to preserve the qualities of its natural landscape through environmentally sensitive development. The integration of organic farming, agri-touristic activities and nature conservation offers opportunities for spatial and economic development in the villages of the municipality. The essential supporting infrastructures is the extension of road connectivity and bicycle tracks between the settlements and environmental sights. The collective identity of the municipality is complemented by a physical identity making in Frampol’s town center, which is transformed into a cultural focal point. The design of the town’s center reintroduces its historical function of a market square, a space for merchants, artisans and farmers. Localism is stimulated through cultural exhibition, distribution of agricultural produce and facilities for vocational training and communal gathering. The project argues for the contextualization of EU development policies through a strengthened local governance strategy. Cooperative networks of farmers, industries and government need to build upon a local vision in oder to counteract societal and spatial fragmentation and enhance a sustainable rural development in the post-Socialist context of Eastern Poland.