It is obviously that the rural areas in Europe are in the frontier of a spatial and ecological change, yet these transitions are too often overlooked by architects and spatial planners. Disciplines that have increasingly adapted their research and design methods to focus on the expanding cities. 

European countryside(s) are in an urgent need to apply cross-disciplinary readings and transnational co-operations.

This is a serie of public talks throughout 2019 with the ambition of understanding and connecting historic and contemporary transformations affecting Swedish and German countryside(s).

This program is funded by the Goethe Institut.

Countryside Nostalgia

Speaker: Dr. Martina Doehler-Behzadi, Director at IBA Thüringen.

Place: Umeå Architecture School
Date: 27th of March 2019
Partners: Umeå Architecture School and Royal Art Institute

What is the image of the European countryside(s), to what extension has the image affected our understanding of what the countryside is, and how real is this image?

There is a urgent need to develop new tools for how listen, analyse and communicate the challenges and possibilities for the European countryside(s). Within this seminar we ask ourselves what new know-how needs to be generated in order to develop a situated spatial planning in rural areas and required ecological reparations. How can we plan for a resilient [rurban] future?

Back to the Future of the Countryside(s)

Place: To be Confirmed
Date: Autumn 2019
Partners: SLU Alnarp and SLU Urban Talks

An Urban Occupation of the Countryside(s)

Place: To be settled
Date: Autum 2019


The anthropocene marks the initial steps for the destabilising conditions we experience today. One of these conditions is the unbalanced relation between the urban and the rural. Today the future is mainly defined and experienced through the urban agenda while the rural areas still continues to used as sources of resources for the ever growing city. The urban occupation of rural areas is manifested throughout many ways! What are the change makers and could spatial planning be one them, how then?

This program is funded by the Goethe Institut Schweden.