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2024-2 “Rural futures in peri-urban areas”

Guest editors: Maarten Loopmans and Adnan Mirhanoglu

Changes at the rural-urban fringe have received ample academic attention in high-income western economies (Thissen et al., 2021). Processes like suburbanisation or rural gentrification have blurred the boundary between city and countryside, forming hybrid social, economic and spatial orders in peri-urban areas (Qviström, 2007; Woods, 2009; Fertner, 2013). In middle and low-income countries, such processes have attracted less scholarly attention. Nonetheless, the growth of the middle classes in upper-middle income economies like China, Russia or Turkey and their consequent insertion into rural and peri-urban areas (Kocabıyık, Loopmans, 2021; Mamonova, Sutherland, 2015; Kan, 2021), has triggered a debate about the globalisation of peri-urban processes and its theoretical consequences (Phillips, Smith, 2018; Wu, Keil, 2020). It challenges the Anglo-American hegemony in urban and rural studies, and calls for a multi-centered theorising of peri-urbanization (Mbiba, Huchzermeyer, 2002; Kong, Qian, 2019).

In many studies, peri-urban areas are studied as areas ‘in transition’ towards urban, as ‘not-yet-urban’ (Kan, 2019; Rauws, De Roo, 2011; Simon, 2008; Darling, 2005). Such a perspective ignores the persistence of rural dimensions and practices in these areas, and their particular role in constituting the peri-urban zone (Capodaglio, 2017; Taylor et al, 2017; Zasada, 2011). This special issue discusses the place of the rural in the peri-urban zone, while also addressing its challenges and tensions. We focus in particular on food production and its relation to land and water in peri-urban areas. In doing so, we hope to provide answers to the question ‘what future for rurality in peri-urban areas?’. By presenting multiple case studies from different parts of the Eurasian continent, we also hope to contribute to the decentering of peri-urban theories and provide a wider perspective of experiences.

The proposals
have to be sent to Belgeo, c/o Christian Vandermotten ( before the end of February 2023.
The papers are expected before the end of May 2023.


Capodaglio A.G. (2017), “Integrated, decentralized wastewater management for resource recovery in rural and peri-urban areas”, Resources6, 2, p. 22.

Darling E. (2005), “The city in the country: wilderness gentrification and the rent gap”, Environ. Plann. A, 37, pp. 1015-1032.

Fertner C. (2013), “The emergence and consolidation of the urban‐rural region: Migration patterns around Copenhagen 1986-2011”, Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 104, pp. 322-337.

Kan K. (2019), “Accumulation without dispossession? Land commodification and rent extraction in peri‐urban China”, Int. J. Urban Reg. Res., 4, pp. 663-648.

Kocabıyık C., Loopmans M. (2021), “Seasonal gentrification and its (dis)contents: Exploring the temporalities of rural change in a Turkish small town”, J. Rural Stud., 87, pp. 482-493.

Kong L., Qian J. (2019), “Knowledge circulation in urban geography/urban studies, 1990-2010: Testing the discourse of Anglo-American hegemony through publication and citation patterns”, Urban Stud., 56, pp. 44-80.

Mamonova N., Sutherland L.-A. (2015), “Rural gentrification in Russia: Renegotiating identity, alternative food production and social tensions in the countryside”, J. Rural Stud., 42, pp. 154-165.

Mbiba B., Huchzermeyer M. (2002), “Contentious development: peri-urban studies in sub-Saharan Africa”, Progress in Development Studies2, 2, pp. 113-131.

Phillips M., Smith D. (2018), “Comparative approaches to gentrification: Lessons from the rural”, Dialogues Hum. Geogr. 8, pp. 3-25.

Qviström M. (2007), “Landscapes out of order: Studying the inner urban fringe beyond the rural–urban divide”, Geografiska Annaler, 89, pp. 269-282.

Rauws W.S., de Roo G. (2011), “Exploring transitions in the peri-urban area”, Planning Theory & Practice12, 2, pp. 269-284.

Simon D. (2008), “Urban environments: issues on the peri-urban fringe”, Annual review of environment and resources33, 1, pp. 167-185.

Taylor E., Butt A. & Amati M. (2017), “Making the blood broil: Conflicts over imagined rurality in peri-urban Australia”, Planning Practice & Research32, 1, pp. 85-102.

Thissen F., Loopmans M., Strijker D. & Haartsen T. (2021), “Changing Villages, What About People?”, J. Rural Stud., 87, pp. 423-430.

Woltjer J. (2014), “A global review on peri-urban development and planning”, Journal Perencanaan Wilayah dan Kota25, 1, pp. 1-16.

Woods M. (2009), “Rural geography: Blurring boundaries and making connections”, Progr. Hum. Geog., 33, pp. 849-858.

Wu F., Keil R. (2020), “Changing the geographies of sub/urban theory: Asian perspectives”, Urban Geogr., pp. 1-7.

Zasada I. (2011), “Multifunctional peri-urban agriculture – A review of societal demands and the provision of goods and services by farming”, Land use policy28, 4, pp. 639-648.

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