Call for Case Studies: Compendium of Inspiring Practices on Urban-Rural Linkages

Invitation and instructions for participants:

UN-Habitat invites you, as organizations and professionals working to integrate urban and rural sustainable development, to share your experiences and case studies on lessons from practices and policies in regards to relationships between urban and rural areas. In particular, UN-Habitat is looking for organizations and professionals interested in integrating the newly launched Urban Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles (URL-GP) and Framework for Action in past, ongoing or upcoming projects. The practices can be policies, strategies, tools, interventions, geographic or thematic projects whose aim is to advance territorial planning and development by strengthening urban and rural linkages. This is a first open call and you may submit your experiences any time. However, we encourage you to submit a case study by 15th October 2019. The case studies will be published on the urban-rural linkages website and selected cases, submitted by 30 September, will be included in the second edition of the Compendium of Inspiring Practices on Urban-Rural Linkages to Advance Integrated Territorial Development. The compendium is planned to be published at the First Forum on Urban-Rural Linkages in China this November. Selected cases will be discussed and presented at the forum. The first edition of the Compendium can be found here. The first edition can help indicate how case studies will be presented in this new edition.

If you have an existing or ongoing case that you would like to submit, please fill out the Template for Submission. The template should be completed and submitted to the Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit (RMPU), Urban Planning and Design Branch of UN-Habitat by sending your submission of practices to In the template you are asked to describe the practice and review already achieved or anticipated outcomes of your project related to the Urban Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles and Framework for Action. 

UN Habitat defines urban-rural linkages as the as non-linear, diverse urban-rural interactions and linkages across space within an urban-rural continuum, including flows of people, goods, capital and information but also between sectors and activities such as agriculture, services and manufacturing. In general, they can be defined as a complex web of connections between rural and urban dimensions.

Through a consultation process with numerous stakeholders UN-Habitat has developed ten Guiding Principles and a Framework for Action with planning and institutional actions to create an enabling environment in selected sectorial and thematic entry points. The collection of inspiring practices will help to raise awareness and build evidence encouraging others to apply the guiding principles through the framework of action to strengthen urban-rural linkages. Read here for more on the history and process leading to the URL-GP. 


The 10 Guiding Principles are:

1. Locally grounded interventions
2. Integrated governance
3. Functionally and spatial systems-based approaches
4. Financially Inclusive
5. Balanced partnership
6. Human rights based
7. Do not harm and provide social protection
8. Environmentally sensitive,
9. Participatory engagement
10. Data driven and evidence-based

The Guiding Principles were developed for flexible application by different levels of government, intergovernmental organizations, development partners and stakeholders from academia, research, civil society including grassroots organizations and the private sector. Application of the principles are made concrete through the Framework for Action. Sections of the framework identify institutional and planning actions to create an enabling environment in selected sectoral and thematic entry points to foster inclusive economic, social and environmental sustainability across the urban-rural continuum.

Planning and Institutional actions to build an enabling environment for strengthened urban-rural linkages:

ø Governance, legislation and capacity development: Assess capacity and needs for policy tools; enhance dialogue and cooperation across sectors and planning levels and convene new multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actor governance mechanisms and support inclusion of affected urban and rural populations.

ø Integrated planning across the urban-rural continuum: Support localization of national planning; integrate urban-rural linkages and integrated territorial development in National Urban Policies and promote networks and associations of planners in different jurisdictions.

ø Investment and finance for inclusive urban-rural development: Address and improve public and private finance and access to credit across the urban-rural continuum, focusing on small and intermediate towns and cities and integrated urban-rural territories. Strengthen financial intermediation services and enable ecosystem service provision in peri-urban and rural areas.

ø Empower people and communities: Assess and support inclusive multi-actor participatory processes and partnerships; directly address and compensate for inequities across the urban-rural continuum in order to create balance and inclusion from informal and formal sectors.

ø Knowledge/data management for dynamic spatial flows of people, products, services and information: Improve collection and management of spatially and gender disaggregated data and knowledge, including ensuring a balance between inclusion of the formal and informal sectors.

Sectorial and thematic entry points to promote integrated territorial development:

ø Territorial economic development and employment: Coordinate urban and rural economic development to enhance synergies; harness the potential of small and medium size towns and apply innovations in participatory credit, finance and enterprise incubation schemes to create new jobs that improve territorial flows of products, services and information. 4

ø Coherent approaches to social service provision: Identify needs and opportunities where stronger urban-rural linkages can impact more spatially and socially equitable service provision; pilot new urban-rural partnerships for health and social services outside cities.

ø Infrastructure and communications: Perform integrated and inclusive urban-rural infrastructure needs analysis; jointly plan, finance and construct infrastructure for water, sanitation, roads and public transport, electrification and communication, etc.

ø Integrated approaches for food security, nutrition, and public health: Mainstream health and well-being by building coherent and linked urban-rural approaches to food, water, energy and health systems with attention to the multiple benefits of the circular economy of the urban-rural nexus, especially when coupled with capacity development and inclusion.

ø Environmental impact and natural resource and land management: Conduct strategic environmental assessments to reduce environmental risk from severe flooding, drought, storms, etc.; address land and water tenure and sustainable use of natural resources, protect biodiversity, promote ecosystem-based production systems and build resilient landscapes.

ø Conflict and disaster: Assess risks, gaps and vulnerable populations in relation to potential hazards in urban, peri-urban and rural areas; jointly plan for resilience measures and invest across jurisdictions to protect transport, energy, information, health, education, food and water systems, etc.

The Guiding Principles and sections of the Framework of Action listed above form the basis for the call for case studies. If there are multiple thematic entry points for your policy, tool, strategy or project fits, please identify primary and secondary themes being addressed. The Template for Case Studies on following pages should be completed and submitted to the Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit (RMPU), Urban Planning and Design Branch of UNHabitat by sending your submission of practices to indicating in the subject line «Urban Rural Linkages-Call for Case Studies”.

Case studies selected for the next edition of the Compendium of Inspiring Practices on Urban-Rural Linkages to Advance Integrated Territorial Development will be summarized, and final draft text will be shared with authors prior to publication. Full credit will be attributed to the authors and organizations submitting the case studies. Thank you for your participation!

Deadline/closing date: 
Tuesday, October 15, 2019