A unified framework will be developed to serve as the intellectual anchor for the landscape studies on the themes of rural sustainability. Findings of the studies will contribute to a better understanding of the diverse pathways to rural sustainability in Asia-Pacific, and coalesce into an Asia-Pacific model of rural sustainability which can be used to inform policy innovations and action partnerships in the region and beyond.

Research 1

Research Question

Rural sustainability in peri-urban areas: 

landscape studies on current practice in Asia-Pacific


  • To identify the characteristics, challenges, and opportunities of the peri-urban areas specific to your country and region in Asia-Pacific context for sustainability attainment;  
  • To review and compare respective typology of strategies, such as policies, and other public, private or community approaches, and their major components for the promotion and implementation of rural sustainability;   
  • To draw upon experience and insights from local rural revitalization cases and develop a list of enabling and success factors for rural revitalization; and
  • To summarise the best practice principles, guidelines for actions and collaborative approaches for rural sustainability in Asia-Pacific for knowledge exchange purpose.

Outline and Methodology

  1. Introduction – an overview of the status of rural sustainability development in respective city/country/region.
    • Challenges that peri-urban areas face in terms of:
      • Resource management 
      • Demographics 
      • Land use changes and conflicts 
      • Vulnerability to environmental shocks and stresses
    • Opportunities that peri-urban areas have as geographic and social transitional zones
      • Access to urban areas
      • Cooperation and collaboration with different types of organisations in urban areas
      • Space for experiments in improving current systems
  2. Review on current practice and measures – compilation of current policies as well as other public, private and community-based approaches on rural revitalization at the macro policy context: 
    • A review of the policy, institutional and social contexts for rural revitalization. Relevant topics may include: community economic initiatives, branding and place-making campaigns, policy and institutional innovation, etc. They could be discussed with respect to the below factors:
      • Level of community inclusion and initiative
      • Diversity of actors involved
      • Improvement of socio-technical and socio-ecological systems, as well as emergence of new systems in order to meet social, economic, and environmental challenges 
      • Presence of experimentation and social learning
      • Cultural heritage integration
    • Identification and discussion of aspects of policies and institution arrangements that could enable innovative rural sustainability projects
  3. Case study matrix – an in-depth analysis of 1-2 selected case investigations with the purpose of illustrating the real-life challenges as well as the effectiveness of the policy practice and application. 
  4. Rural revitalization framework – a logic diagram to include inputs (resources), throughputs (processes and systems), outputs and impact (expected outcomes and results) along with check lists of principles for objective framing and guidelines for collaboration:
    • The logic diagram should include relevant institutions and discuss aspects of policies that can help innovative and experimental rural sustainability projects succeed
    • Suggestions for planning and implementing successful rural sustainability projects in Asia Pacific.


Adell, G. (1999). Theories and models of the peri-urban interface: A changing conceptual landscape. UK: DPU.

Vij, S. & Narain, V. (2016). “Land, water & power: The demise of common property resources in periurban Gurgan, India”. Land Use Policy, Vol. 50, pp. 59-66.

Wastfelt, A. & Zhang, Q. (2016). “Reclaiming localisation for revitalising agriculture: A case study of peri-urban agricultural change in Gothenburg, Sweden”. Journal of Rural Studies, Vol. 47, pp. 172-185.

Research 2

Research Question

Database of Rural Sustainability Projects and Codebook Analysis

The study intends to move away from the urban- or rural- centric perspective and investigates the sustainability paths that the evolving and transitional zone could take. By collating different initiatives across Asia-Pacific and determining the drivers behind their outcomes, this project will contribute to the improvement of rural sustainability efforts and serve as a foundation for further research across the region. 


  • Categorize the different types and outcomes of recent and current rural sustainability projects and initiatives that are currently employed across APAC
  • Identify factors or groups of factors contributing to the success of rural sustainability projects and initiatives   n 
  • Identify greater policy implications for the support and promotion of rural sustainability in APAC

Outline and methodologies

  1. Regional Database - Projects that will be included in the database may be initiated by any sector of society, such as the government, civil society, and communities. All projects must meet the following criteria for inclusion in the database:
    • Projects include the involvement of at least one group of people in a peri-urban setting, with an explicit goal of sustainable development, natural resource or cultural heritage conservation, collaboration, or social welfare.
    • Project was started in the last 10 years or is currently ongoing. 
  2. Code book – to further analyze selected projects and initiatives from the database. The variables included in the codebook will be drawn from different concepts, such as collaborative governance, rural revitalization and resilience, community solidarity and transformative change.


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