Urban-rural linkages

The EU is working together with countries, regions and other partners to promote urban-rural linkages.

A truly integrated approach to development must go beyond intra-city policy coordination and traditional rural issues. The integration with surrounding areas, both urban and rural, needs also to be considered.

The benefits of stronger urban-rural cooperation include more efficient land use and planning, better provision of services (e.g. public transport, health) and better management of natural resources.


RURBAN (Partnership for sustainable urban-rural development) is a preparatory action agreed by the European Parliament in 2010 and managed by the European Commission.

It aims to:

  • analyse territorial partnership practices for towns/cities and rural areas
  • achieve better cooperation between different actors in developing and implementing urban-rural initiatives
  • promote territorial multilevel governance
  • assess possible economic and social gains from enhanced rural-urban cooperation
  • identify the potential role of urban-rural partnership for improving regional competitiveness and regional governance
  • see how EU funding through the European Regional Development Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development can best be used to support urban-rural cooperation

Videos about RURBAN:

  • Rural-Urban partnership: key to a prosperous future for Europe EN
  • Rurban - Italy: Pooling the resources of Italy's cities and rural communities EN IT
  • Rurban - Germany: Rural-Urban Partnership in the Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg EN DE
  • Rurban - Finland: Broadband Services for rural areas in Central Finland EN FI

Further information about RURBAN:


RURBAN is supporting the production of two studies:

Upcoming Events

Results of the preparatory action - "RURBAN - sustainable rural-urban partnerships" Seminar - Brussels (28 January 2014).

Past events