During our CreatiVelo tour, to collect videopitches around the power of local initiatives, we arrived also at the village of Eersel. Eersel is a large rural municipality near Eindhoven that consists of an conglomerate of 6 neighboorhoods spread throughout the countryside. The local soil was harsh. Agriculture was difficult and poverty was enormous in the old days. Over time the region developped economic drivers in the field of intensive cattle holding for the worldwide supply of meat. A side effect of such activities is pollution and possible health risks. Other pollutors in the region are the local airport, the main road (A67) and the rural households themselves with firestoves, bbq, lots of cars for conmuting with jobs, etc.
From a climate and health perspective this region has its own transformative challenges. Powerful citizen initiatives have stood up to measure air quality, to lobby against the growth of the airport and cooperate with the local government on the other complex challenges and transitions at hand. We interviewed local alderman Eric Beex. In many countries we see a movement of people towards rural villages because of the perspective of quality of life. Healthy air, community feeling, countryside, safe environments for the children, online facilitaties for working from home, costs of living, are all triggers for families to move away from the city.