Special Issue "Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Stephan Bartke
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
German Environment Agency, President’s Office PB1 – Planning and Process Management, Research Coordination, 06844 Dessau-Rosslau, Woerlitzer-Platz 1, Germany
Interests: sustainable spatial development; institutional economics; land-use management; soil governance; sustainability economics
Prof. Dr. Sigrun Kabisch
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Interests: interdependencies between natural, social, and built environment; spatial consequences of demographic change; urban vulnerability and climate change; healthy living environments; international comparative case studies about land-use change and sociospatial differentiation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We cordially invite the submission of original contributions dealing with interactions in regional systems, particularly between urban and rural actors, institutions and projects to tackle great societal challenges. These include topics such as equitable and healthy living conditions, climate change and extreme events, pandemic crises, digitalization, circular economy and material flows. Conceptual and methodological papers are welcomed as well as case studies which are dedicated to striking examples and providing transferable knowledge and solutions.    

By focusing on urban–rural linkages and partnerships, our Special Issue aims at discussing new urban–rural imaginaries, integrating strategies and projects which explore present and future potentials in terms of sustainability and resilience. With these ambitions, we look to draw attention to the implementation of key topical targets including the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Habitat Urban–Rural Linkages Guiding Principles, the New Leipzig Charter and the Territorial Agenda 2030.

The contributions shall stimulate learning processes on various levels, i.e., from the local level to entire regions to the broader European and international levels, in order to foster an understanding of integrated regional and urban–rural development. We encourage contributions which provide original knowledge as well as those aimed at 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 unleashing synergies to reveal potentials for intensified urban–rural collaboration.

This Special Issue will include key results of the international conference “Sustainable & Resilient Urban-Rural Partnerships” from 25 to 27 November 2020, a hybrid event which will take place both in Leipzig, Germany, and online at www.urp2020.eu. Notwithstanding, additional submissions with strong references to the topic are welcomed.

Dr. Stephan Bartke
Prof. Dr. Sigrun Kabisch
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • New urban–rural imaginaries to support equity in living conditions
  • Robust regional systems coping with climate change and extreme events
  • Regional governance approaches
  • Integrated land-use management
  • Urban–rural metabolism and circular economy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Resilience and Circularity: Revisiting the Role of Urban Village in Rural-Urban Migration in Beijing, China
Land 2021, 10(12), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121284 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 173
Abstract
Recent policies in China have encouraged rural-urban circular migration and an “amphibious” and flexible status of settlement, reacting against the recent risks of economic fluctuation in cities. Rural land, as a form of insurance and welfare, can handle random hazards, and the new [...] Read more.
Recent policies in China have encouraged rural-urban circular migration and an “amphibious” and flexible status of settlement, reacting against the recent risks of economic fluctuation in cities. Rural land, as a form of insurance and welfare, can handle random hazards, and the new Land Management Law guarantees that rural migrants who settle in the city can maintain their rights to farmland, homesteads, and a collective income distribution. Existing studies have pointed out that homeland tenure can reduce migrants’ urban settlement intentions (which is a self-reported subjective perception of city life). However, little is known about how the rural-urban circularity and rural tenure system (especially for those still holding hometown lands in the countryside) affect rural migrants’ temporary urban settlements (especially for those preferring to stay in informal communities in the host city). The existing studies on the urban villages in China have focused only on the side of the receiving cities, but have rarely mentioned the other side of this process, focusing on migrants’ rural land tenure issues in their hometowns. This study discusses the rationale of informality (the urban village) and attests to whether, and to what extent, rural migrants’ retention of their hometown lands can affect their tenure security choices (urban village or not) in Chinese metropolises such as Beijing. Binary logistic regression was conducted and the data analysis proved that rural migrants who kept their hometown lands, compared to their land-loss counterparts, were more likely to live in a Beijing urban village. This displays the resilience and circularity of rural-urban migration in China, wherein the rural migrant households demonstrate the “micro-family economy”, maintaining tenure security in their hometown and avoiding the dissipation of their family income in their destination. The Discussion and Conclusions sections of this paper refer to some policy implications related to maintaining the rural-urban dual system, protecting rural migrant land rights, and beefing up the “opportunity structure” (including maintaining the low-rent areas in metropolises such as Beijing) in the 14th Five Year Plan period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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Article
Spatial Diffusion of E-Commerce in China’s Counties: Based on the Perspective of Regional Inequality
Land 2021, 10(11), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111141 - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
In recent decades, China has been on a new journey toward a digital economy of which e-commerce accounts for a substantial proportion. Despite some controversy, the innovation diffusion hypothesis and efficiency hypothesis of online shopping have been tested in research on the urban–rural [...] Read more.
In recent decades, China has been on a new journey toward a digital economy of which e-commerce accounts for a substantial proportion. Despite some controversy, the innovation diffusion hypothesis and efficiency hypothesis of online shopping have been tested in research on the urban–rural dual structure. However, research on the spatial diffusion model of online business is sparse. Based on the online business and online shopping index released by the Ali Research Institute, this article compares the spatial diffusion model of online shopping and online business in the core–periphery structure based on the inequality between the eastern and western regions of China. Our study suggests that online business trends are in line only with the innovation diffusion hypothesis, with marginal counties having lower levels of online business. Online shopping, on the other hand, is in line with the innovation diffusion hypothesis and partially with the efficiency hypothesis, with a higher index of online shopping in the core regions and some peripheral counties. The discrepancy in the spatial diffusion mode is due to the differences in aims and supporting elements between online business and online shopping. Apart from infrastructure, the diffusion of online business is largely constrained by the regional industrial base, while online shopping is influenced by income and savings levels, which is the main reason for the differences in the spatial diffusion of online business and online shopping. We argue that the diffusion of online business has not led to the ability to balance regional inequalities at the national scale, while online shopping has the potential to bridge core and peripheral disparities better than online businesses, not in terms of the ability to bridge economic disparities, but in terms of the potential to reduce spatial consumption inequalities and welfare gains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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Article
Quantification of Resilience Considering Different Migration Biographies: A Case Study of Pune, India
Land 2021, 10(11), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111134 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 463
Abstract
Urbanization proceeds globally and is often driven by migration. Simultaneously, cities face severe exposure to environmental hazards such as floods and heatwaves posing threats to millions of urban households. Consequently, fostering urban households’ resilience is imperative, yet often impeded by the lack of [...] Read more.
Urbanization proceeds globally and is often driven by migration. Simultaneously, cities face severe exposure to environmental hazards such as floods and heatwaves posing threats to millions of urban households. Consequently, fostering urban households’ resilience is imperative, yet often impeded by the lack of its accurate assessment. We developed a structural equation model to quantify households’ resilience, considering their assets, housing, and health properties. Based on a household survey (n = 1872), we calculate the resilience of households in Pune, India with and without migration biography and compare different sub-groups. We further analyze how households are exposed to and affected by floods and heatwaves. Our results show that not migration as such but the type of migration, particularly, the residence zone at the migration destination (formal urban or slum) and migration origin (urban or rural) provide insights into households’ resilience and affectedness by extreme weather events. While on average, migrants in our study have higher resilience than non-migrants, the sub-group of rural migrants living in slums score significantly lower than the respective non-migrant cohort. Further characteristics of the migration biography such as migration distance, time since arrival at the destination, and the reasons for migration contribute to households’ resilience. Consequently, the opposing generalized notions in literature of migrants either as the least resilient group or as high performers, need to be overcome as our study shows that within one city, migrants are found both at the top and the bottom of the resilience range. Thus, we recommend that policymakers include migrants’ biographies when assessing their resilience and when designing resilience improvement interventions to help the least resilient migrant groups more effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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Article
Spatial Pattern and Driving Mechanism of Urban–Rural Income Gap in Gansu Province of China
Land 2021, 10(10), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10101002 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 625
Abstract
The urban–rural income gap is a principal indicator for evaluating the sustainable development of a region, and even the comprehensive strength of a country. The study of the urban–rural income gap and its changing spatial patterns and influence factors is an important basis [...] Read more.
The urban–rural income gap is a principal indicator for evaluating the sustainable development of a region, and even the comprehensive strength of a country. The study of the urban–rural income gap and its changing spatial patterns and influence factors is an important basis for the formulation of integrated urban–rural development planning. In this paper, we conduct an empirical study on 84 county-level cities in Gansu Province by using various analysis tools, such as GIS, GeoDetector and Boston Consulting Group Matrix. The findings show that: (1) The urban–rural income gap in Gansu province is at a high level in spatial correlation and agglomeration, leading to the formation of a stepped and solidified spatial pattern. (2) Different factors vary greatly in influence, for example, per capita Gross Domestic Product, alleviating poverty policy and urbanization rate are the most prominent, followed by those such as floating population, added value of secondary industry and number of Internet users. (3) The driving mechanism becomes increasingly complex, with the factor interaction effect of residents’ income dominated by bifactor enhancement, and that of the urban–rural income gap dominated by non-linear enhancement. (4) The 84 county-level cities in Gansu Province are classified into four types of early warning zones, and differentiated policy suggestions are made in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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Article
Co-Productive Tools for Transcending the Divide: Building Urban–Rural Partnerships in the Spirit of the New Leipzig Charter
Land 2021, 10(9), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090894 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 504
Abstract
The outdated and discredited notion of a binary urban–rural divide remains stubbornly widely used. However, it both sets up and reflects oppositional politics and processes between the two supposedly mutually exclusive categories of space and place, which hamper urban–rural partnerships. Empirical reality on [...] Read more.
The outdated and discredited notion of a binary urban–rural divide remains stubbornly widely used. However, it both sets up and reflects oppositional politics and processes between the two supposedly mutually exclusive categories of space and place, which hamper urban–rural partnerships. Empirical reality on the ground is far more complex. Just as more appropriate conceptualisations and approaches have evolved, so new research methods and tools have been developed to overcome the different institutional barriers and stakeholder priorities in the face of contemporary real-world complexities and the urgency of tackling the ‘wicked’ challenges of sustainability, which also underpin the New Leipzig Charter. The focus here is on co-production and related methods, which can be considered as representing the top-most rungs of Arnstein’s (1969) Ladder of Participation. The relevance and application of these methods are exemplified from the work of Mistra Urban Futures in relation to transcending conventional European urban–rural divisions and forming partnerships, with due attention to problems and limitations. Such methods have considerable potential, including for addressing unequal power relations, but are time-consuming and require careful adaptation to each situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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Article
Expert-Based Maps as a Regional Planning Tool Supporting Nature Conservation and Production-Integrated Compensation—A German Case Study on Biodiversity Offsets
Land 2021, 10(8), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080808 - 01 Aug 2021
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Many countries worldwide have developed guidelines for offsetting impacts on nature and landscape. Suitable locations are the prerequisite for the implementation of these measures, and this might lead to conflicts with agriculture. In addition, comprehensive planning is often lacking and potential added values [...] Read more.
Many countries worldwide have developed guidelines for offsetting impacts on nature and landscape. Suitable locations are the prerequisite for the implementation of these measures, and this might lead to conflicts with agriculture. In addition, comprehensive planning is often lacking and potential added values for nature conservation are not exploited. Concepts such as the so-called production-integrated compensation (PIC) have been introduced to give farmers the opportunity to actively participate in the offsetting process and improve cooperation. However, up to now, PIC has only rarely been put into practice. Against this backdrop, we have developed a regional planning tool for the implementation of PIC in practice. Based on geodata such as soil data, agricultural structure, or natural conditions at the field and landscape level, the general suitability, and specific measure-based recommendations for each plot can be verified with the help of a decision support system. These factors are assessed from both a nature and an agricultural perspective. The goal here is to highlight synergy effects and increase the likelihood of the proposed measures being implemented. Our tool facilitates the integrated planning of biodiversity offsets at regional level. In this way, it can promote the bundling and networking of measures. However, on-site analyses should be undertaken to complement the implementation of measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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Article
Transitioning towards a Sustainable Wellbeing Economy—Implications for Rural–Urban Relations
Land 2021, 10(5), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050512 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
This article focuses on the question of how a shift from a narrow economic perspective to a wider sustainable wellbeing focus in regional development strategies and actions might change rural–urban relations. A brief review of relevant research and discourses about economic development models [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the question of how a shift from a narrow economic perspective to a wider sustainable wellbeing focus in regional development strategies and actions might change rural–urban relations. A brief review of relevant research and discourses about economic development models provides the foundation for the analysis. The review leads to the development of an analytical framework that puts the notion of sustainable wellbeing at its center. The criteria included in the analytical framework are then used to assess the current situation, challenges and perceived ways forward based on data and analyses from 11 European regions. The focus of the analysis is on different expressions of a sustainable wellbeing economy, and aspects of territorial development that are consistent with the basic features of a wellbeing economy are identified. Development dynamics and tensions between different development goals and resource uses, strategies and actions that are in favor of sustainable wellbeing goals, and conditions for more mutually beneficial rural–urban relationships are discussed. The article concludes with the implications for local government, and governance and policy frameworks. Reference is made to current high-level strategic policy frameworks and the European Green Deal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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Article
The Nexus between Creative Actors and Regional Development
Land 2021, 10(3), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030276 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 724
Abstract
The paper aims to deepen our understanding of the relationship and the impact of creative actors on regional development and investigates the nexus between them. The novelty of the paper lies in constructing an original criteria matrix of creative actors’ indicators which might [...] Read more.
The paper aims to deepen our understanding of the relationship and the impact of creative actors on regional development and investigates the nexus between them. The novelty of the paper lies in constructing an original criteria matrix of creative actors’ indicators which might serve as a basis for further research and policy implications. The original criteria matrix consists of two groups of indicators measuring the creative people and creative capital in the region, their mutual relationships and impact on regional development. We found that creative actors are not distributed equally across the regions in Slovakia. The strong dominance of the region with the capital city (Bratislava) was detected. We also discovered a strong direct positive relationship between representatives of the creative people and a strong direct relationship between the creative people and the emergence of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban-Rural-Partnerships: Sustainable and Resilient)
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