Urban and rural spaces are inextricably linked economically, socially and environmentally and cannot be adequately dealt with in isolation from one another. The spatial and functional interconnections of territories entail conceiving urban-peri-urban and rural as continuous space, in which processes, opportunities, and challenges are not constrained by urban, rural or administrative boundaries. Urban-rural interactions and linkages across space include not only flows of people, goods, capital and information but also between sectors and activities such as agriculture, services and manufacturing.
This urban-rural interaction is increasingly a focus of attention for national, regional and local governments, planners and development agencies. There is also a general agreement that territorial approaches and people- and place-based development along the urban-rural continuum are critical in managing a comprehensive, interlinked and truly participatory approach to sustainable development. This approach is aligned with the localization and realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda (NUA).