German BMBF Funding Activity Urban-Rural – Stadt-Land-Plus

Urban and rural areas are dependent upon each other. The development of urban, peri-urban and rural areas is functionally intertwined – food, building material and waste cycles are some examples of critical material flows. Further, connections are established between housing markets, transport, culture, (local) recreation or tourism.

22 interdisciplinary and collaborative projects grouped in different project clusters are pursuing an integrated research-practice approach, supported through funds from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funding activity Stadt-Land-Plus. The projects are supported by a cross-sectional scientific synthesis project with the purpose of supporting the networking, transfer and processing of project-overarching cross-sectional topics.

Practice partners and research institutions collaboratively develop innovative solutions for the shared sustainable development of urban, peri-urban and rural areas. This includes aspects such as the forming of a sustainable regional circular economy or the improving of shared information and data-foundations to support decision-making of actors involved in moving towards regionally sustainable land management.

These interdependencies are fundamental for sustainable development and thus for the future viability of our regions. In this context it is important to address the growing gap between the living environments of urban and rural areas. The demand for the resource land is intensifying in flourishing regions. Shrinking regions face a growing inequality of living conditions. Urban and rural cannot be understood as separate but instead as a holistic system.

Our Projects

The projects in Stadt-Land-Plus are grouped here in 5 thematic clusters. Click the project's short name for further information.

Integrated Urban Development





Regional Material Cycles





Synthesis & Networking

Scientific Synthesis Project

URP2020 Conference - a Synopsis and Further Documentation

Under auspices of the Minister of the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) Anja Karliczek, the conference "Sustainable & Resilient Urban-Rural Partnerships – URP2020" took place with more than 450 registered participants from almost 50 countries on 26–27 November 2020.

The conference was organized by the scientific Synthesis Project of the "Stadt-Land-Plus" funding measure along with the support of the Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung – UFZ. Following the Grand Opening under the conference patronage by Minister Anja Karliczek (BMBF), honored guest took to the virtual stage such as the Saxonian Minister for Regional Development Thomas Schmidt and the President of the German Associations of Cities and Lord Mayor of the City of Leipzig Jung, followed by inputs from Prof. Silke Weidner who was centrally involved in the renewing of the Leipzig Charter as well as the Scientific Director of the UFZ Prof. Teutsch.

Keynotes were delivered by Maria Vassilakou (EU Mission Board Climate-Neutral & Smart Cities; former Vice-Mayor of Vienna),  Prof. Borislav Stojkov, University of Belgrade, Serbia, and Prof. David Simon, Royal Holloway University, UK.

Conference participants then exchanged in over 30 interactive sessions, each organized with international participation and inputs, as well as two poster sessions presenting current research results. Topics of focus were regarding successful governance approaches to urban-rural-partnerships, regional land use management, resilience to extreme events, regional circular economies as well as digitalization. The full conference program can be found here. Further, official recordings of the conference as well as further conference documentation in English can be accessed here.

The members of the Synthesis Project for the Stadt-Land-Plus funding measure would like to thank all the participants and contributors for making the URP2020 Conference a success!

URP2020 - Map of particpating countries
URP2020 - Map of particpating countries

Further information on URP2020

Learn more about the event with this short introductory video.