On 24 November at 11 am CET via Zoom Cintia Jaime, Founder & Managing Director of ES VICIS Foundation, presented the work of her Foundation for which the overarching goal is to reverse the unsustainable rural to urban migration.
Presentation Slides – PDF
In Switzerland, as in the rest of the countries of Europe, hundreds of rural communities have been depopulated for decades, causing an enormous disproportion in the territorial balance.
Before the pandemic, around the world three million people migrated to cities weekly in search of a better future. As a result, larger, more crowded cities are increasingly struggling to provide their inhabitants with a welcoming and healthy environment, sufficient economic opportunities and adequate infrastructure. In addition, the environmental damage of cities is well documented: urban areas are consuming 80% of global energy, generating 70% of waste, and emitting 60% of greenhouse gases while only occupying 2% of the planet’s surface.
With the pandemic, the fragility of cities has been exposed. The ES VICIS Foundation has the mission to reverse this unsustainable global migration to cities and create territorial balance.
With this goal, in 2013 the foundation began researching this topic in Europe, Latin America, and Asia and what measures were being taken in rural communities to address their emigration. This study inspired the creation of the “Welcome to my Village” program with the objective of unlocking the potential of small, rural towns situated not far from cities and repopulating them sustainably with people living in urban areas and wishing a change in their lives. In 2014, he selected Argentina, which with 92% of the population living in urban areas, has one of the largest territorial imbalances in the world and hundreds of rural towns near large cities with sufficient infrastructure to be repopulated. In cooperation with the Swiss Embassy and local government, the foundation implemented a very successful and media-acclaimed pilot project (2014-2019) and is currently deploying the scale-up phase. The foundation has the plan to develop this solution also in Europe.