Area Landscape Change and Management

Urban-Rural Assembly (URA)

Urban-Rural Assembly (URA): Managing inclusive transformation-to-sustainability processes at the urban-rural interface of the Huangyan-Taizhou region in China through the development of new strategic governance tools and the implementation of exemplary pilot projects as catalysts for regional value chains

Photo: Jörg Gläscher, TU Berlin
Street with woman

Research Issue

Most urban-oriented research and policy design in China is devoted to new mega cities and vast urban concentrations. But urbanisation processes across the country are much more complex and ambiguous, affecting both urban centres and the former rural countryside.


The project aims to build a better understanding of the urban-rural constellation and interdependencies that are emerging along China's vast urbanisation corridors, and which can no longer be described through traditional binaries of 'urban' and 'rural'. The region Huangyan-Taizhou, part of the Chinese 'prefectural-level city' Taizhou, will be examined as an exemplary case study and learning context: a rapidly urbanising region where diverse and seemingly contradictory transformation processes take place simultaneously. Goal is to develop new stakeholder oriented planning-governance instruments. IOER part focuses on the ecosystem services dynamics in the urban rural gradient.


With GIS technology we will create landscape and ecosystem services indicators along the urban-rural gradient indicating the ecosystem services dynamics affected by urbanization.

Intended Results

In the main project phase a common spatial vision, called ‚Raumbild‘, for the region will be developed and ecosystem services assessments will be carried out in three selected urban laboratories, on the basis of which concrete experimental, urban planning changes will be tested.


Definition phase
Main phase





  • Technische Universität Berlin
    Habitat Unit, Chair for International Urbanism and Design
    Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz (Projektleitung)
  • Technische Universität Berlin
    FG Kreislaufwirtschaft und Recyclingtechnologie – Circular Economy
    Prof. Dr. Vera Susanne Rotter
  • Technische Universität Berlin
    Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China (China Center)
    Dr. Sigrun Abels
  • Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
    Professur Landschaftsarchitektur und –planung
    Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sigrun Langner
  • ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability e.V.           


  • Tongji University, Shanghai (WP 1, 2, 8, 9, 10)
    Department of Urban Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP)
    Prof. Dr. YANG Guiqing
  • China Agricultural University, Bejing (WP 3)
    College of Information and Electrical Engineering (CIEE)
    Zhejiang University, Hangzhou (WP 6)
  • China Academy for Rural Development (CARD),
    Institute of Agriculture and Rural Economic Development
    Prof. QIAN Wenrong
  • Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou (WP4)
    College of Civil Engineering and Architecture
    CHEN Quianhu Ph.D.
  • Zhejiang Urban and Rural Planning Design Institute, Hangzhou (WP 5)
    CHEN Guiqiu, Director
    Yu Hang-tang Rd. 828