50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
The European Community has designed and is implementing policies to support disadvantaged mountain areas in today's ever-changing world environment. Despite the initiatives, it appears that to reverse the devastation of mountain communities in disadvantaged areas is a difficult affair. Financial incentives for the development of accommodation, restaurants, e. t. c. in mountain communities alone are not always enough for the mild & sustainable development of these communities. The parallel exploitation of the cultural reserve and the creation of alternative education centres in these communities can significantly enhance the chances of revival. The present research explores the possibility of setting up and operating an informal school for construction of traditional instruments in the mountain community of Akritas, Florina, and the developmental prospects that it creates. The pilot establishment of the School based on the exploitation of 'rembetiko song' (old, traditional and special kind of songs), on the architectural heritage, on the unique natural environment, on mild development and on a quality of life for residents and visitors It is concluded that the above pilot action creates multifaceted positive perspective, helps to further rescue and diffuse the "rebetiko" songs, intercepts the devastation of the community, providing quality study conditions which is difficult to provide with the formal education system, creates the conditions of mild and sustainable community development and forces local authorities to cooperate.