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DCUN : 5th Seminar "Diffusing urbanization and hybrid economic activities in agricultural suburban areas" - 27 septembre 2018

Le 27 septembre 2018


The international research network “Diffuse Cities and Urbanization” (DUCN) launches a regular research seminar. Its objective is to address the debates surrounding the contemporary worldwide diffusion of urbanization, in order to contribute to the production of new epistemologies of the urban in a global and comparative perspective. Not only the territorial diffusion of urbanization poses major challenges in terms of governance, but it also offers an intriguing research object which stimulates the production of ‘new geographies of urban knowledge’ (Roy 2009). Such geographies require the elaboration of new analytical frames which transcend the dichotomies between urban and rural, North and South, Western and postcolonial (Brenner and Schmid 2015). Our research seminar aims to contribute to the production of such analytical frames. It does so by providing a space where diverse disciplinary and thematic perspectives and approaches on urban diffusion and the diffusion of urbanization are presented in a comparative and relational perspective (Ren and Luger, 2015).


In this session, the DCUN research network seeks to explore the development of hybrid activities in former rural peripheries initially devoted to agriculture. In various geographical contexts, massive urbanization of former rural peripheries leads to the emergence of new economic activities that profoundly transform the traditional socio-spatial organization: farmers become land or real estate operators, develop agro-tourism activities for urban citizens or offer farm picking. The presentations proposed in this seminar explore the stakeholders who are initiating these hybridizations, what kind of new activities are developed, how these processes are transforming urban forms, and also raise the question of compatibility of these hybrid schemes with initial agricultural activities.

This session will be based on two following presentations:
- Andrew Marton (Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives - University of Victoria - Canada)
Re-landscaping the Chinese Countryside: Hybrid Spaces and the Possibilities of Projective Ecologies in the Lower Yangzi Delta
This presentation examines a particular site in China’s lower Yangzi delta to highlight how local planning invokes state-led eco-ideology in which the rural landscape is deliberately reconfigured into an eco-imaginary. An analysis of ecological models for planning and landscape design, which promote new hybrid spaces of commercial agricultural production and leisure consumption activity systems, explores the possibilities of projective ecologies for reconceptualising the emergence of distinctive ways of life in rapidly transforming diffuse urban territories in China.

- Gwenn Pulliat (CNRS - Lab Art-Dev - UMR 5281 - France)

Urbanizing livelihoods. What roles for farmlands in expanding cities?
Drawing upon various case studies in Vietnam and Thailand, this presentation will explore how the urbanization process reshapes farmers’ livelihoods, and what opportunities arise from the urban development for residents. It will be discussed whether (and to what extent) these dynamics strengthen farming activities, which are under strong pressure in face of urbanization.

Presentations will be given in English.

The seminar will start on 27th September 2018, at 10:00am at

Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris Belleville

Research Floor (3rd floor) - IPRAUS Institute

60 Boulevard de la Villette, 75019 Paris, FRANCE (Métro Station Belleville – Lines No.11 or 2)

Access Map, click here.

For further details please contact DCUN’s blog coordinator (Clément Musil) (
- Roy, A. 2009. “The 21st Century Metropolis: New Geographies of Theory”. Regional Studies. Vol. 43 (6). 819-830.
- Brenner, N. and Schmid, C. 2015. “Towards a new epistemology of the urban?”. City. Vol. 19 (2-3). 151-182.
- Ren, J. and Luger, J. 2015. “Comparative Urbanism and the ‘Asian City’: Implications for Research and Theory”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Vol. 39 (1). 145-156.