Rural-Urban Partnerships

An Integrated Approach to Economic Development

image of Rural-Urban Partnerships

Urban and rural areas enjoy different and often complementary assets, and better integration between them is important for socio-economic performance. This report provides a framework to understand the changing relationships between urban and rural areas. It is focused on one approach that can enhance and better manage rural-urban relationships – the use of rural-urban partnerships. Specifically, it documents the characteristics of these partnerships and the factors that can hinder as well as enable rural-urban co-operation. Different governance approaches to manage rural-urban relationships are identified and discussed. Finally, recommendations are provided to help national, regional and local policy makers to build effective and sustainable rural-urban partnerships for better economic development.


Executive summary

Traditionally, the economic and territorial development of rural and urban areas have been considered separate topics in both research and policy. This has been reinforced by a sense that differences in economic, cultural and spatial circumstances lead to differences in economic, cultural and social interests. However, urban and rural areas are increasingly integrated both physically and functionally, and because of their distinct and complementary endowments, closer integration can bring benefits to both. Consequently, interest is increasing in how forms of governance might evolve to help manage this integration and influence the prosperity of places and people.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error