May 4, 2023 — May 6, 2023

Conference: StadtLand – from Thuringia to a Planetary Perspective

International Conference · Apolda, Germany

The International Building Exhibition (IBA) Thuringia and the Sino-German research project Urban Rural Assembly (URA) have jointly hosted the international conference "StadtLand – from Thuringia to a Planetary Perspective“.

It formed part of the exhibition "Stadtland – Learning from Thuringia“ in the iconic Eiermann building in Apolda, where the IBA presented the results of its decennial project development process. Since 2019, the URA project has been researching the development and planning of urban-rural interface regions in China and Germany.

Ongoing planetary urbanisation and interconnection require a ‘Stadt-Land’ perspective that focuses on the interrelationships and material cycles within larger territories, including urban and rural areas. In this context, ’rural’ areas become a critical resource for a more circular and climate-friendly future development. The Stadt-Land perspective thus calls for new societal practices fostering solidarity in land use, in addition to more resource-efficient construction and economic activities. 

To this end, IBA and its local partners have implemented model projects in Thuringia, whilst URA has investigated rapid socio-spatial transformation processes which characterise an urban-rural region in the Chinese province of Zhejiang. Both projects work with ‘living labs’ that support the development of strategies and tools for future change.

The conference has opened new avenues of thought and action – from current urbanisation tendencies in Thuringia and numerous other regions worldwide to spatial visions and planning strategies toward sustainable urban-rural interrelations. It took place in German and English, inviting international researchers and practitioners working on this topic to meet in person. A live-streaming option was also available.

Speakers included: Kenneth Anders, Bad Freienwalde; Hillary Angelo, Santa Cruz; Marta Doehler-Behzadi, Apolda; Bianca Elzenbaumer, Rovereto; Maria Frölich-Kulik, Weimar; Yang Guiqing, Shanghai; Anke Hagemann, Berlin; Susanna Karawanskij, Erfurt (tbc); Sigrun Langner, Weimar; Philipp Misselwitz, Berlin; Steffen Nijhuis, Delft; Lukas Pappert, Berlin; Kelly Shannon, Leuven; Remy Sietchieping, Nairobi; Antje Stokman, Hamburg; Milica Topalovic, Zürich


Thursday May 4th, 2023

Moderator: Dr. Cordelia Polinna, Forward Planung und Forschung, Institut für Resilienz im ländlichen Raum

Welcome and Introduction
- Klara Geywitz, Federal Minister BMWSB
- Bodo Ramelow, Minister-President, State of Thuringia 
- Marta Doehler-Behzadi, Director, IBA Thüringen

- Philipp Misselwitz, Bauhaus Earth, Berlin
- Remy Sietchieping, UN Habitat, Nairobi

Opening IBA Exhibition

Friday May 5th, 2023

Moderator Dr. Cordelia Polinna, Forward Planung und Forschung, Institut für Resilienz im ländlichen Raum

Welcome and Introduction/Video Message
Susanna Karawanskij, Minister for Infrastructure and Agriculture of Thuringia

Session I - StadtLand
Discussant: Anke Hagemann, TU Berlin

Environments of Planetary Urbanization: Sustainable Development Across Country and City (Hillary Angelo, UC Santa Cruz)

Urbanisation of Agricultural Territories and Food Democracy (Milica Topalovic, ETH Zürich)

Towards a Landscape-based Regional Design Approach for Adaptive Urban Transformation in the Pearl River Delta (Steffen Nijhuis, TU Delft)

Session II - Strategies
Discussant: Antje Stokman, HCU Hamburg

StadtLand: Concept and Project space of IBA Thuringia (Marta Doehler-Behzadi, IBA Thüringen, Apolda)

Accentuating Indigenous Logics in Regional Vision-building: Learning from the Mekong Delta (Kelly Shannon, KU Leuven)

How to Raumbild? – Dealing with Multiple Perspectives on Regional Transformation Processes (Maria Frölich-Kulik, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and Lukas Pappert, TU Berlin)

Session III - Actions
Discussant: Sigrun Langner, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Urban-Ruralism and Spatial Strategies: Understanding and Practicing Rural Regeneration in Huangyan, China (YANG Guiqing, Tongji University, Shanghai)

Contemporary Commoning Practices in the Italian Alps (Bianca Elzenbaumer, Brave New Alps, Rovereto)

The Dialectic between Inside and Outside. Insights into a Form of Cultural Regional Development (Kenneth Anders, Oderbruch Museum Altranft, Bad Freienwalde)

Saturday, May 6th 2023

Excursion to IBA project

For more information please see