Call for Papers „Urban-Rural Partnerships“

for a special issue on Urban-Rural Partnerships

The international conference “Sustainable & Resilient Urban-Rural Partnerships - URP2020” on 26-27 November 2020 did demonstrate inter alia that urbanization, regionalization of food and material cycles or digitization urgently require rethinking and readjusting the functional urban-rural relationships for sustainable development. City and country are not delimited, self-sufficient spaces but are intensely dependent on and intertwined with one another. They are the source and sink in the resource cycle (for example in the case of food, building materials, water, energy, waste). Their interdependence is elementary for the development and securing of future viability, quality of life and regionally equivalent living conditions, not least with a view to jobs, the housing market, for recreation, and care for people.

The urban-rural nexus is of central importance for the implementation for the global Sustainable Development
Goals of the 2030 Agenda (SDGs). Currently, inter alia the national implementation plans of the SDGs, the New
Leipzig Charter and the Territorial Agenda 2030 with the emphasis on functional urban spaces offer the occasion and practical starting points for dealing with the more sustainable design of urban-rural relationships.

While research on the governance of settlement development has increased in recent years, analyses of spatialaffectedness, spatial impacts and the development of more holistic approaches to the integration of food and material cycles, new cultural landscape-oriented settlement models and their control in the form of new institutionalized processes are still in their infancy.

Therefore, the aim of the special issue is to show the state of research on the description, analysis and approachesfor the integrated governance and co-design of urban-rural relationships for sustainable regional development in empirical, methodological or conceptual-theoretical contributions.

Specifically, we invite to contribute answers to the following questions:

• How can diverging interests between the urban and the rural entities be balanced and conflict management processes further developed?
• What characterizes equivalent living conditions and how can these be promoted and attractive regions be
• How can a regionally integrated settlement development be strengthened, also with a view to sustainable
and efficient land use?
• How can the spatial integration of material flows and value chains be successful?
• How can sustainability goals be pursued and operationalized regionally?
• Which mechanisms for the implementation of urban-regional development processes are exemplary and
can be transferred?

Contributions to answer these or similar questions are welcome, especially:

• Conceptual considerations for the optimization of organizational forms, planning processes or value
chains in the urban-rural nexus.
• Case studies on urban-rural partnerships, land cycles, material and food cycles.
• Conceptual or empirical work and case studies on spatial implications of urban-rural partnerships.
• Contributions on practical recommendations for sustainable regional planning, with special attention to
urban-rural linkages.
• Contributions on methodological issues, including the development of indicators (e.g. on regional justice,
regional equality, urban-rural sustainability).

Papers may be written in German or in English and may be submitted within the categories ‘Articles’ and ‘Policy and practice perspective’. Interested authors may first submit an abstract of between 150 and 250 words in length in order to ensure that the proposed paper is thematically appropriate for the special issue. All interested authors are asked to comply with the journal’s Instructions for Authors (; see information at “submissions”). All submitted manuscripts will undergo the usual double-blind refereeing process.

The following timetable is aimed at:

• Deadline for submission of papers: 15 January 2022.
• The online first publication will occur about four weeks after the paper in question has been accepted.
• The print version of the special issue is planned for February 2023.

For content-based queries please contact the guest editors: Dr. Stephan Bartke (, Dr. Uwe Ferber ( or Lutke Blecken (

For organisational queries please contact the Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Andreas Klee (