Research Topic

Sustainable Urbanization Through Urban-Rural Co-Development

About this Research Topic

Urban-rural co-development plays an increasingly important role in a community’s sustainable urbanization. It has become a critical pathway to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where establishing urban-rural linkages is an explicit target of SDG 11. A territorial approach to urban-rural development brings about benefits in all three areas of sustainable development: reducing regional inequities, enhancing economic synergies, and strengthening environmental protection. The recently published “Framework for Action to Advance Integrated Territorial Development” by UN Habitat outlines 10 principles underlying this approach, including coordinated governance, integrated territorial planning and investment, and inclusive decision-making processes. While the principles are universal, their application should be contextually-appropriate. Indeed, there is a great need to study how these principles can be adopted to accommodate local complexity, interpreted to capture local opportunities, and applied to meet local needs.

Advancing the goals of urban-rural co-development pursuant to the UN action principles requires research that evaluates the growing body of practices, articulates necessary enabling environments for policy implementation, and investigates policy outcomes comprehensively. Furthermore, it requires the evaluation of a broad spectrum of the urban-rural conditions across different locales to identify, explain, and compare the effectiveness of the 10 principles. The goals underlying this Research Topic include producing knowledge of pragmatic strategies and actions around the world, making contributions to the understanding of supportive mechanisms for integrated and inclusive governance and policy making, and developing frameworks for policy evaluations and comparisons that are cognizant of the contextual differences and can facilitate knowledge- and experience-transfer. Scholarship to be presented under this Research Topic builds on the collaborations of scholars, practitioners, and policy makers who have been continuously participating in a Working Group titled “Urban-rural linkages” hosted in the Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Hub (SCL) for the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). Interested contributors are welcome to join the working group in the upcoming annual conference of SCL APRU in December 2020.

There are three themes we would like contributors to address:
1. Regional and territorial planning for an integrated urban and rural development, with a particular focus on spatial planning that uses an ecological and landscape approach to shape urban-rural continuum while reducing the environmental impact on rural-urban convergences.
2. Enhancing legislation, governance, and capacity via partnerships between urban and rural areas, including government collaboration and public-private partnership in regional planning to support flows of people, goods, and resources among big central cities, towns, and rural settlements for rural-urban co-benefits.
3. Inclusive investment and finance in both urban and rural areas, especially equity-driven policies and investment strategies in areas such as housing and infrastructure aimed at reducing urban-rural disparities and supporting urban-rural co-development in economic, social, and cultural spheres.

The types of manuscripts can include: original research, community case study, policy brief, and conceptual analysis.


Keywords: Sustainable Urbanization, Urban-Rural Co-Development, Regional and Territorial Planning, Spatial Planning, Rural-Urban Convergence, Public-Private Partnership, Inclusive Investment and Finance, Urban-Rural Disparities, Urban-Rural Linkages, Integrated Territorial Planning, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainable Cities, Landscape Approach, Ecological Planning, Green Infrastructure


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Urban-rural co-development plays an increasingly important role in a community’s sustainable urbanization. It has become a critical pathway to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where establishing urban-rural linkages is an explicit target of SDG 11. A territorial approach to urban-rural development brings about benefits in all three areas of sustainable development: reducing regional inequities, enhancing economic synergies, and strengthening environmental protection. The recently published “Framework for Action to Advance Integrated Territorial Development” by UN Habitat outlines 10 principles underlying this approach, including coordinated governance, integrated territorial planning and investment, and inclusive decision-making processes. While the principles are universal, their application should be contextually-appropriate. Indeed, there is a great need to study how these principles can be adopted to accommodate local complexity, interpreted to capture local opportunities, and applied to meet local needs.

Advancing the goals of urban-rural co-development pursuant to the UN action principles requires research that evaluates the growing body of practices, articulates necessary enabling environments for policy implementation, and investigates policy outcomes comprehensively. Furthermore, it requires the evaluation of a broad spectrum of the urban-rural conditions across different locales to identify, explain, and compare the effectiveness of the 10 principles. The goals underlying this Research Topic include producing knowledge of pragmatic strategies and actions around the world, making contributions to the understanding of supportive mechanisms for integrated and inclusive governance and policy making, and developing frameworks for policy evaluations and comparisons that are cognizant of the contextual differences and can facilitate knowledge- and experience-transfer. Scholarship to be presented under this Research Topic builds on the collaborations of scholars, practitioners, and policy makers who have been continuously participating in a Working Group titled “Urban-rural linkages” hosted in the Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Hub (SCL) for the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). Interested contributors are welcome to join the working group in the upcoming annual conference of SCL APRU in December 2020.

There are three themes we would like contributors to address:
1. Regional and territorial planning for an integrated urban and rural development, with a particular focus on spatial planning that uses an ecological and landscape approach to shape urban-rural continuum while reducing the environmental impact on rural-urban convergences.
2. Enhancing legislation, governance, and capacity via partnerships between urban and rural areas, including government collaboration and public-private partnership in regional planning to support flows of people, goods, and resources among big central cities, towns, and rural settlements for rural-urban co-benefits.
3. Inclusive investment and finance in both urban and rural areas, especially equity-driven policies and investment strategies in areas such as housing and infrastructure aimed at reducing urban-rural disparities and supporting urban-rural co-development in economic, social, and cultural spheres.

The types of manuscripts can include: original research, community case study, policy brief, and conceptual analysis.


Keywords: Sustainable Urbanization, Urban-Rural Co-Development, Regional and Territorial Planning, Spatial Planning, Rural-Urban Convergence, Public-Private Partnership, Inclusive Investment and Finance, Urban-Rural Disparities, Urban-Rural Linkages, Integrated Territorial Planning, Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainable Cities, Landscape Approach, Ecological Planning, Green Infrastructure


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

29 December 2020 Abstract
28 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

29 December 2020 Abstract
28 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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