The Second International Conference of the International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Agricultural Geography and Land Engineering

Jönköping International Business School (JIBS)
Jönköping, Sweden, October 17-19, 2018, with arrival 16 October

The “flight from the countryside” has been going on for generations in the Western world and is nowalso a megatrend in the developing world. Long-term increasing productivity in agriculture have made it possible for the countrysides to feed ever growing urban populations. However, neither urbanization nor rural shrinkage are processes free from economic, social and environmental problems. The city-close countrysides become integrated in the growing metropolitan regions and lose more and more of their rural character. The vast areas outside the metropolitan regions are still of importance as sources for raw materials and foods, but mechanization, automation and digitization make the need for labor for these activities smaller and smaller, which means depopulation and no potential for endogenous development of these areas. With the words of the French sociologist Henri Lefebvre, these areas are slowly given over “nature”.

Simultaneous with this process, policies for rural development take place across the world. TheEuropean Union uses over a third of its budget to “rural development” while urbanization continues.Rural development is also subject to policies in North America, Asia and Africa, with in general weak results. With few exceptions, the only rural regions that can show a positive development trend seem to be those where new forms of land use, i.e. tourism and its side-activities are expanding.

The conference ”Policy, research and development trends for rural revitalization in a Post-Rural World” aims at analyzing rural development trends and investigate the relationship between rural transformation and land use with a critical assessment of current rural policies. This conference is the second conference of the IGU Commission on Agricultural Geography and Land Engineering which was formally established in late 2016.

The conference will include plenary sessions and paper sessions. The topics of the conference include but are not limited to:

Rural transformation and restructuring
Rural diversity, tourism and development modes
Rural economy, rural spaces and globalization
Rural development policies and their effects
Land engineering and modern agriculture
Land consolidation and rural reconstruction
Rural hollowing and land system innovation
Poverty reduction and rural inclusive growth
Rural environment and clean production
Innovation in food chains
Post-rurality and its consequences

Hans Westlund
Chair of the LOC