University priority area "Region and City"
Spatial future and development research on rural areas represents a new approach within spatial and regional sciences. The starting point is on the one hand the discussion about equal living conditions in Germany and Europe, and on the other hand the observation that rural areas are subject to very different development paths and lines. In addition to the discussion of the significance of spatially relevant trends for the development paths of rural areas, the focus is particularly on the development opportunities of rural areas in various structural and living areas as well as functions.
The aim is to analyse and shape the development and steering capacity of regions and municipalities in rural areas under the various spatially relevant dimensions of social change and the underlying, triggering and resulting trends. In this context, a typified view of rural areas must also be included, as there is no such thing as a typical rural area.
The social change currently taking place has the following four dimensions in relation to spatial planning and development:
- change in behaviour
- economic-infrastructural change
- instrumental-organisational change
- change in societal values and social change
It seems essential that there are trends with high and low spatial relevance. Trigger factors can be demographic, socio-economic, ecological, but also institutional, organisational and instrumental trends, which are adopted by regions and municipalities with different adaptation potentials as well as at different speeds, and which can be utilised for sustainable development.
In terms of content - building on the preliminary work done in the research initiative I to III (2008-2018) - the focus will be on the topic of spatial trend and future research in rural areas. In addition to the discussion of the significance of spatially relevant trends and development paths of rural areas, the focus is also on an actor-related approach to the development opportunities of rural areas in various structural and living areas as well as functions. In this context, a new way of considering and evaluating rural areas must also be included, which contributes to overcoming the traditional view of the dichotomy between urban and rural areas.
The basic development goal of the university priority area is the coordinated interdisciplinary scientific study of rural areas; this means discussing the extent to which current trends trigger processes of change in rural regions that subsequently enable positive developments if associated potentials are utilised and development risks and challenges are countered by appropriate measures.
Through its activities, the university priority area "Region and City" aims to network research work and initiatives of its members and thereby create an interdisciplinary platform for the scientific discussion of conceptual research approaches.