Federal Government strengthens relations between urban and rural areas

Federal Research Ministry launches “Stadt-Land-Plus” (Urban-Rural-Plus) funding measure

Kind auf einem Feld schau auf die entfernte Stadt.Click to enlarge
Urban areas and rural regions are closely interlinked, e.g. through daily flows of traffic and goods
Source: iStock.com/Hallgerd

The city vs. the countryside: opposites in the eyes of many people. The differences are often extreme with regard to living conditions, work and consumption. However, the two are closely interlinked, for example through daily flows of traffic and goods. The country’s regions are well advised to establish close links between the city and outlying areas, not least of all for the sake of creating affordable housing. In everyday practice, however, problems between municipalities, parochialism or even insufficient realization of their mutual dependence are common. Therefore the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is launching the “Stadt-Land-Plus” funding measure and already providing support for twelve collaborative projects between science and practice across Germany to implement new ideas.

The aim of the „Stadt-Land-Plus” funding measure is to achieve sustainable development in regions throughout Germany. Various different players and scientific disciplines are cooperating to achieve this goal. Priority areas are the sustainable promotion of regional circular economy, quality of land management and improving the balance of interests between the urban, suburban and rural regions. In the Lake Constance area research is being done to develop a special process to convert garden waste from municipal landscape management into active carbon. The aim is to use the generated product in the region, for example to recycle waste water in treatment facilities. The rural suburban zone of Leipzig-Halle is working to counteract the uncontrolled sprawl of housing areas. The aim is to achieve integrated land management and to draft a strategy for housing in a cooperative and participative negotiation process. The outcome shall serve as a basis for recommendations for action in the areas of land and regional planning. As with all the projects, the results and instruments will be made available to other regions throughout Germany.

At today’s kick-off event, Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek tweeted: “Good living and good work in the entire country – one of the missions of the Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy 2025. The “Stadt-Land-Plus” funding measure is how we are working to achieve that aim, by focusing on sustainable land management and equal living conditions in both cities and rural regions.” The “Stadt-Land-Plus” motto is to unite efforts to create strong regions. Twelve research collaborations comprising partners from science, local government, companies and other players will come together in Berlin for a two-day conference to set the course for cooperation over the next five years of practical research.

The “Stadt-Land-Plus“ transversal project, coordinated by the German Environment Agency (UBA), supports interdisciplinary research efforts and interlinks the individual collaborative projects. Other tasks over the next five years include increasing research in cross-cutting areas and integrating new findings into expert dialogue at European level. Project partners are Institut Raum & Energie in Wedel and Stadtland GmbH in Leipzig. UBA‘s President Maria Krautzberger emphasized the focus of the research and its relevance for federal politics: “One of the tasks of the transversal project is to focus on issues also relevant for federal politics and to promote the research done by the research groups in this regard. For this purpose we will be hosting workshops, webinars and expert talks on various cross-cutting issues over the next few years. Stadt-Land-Plus will not only create value added for the regions concerned – it will also improve the conditions for achieving sustainable regional development throughout Germany.“

The conference marks the start of work on cross-cutting topics. Workshops will address equal living conditions, realization of the international sustainable development goals at regional level, and the opportunities of digitalization. There will also be an opportunity to make first contacts with the people involved in other projects.

Further information:

The transversal project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the framework of the “Stadt-Land-Plus” funding measure as part of the flagship initiative “City of the Future”. The flagship initiative is a central part of the BMBF’s programme “Research for Sustainable Development” (FONA). Thematic priorities of the “Stadt-Land-Plus” funding measure include regional circular economy, quality of land management and improving the balance of interests between cities, suburbs and rural regions. The BMBF is funding 12 research collaborations including the transversal project. Further projects are planned for 2020.

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 City country relationship