Model villages

Regeneration plans for the pilot model villages of Muimenta and Trascastro

The model village is a legislative instrument that seeks to redevelop a village in a situation of abandonment by improving the quality of life of the village itself and recovering the productive activities of the surrounding land, formerly used for agriculture, livestock and forestry.


Xunta de Galicia
Axencia Galega de Desenvolvemento Rural
Fundación RIA


Team and collaborators
Fundación RIA



Carballeda de Avia, Ourense
O Incio, Lugo

The profound transformations of lifestyles in rural areas relegated the villages from their traditional role as structuring elements of the territory which wereclosely linked to local production systems.

The degradation of this basic productive structure of the Galician territory, alongside the broader dynamics of global deagrarianisation, have manifested in population loss, the deterioration of rural buildings, the abandonment of productive land and the disappearance of local knowledge. As a result, forest fires are coming closer and closer to rural population centres.

In order to address these problems in rural areas, the Regional Ministry of Rural Affairs approved the Law 11/2021, on 14 May 2021, to address the recovery of agricultural land in Galicia. Among other instruments included in the law is the Model village, a tool to reactivate productive land and rehabilitate the buildings and public space of the villages, in order to attract new residents and promote economic initiatives based on local values.

Global strategy

The declaration of a Model village, according to the current regulations, will be proposed by the interested town’s Local Administration and then approved by the Galician Rural Development Agency (AGADER).

A potential Model village must justify its situation by demonstratingt the abandonment of productive land in at least half of the perimeter, the existence of favourable productive characteristics and the willingness of its own inhabitants to be part of this instrument through the lease of agrarian plots to the public Land Bank (Banco de Terras).

There are currently 27 Model villages approved in Galicia. Most of them are located in the province of Ourense, a mountain province where depopulation has had the greatest effects. That is why in many cases, the villages are located near areas with natural ecological values protected by different types of protection.

Two instruments for each model village

The model village designation is associated with the drafting of two documents: the Productive Management Guide (GOP), whose scope of application is the rural land included in the delimitation of the model village, and the Dynamisation Plan (PD), applicable, totally or partially, to the rural core land.

On the one hand, the GOP, drawn up by AGADER, determines and delimits the productive uses that can be exploited on land adjacent to the nuclei, identifying the preferential and secondary uses according to the economic, technical, social and environmental points of view.

The PD, on the other hand, incorporates social, economic, technological, architectural and urban renewal and rehabilitation actions. It must include issues such as the improvement of habitability, the implementation of local food systems and short marketing, strategies for the generation of added value in agri-food products, sustainable local business models, etc.

Its objective is to coordinate public and private entities to promote these measures.

Pilot projects

The RIA Foundation is working on the elaboration of two Dynamisation Plans in two pilot model villages: Muimenta (Carballeda de Avia) and Trascastro (O Incio).

The elaboration of these documents takes into account factors such as the state of the building stock and public spaces, accessibility to facilities and services, and other social and economic indicators.

It is essential that the model village experience is perceived positively by the local population and that it represents an opportunity to improve their quality of life and secure their future in the village. To this end, the process will involve them in decision-making and the first actions will address their priority needs.

For more information on the model village strategy, see the AGADER website.