Compendium of Inspiring Practices on Urban-Rural Linkages: Implementing of Guiding Principles and Framework for Action to Advance Integrated Territorial Development (2nd edition)

Monday, 15 March, 2021

Compendium of Inspiring Practices on Urban-Rural Linkages: Implementing of Guiding Principles and Framework for Action to Advance Integrated Territorial Development (2nd edition) 

by UN-Habitat | 2021

Knowledge of and concrete evidence of improved flows of people, goods, services, information, and capital leading to more functional territories can inspire other actors’ strengthening of urban-rural linkages to help deliver sustainable development equitably. The Compendium of Inspiring Practices on Urban-Rural Linkages is an ongoing initiative at UN-Habitat for which new experiences - policies, strategies, tools, interventions, geographic or thematic projects - are continuously collected.

The compendium aims to inform both general and expert audiences about current practices and efforts around the globe to strengthen urban-rural linkages and advance integrated territorial development. It also seeks to demonstrate the application of the Urban-Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles and Framework for Action (URL-GP) at both national and sub-national levels. The experiences presented inform readers about the roles of different stakeholders in strengthening urban-rural linkages, including governments, intergovernmental organizations, development cooperation agencies, civil society organizations, academia, research institutions, and the private sector. The practices undertaken by different stakeholders and their interaction with other relevant actors will hopefully inspire and promote increased collaboration and cooperation between them in other countries and situations.

Raising awareness of integrated territorial approaches and people- and place-based development across the urban-rural continuum is critical to managing a comprehensive, interlinked, and truly participatory approach to sustainable development.

This approach - in which the strengthening of urban-rural linkages is a cornerstone - is aligned with the localization and realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda, among other global agendas.

A first collection of eight case studies, Compendium of Case Studies for the Implementation of the Guiding Principles of Urban-Rural Linkages and Framework for Action was launched during the tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) in early 2020. This first collection represented only a small fraction of what are many cases of urban-rural realities in different regions. In that first compendium, the URL-GP was applied retroactively to selected cases that predated the development of the URL-GP. Nevertheless, valuable lessons were gained for future applications of the guiding principles and framework for action. Three features of these cases stood out in relation to the URL-GP:

  1. The importance of inclusive, participatory methodologies to assess, plan and execute actions that leave no one and no place behind;
  2. The crucial role of both vertical and horizontal integration of actors and levels of governance for success;
  3. The pragmatic and locally grounded approach that urban-rural linkages provide.

These characteristics also happen to be essential to the localization of efforts to implement the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda and were among the lessons learned from the first compendium.

This second release of the Compendium of Inspiring Practices on Urban-Rural Linkages is a sample of 17 experiences from all regions of the world. The collection gives a picture of some of the current practices to strengthen urban-rural linkages.

The selection of case studies was drawn from an open call made by UN-Habitat in September 2019. This new set of inspiring practices significantly enlarges the number of case studies, expands the scope of applications of the URLGP, and includes more policy areas to strengthen urban-rural linkages such as biodiversity, nutrition, and migration. Also, this new sample showcases the practices of a wider range of actors, including projects led by international institutions, development cooperation agencies, metropolitan authorities, on-going and past UN-Habitat projects, and private initiatives. The experiences demonstrate that initiatives for strengthening urban-rural linkages rely on the participatory engagement of civil society and communities as well as on the cooperation and balanced partnership of different actors in urban and rural areas.

The collection of 17 case studies is intended to give practical information to representatives of national and sub-national government, civil society organizations, private sector, professionals, and practitioners, and to encourage cooperation amongst actors involved in various thematic issues relating to urban-rural linkages, which in turn will help facilitate integrated development outcomes.

In contrast to the first compendium, in this set of case studies, the authors applied the guiding principles and framework for action in the summary analysis of benefits from integrated urban-rural development approaches. The benefits of applying the URL-GP to cases demonstrate the value of taking an integrated, territorial approach and helps to articulate the main dimensions of sustainability in pragmatic, actionable ways. These experiences provide concrete examples to sustain social, environmental, economic, and cultural attributes needed to fulfill human rights and deliver human well-being while sustaining life on Earth. Editions of the compendium are evolving into an important complement to other tools to implement the URL-GP. The inspiring practices showcased here illustrate what is needed to advance more sustainable and integrated territorial development so that no one and no place will be left behind.

Access the full version of the compendium here