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International Conference „Sustainable & Resilient Urban-Rural Partnerships“

Regions are of critical importance to achieve the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda including the Sustainable Development Goals and the HABITAT III objectives. The traditional distinction between urban and rural is imprecise and obviously shapes conflicts hindering constructive approaches. Knowledge and policies can support sustainable and resilient urban-rural partnerships at various spatial levels for stronger regions. Innovative and comprehensive perspectives on common targets are needed together with strategies to put them into practice. It is important to understand the complexly structured continuum in-between the urban and the rural and unleash synergies by close interaction and mutual support.

This perspective unfurls particular relevance concerning sustainable and resilient development pathways, including topics such as:

  • supporting equity in living conditions while accepting local particularities;
  • establishing multi-level, multi-actor and multi-sectoral regional governance approaches to mediate conflicting positions, trade-offs, dilemmas or paradoxes;
  • improving integrated land-use management, social and technological infrastructures and mobility services to enable proper living conditions and quality of life;
  • designing new sociotechnical approaches towards robust regional systems coping with climate change, extreme events, disruptive changes and uncertainties;
  • building the regional circular economy, enhancing resource efficiency based on a deeper understanding of the urban-rural metabolism;
  • exploiting digitalization strategies as catalyst and enabler of innovative development strategies irrespective of the location.

The conference aims at developing new urban and urban-rural imaginaries, integrating strategies and projects that explore present and future potentials in terms of sustainability and resilience. The conference brings together and connects recent scientific insights and enlightening experiences of on-going projects in practice. It stimulates learning on various levels, i.e. from the local level via entire regions to the broader European understanding of integrated urban-rural development.

The conference draws specific attention to closing the gap between available scientific knowledge on the one hand and decision making in practice on the other. We offer a forum for exchange and support the co-design of ideas to tackle the challenges listed above.

By focusing on sustainable and resilient urban-rural partnerships, the international conference contributes to the implementation of key elements of the Leipzig Charter 2.0, which will be signed by the European ministers responsible for urban and regional planning during their meeting in Leipzig, 31st November and 1st December 2020.

Conference Website:

Call for sessions is open until 17 January 2020:

Call for abstracts will open in February 2020

More information:

Sigrun Kabisch, UFZ Leipzig, Stephan Bartke, Umweltbundesamt


25. - 27. Nov. 2020


Leipziger KUBUS
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
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