Strengthening Urban-Rural Linkages and Promoting Integrated Territorial Development

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For more information on the UN-Habitat Call for Case Studies: Compendium on Urban-Rural Linkages please visit the Case Studies/Experiences section on this website.

This independent website has been developed to solicit public input to the Guiding Principles for Urban-Rural Linkages to Advance Integrated Territorial Development as guidance for all levels of government, development partners, civil society, experts from academia and practitioners actively engaged in articulating and implementing forms of integrated urban and rural development around the world.

Please find below the publication Urban-Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles to Advance Integrated Territorial Development released in February 2019.

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Publication: Urban-Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles and Framework for Action

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Your feedback:

Your feedback to the Final Draft Guiding Principles and Framework for Action is welcome at the bottom of the “Draft Versions” page. You may also provide your input at the bottom of the  “case studies and experiences” pages. Information on events related to this project including consultations/working sessions is found on the “events” page. A series of reports and documents from core partners and other stakeholders are found in the resource library” pages. Other articles and related posts are on the “blog” page.  A “glossary” contains definitions and frequently asked questions. Finally, if you wish to be included among the stakeholders in this process, you may register yourself in the “participating actors” page. For further information feel free to reach out by sending a message through the “registration” page.

Drafting process:

In April 2018 the First Draft of the Guiding Principles and Framework for Action was presented for open internet-supported consultation and we called for input to the draft and for experiences, case studies, tools and platforms to aid actors in the implementation of integrated territorial development. For more information on the character and history of this project see the “background” page.

The online consultation lasted until the end of May, after which a Second Draft Guiding Principles and Framework for Action were published in time for the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) for review and follow up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) in New York from 9-18 July 2018.

This website and project are coordinated under the auspices of the Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit of UN-Habitat led by Remy Sietchiping and Grace Githiri with support from a consulting team of Thomas Forster, Florence Egal, and Ramses Grande. We are grateful for the time and high quality work our former team members: Stephanie Loose and Arthur Getz Escudero.


The Guiding Principles and Framework for Action project build on a growing understanding of how urbanization is reshaping the world’s urban and rural landscapes. While urbanization has brought prosperity to many regions there is also a growing and increasingly severe development gap between urban and rural areas which demands new integrated policy and action.

Due to this polarization, the drivers of inequality, unsustainability, and divergence in development and income are among the many challenges addressed in the identification of overarching principles and a framework for action in a variety of entry points and fields of action linking urban to rural areas.

Urban-rural linkages play an important role for social, environmental and economic development as well as food security, water, resilience to climate change, migration and mobility in regions (among many other issues). improving the connectivity and synergies and integrated planning for urban and rural areas will not only impact the lives of rural populations but also of city dwellers.

Urban-rural linkages are defined by the constant flows of people, knowledge, capital, goods, information, and technology between rural and urban territories as well as the social, political, environmental and economic policy that governs the relations of urban to rural and rural to urban. Beyond large and megacities, small and intermediate towns and the rural territories between towns and cities play a critical role for sustainable development as they connect urban and rural flows and activities.

There a growing recognition that urban and rural settlements are elements within a continuum of space, and need more holistic and integrated approaches to achieve sustainable development. This new narrative for the urban-rural continuum can be found in recent global policy frameworks.  More detail follows in the background, themes and entry point pages accompanying the draft text of the Guiding Principles and Framework for Action.

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The aim of this page on Urban-Rural Linkages, convened by UN-Habitat, is to provide tools and information on strategies and linking international partners.

This website and project are coordinated under the auspices of the Regional and Metropolitan Planning Unit of UN-Habitat led by Remy Sietchiping and Grace Githiri with support from a consulting team of Thomas Forster, Florence Egal, and Ramses Grande, and the former team members: Stephanie Loose and Arthur Getz Escudero.

Please join this initiative by registering your name/organization on the “registration” page and providing your input before 31 May 2018. Please join in the conversation!