Talk: Integrated Urban- Rural Planning and Governance: A Global Perspective

In September, Bianca has shared our approach at the first international conference organised within the framework of the Sino-German research and development project “Urban-Rural Assembly” funded via the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The conference took place in a hybrid format with a physical gathering in Apolda and focused on integrated urban-rural planning and governance from a global persepctive. It was organised by by the URA research consortium led by Habitat Unit at TU Berlin and CAUP at Tongji University Shanghai, and was be hosted by IBA Thuringia on September 24, 2020.


In China, and many other countries across the world, rapid urbanisation processes have produced unevenly developed landscapes made up of urban growth centres along infrastructural corridors, as well as disadvantaged (formerly rural) hinterlands.

Emerging socio-spatial polarisations — marked by demographic, socio-cultural, economic, and environmental disparities — become most strikingly visible at the urban-rural interface. Furthermore, dysfunctional urban-rural linkages have been increasingly recognised as one of the major obstacles in the path towards a more future-oriented and sustainable urbanisation model.

A first step towards addressing such challenges should be the acknowledgment of the trans-local and multi-dimensional conditions of urban-rural regions and the metabolic relationships of natural resource flows, ecosystemic infrastructures, and multi-directional mobilities. These emerging and complex urban-rural constellations require new analytical models, integrated planning approaches, and policy frameworks that can assist in reading, revealing, and steering inherent urban-rural potentials and challenges, and that include relevant actors, institutions and processes acting across administrational and sector boundaries.
(Urban-Rural Assembly conference outline)

The conference brought together international researchers, practitioners, city and regional representatives, policy makers, and global networks such as ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and UN-Habitat to discuss diverse cases from China, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.
It shed light on current development challenges, new experimental approaches towards integrated urban-rural development, and the possibility of knowledge transfer and transnational learning.


Thanks to Philipp Misselwitz and Hannes Langguth for the inviation.