Centre for Rural Economy


PRIMA: Prototypical Policy Impacts on Multifunctional Activities in rural municipalities

The project PRIMA aimed to develop a method for scaling down the analysis of policy impacts on multifunctional land uses and economic activities to municipality level, principally by means of agent-based modelling (ABM).

Models of municipality dynamics would be developed for a set of municipality case studies. These models would use ABM and focussed on the activities of the agricultural, forestry, tourism sectors and local residents. The models addressed the structural evolution of the populations (appearance, disappearance and change of agents) and the evolution of land use in the face of a range of EU policies related to sustainable development such as EAFRD, ESF and ERDF. Case study municipalities were located in partner countries, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, and UK (within Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire).

PRIMA involved interaction with stakeholders in pre-, on- and post-modelling phases. In the pre-model stage, engagement with 2 groups of stakeholders occurred for scenario design and formulated agent decision rules for the agent-based models. On-model engagement informed model development, and post-model engagement allowed validation, with stakeholder assessment of outputs.

From these case study models a set of virtual municipality prototypes, beyond the case studies, were extracted and allowed aggregation of model outputs to the regional level to provide evolutions of land-use at municipality level in the regional case studies. These were compared with downscaled outputs from the Global Trade Analysis Project model (GTAP) and the Integrated Model to Assess the Global Environment (IMAGE).

PRIMA also aimed to enhance the scope of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Sustainable Impact Assessment (SIA) by their incorporation of results from the ABM methodology.