Restocking of inland Alentejo and its protected areas
The main goal of SunRoots is to bring newcomers to low population density regions in close proximity with natural parks, who have ecological awareness and urban gardening experience. We believe this background can lead to a more sustainable livelihood and ultimately to the cultural landscape conservation.
The target audience are people engaged in entrepreneurship, remote workers, retirees wiling to care for the land.
SunRoots will facilitate the moving process by providing a portfolio of houses in different types of clusters according to your requisites, provide the architectural project to (re)build a house and ultimately help out with the integration process.
We offer the following Services:
In Portugal, migration and rural exodus occurred during the second half of the 20th century, as people pursued job opportunities, access to higher education and better infra-structures. The immediate consequences on rural areas were population decline leading to farm abandonment, dereliction of housing stock and an ageing population.
These problems are more acute in inland areas where traditional cultural landscapes evolved as part of a balanced interaction between humans and nature. The aesthetic value of these landscapes, often led to its classification as protected areas. These territories of low density population have become a socio-ecological challenge for Portugal (as well as for other countries in Europe) especially in the Portuguese border with Extremadura where several protected areas are located (Natural parks of International Tejo river, Serra de Sao Mamede and Guadiana valley).
The region of Alentejo stretches from the south of Tagus river down to Algarve. It has a low population density. The main economic activity is still agriculture (extensive grain, olive and vine production). while tourist activity has grown by more than 10 percent per year in the coastside Alentejo, in inland Alentejo the growth process has not yet started. In this territory there are 2 protected areas, the Natural park of Serra de Sao Mamede and the Natural Park of Guadiana valley. In both parks there are pictoresque towns and villages (within the regions of Évora and Beja) where newcomers can enjoy the beautiful cultural landscapes of Alentejo with its vernacular architecture among which several towns, villages and communities/Montes. Towns and villages in Alentejo tend to have less than 5000 inhabitants. The communities, on the other hand are often composed of less than 100 people who aim for self-sufficient livelihoods.
Book chapter published by Springer on rural renaissance, multifunctional landscapes and climate adaption
Springer book chapter on Vernacular architecture in Portugal and its regional variations
Scientific paper on rural renaissance in Castro Laboreiro
Interactive map for Castro Laboreiro