First International Forum on Urban-Rural Linkages | Land Portal
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Ms. Grace Githiri (email:

First International Forum on Urban-Rural Linkages: “Rural revitalization through innovation and valorization”

Urbanization processes shape large areas of the world, while the revitalization of rural regions has been neglected for a long time. Nevertheless, cities and villages are indispensable for the sustainable development of mankind. With the advent of ecological civilization, people began to re-examine the significance of villages and appreciate more idyllic scenery, poetic landscapes, vernacular culture, and folk customs. As a result, a laid-back country life where people live in harmony with nature catches on. The new era arrives with a new mandate, i.e. to accelerate rural revitalization and allow villages and cities to share the achievements of modern civilization in sync, which not only relieves “big city urban diseases” to a certain extent but more importantly provides a new way of thinking for sustainable urban and rural development around the world from the perspective of a community of shared future for mankind.

Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG11) promotes sustainable cities and communities including rural areas, and support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning (Indicator 11a). Member States of the United Nations commit to the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and promote sustainable development in both urban and rural areas. As the United Nations focal agency for human settlements comprising the urban-rural continuum, UN-Habitat is mandated to foster the implementation of SDG11 and NUA by strengthening Urban-Rural Linkages (URLs). More on Urban-Rural Linkages work by UN-Habitat can be found at Besides, UN-Habitat proactively responds to the ongoing United Nations’ reform through innovation and opens itself to bold new tools, technologies and ideas on sustainable urban and rural development.

In recent years, Songyang has been putting rural development in the context of urban-rural integration by focusing on culture and architecture and implementing the “architectural acupuncture” strategy to systematically promote economic and social restructuring in rural areas. It actively explores a road of rural revitalization built on culture and has achieved favourable results. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) invited the People’s Government of Songyang County to the first UN-Habitat Assembly.

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