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Call for Papers

Many of the contemporary societal challenges have place-specific causes, manifestations and impacts. Many visions, scenarios and futures images have been crafted to describe and address the challenges related to, for example, food system, energy system, transportation system, climate change, biodiversity and land use patterns. While some of the studies have a specific regional focus, many foresight and trend analyses lack the spatial dimension. Indeed, what is the nexus between places and futures?

In RURALIZATION H2020 project we have observed that all the trends have a region-specific incidence. We have also observed that the futures dreams of the youth differ substantially between the regional destinations, especially between urban and rural destinations. We have become keen to know more about the interplay of futures-oriented developments and specific places: urban fabrics, rural areas in urban proximity, villages, remote rural areas. Are all the alternative futures place-specific – why, in which respects, how and with what consequences for the practice and policy?

We would like to welcome You to share your ideas, insights and observations on (but not limited to) these key topics:

  1. Alternative futures (vision, images, scenarios) of specific rural and/or urban places
  2. Agency in designing and implementing place-based futures in rural and/or urban fabrics
  3. Land as an issue in place-based futures
  4. Sustainability transition in agriculture, forestry or fishing and the governance of natural resources
  5. Young people and the place-based futures
  6. Trends and places
  7. Spatial dimension in the evolution of systems (food, energy, housing, mobility etc.)
  8. Futures-oriented spatial planning practices
  9. Methodologies for designing, assessing and communicating place-based futures
  10. Futures-oriented policies to address place-based societal challenges
  11. Path dependence of place-based futures – does the history matter?

The Rural and Urban Futures conference will create a cross-disciplinary platform where the participants can virtually meet, discuss and share insights concerning place-based futures. The conference program will consist of keynote lectures and parallel sessions. The conference aims at generating stimulating discussions that promote networking between people from different backgrounds. We invite contributors from universities, research institutes, governmental and non-governmental organisations and companies to join out conference.

The first step is to submit an abstract (max. 250 words). Authors of the accepted papers may have a presentation in the conference. No paper is required but such may be submitted in which case it can be published as an annex in the book of abstracts.

Important dates

  • Submission of the abstracts starts: 25 March 2021
  • Deadline for submitting the abstract: 25 May 2021
  • Notification of acceptance: 28 May 2021
  • Registration opens: 25 March 2021 (no fee)
  • Thematic Workshops: 9 June 2021
  • Conference day: 10 June 2021


Besides the possibility to present research insights and exchange ideas with other participants, a book of abstracts will be edited and made available.


The conference will be organised online due to COVID pandemic.

Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee will review the abstracts.

  • Research Director Tuomas Kuhmonen, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku (Chair)
  • Professor Toni Ahlqvist, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku
  • Professor Maura Farrell, National University of Ireland Galway
  • Professor Willem Korthals Altes, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Professor Imre Kovách, University of Debrecen, Hungary
  • Adjunct Professor Sari Puustinen, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku
  • Associate professor Silvia Sivini, University of Calabria, Italy

Conference organisers

Rural and Urban Futures conference will be organised by Finland Futures Research Centre FFRC, University of Turku and the RURALIZATION project.

FFRC website:
RURALIZATION project website:
RURALIZATION trend cards website:

The RURALIZATION project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 817642.