For emancipatory rural futures in the metropolitan countryside(s)

Session organisers: Felipe da Silva Machado (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Keith Halfacree (Swansea University, UK)

The metropolis and the countryside are typically understood as relatively distinct and incongruent forms of geographical space. However, agricultural land, rural-urban landscapes and nature have long been entwined in the dynamics of metropolitan areas as a result of geographical and/or functional proximity. Somewhat surprisingly, however, peri-urban geographies remain somewhat under-researched, perhaps on account of their uncertain liminal status. In this session, then, attention is called explicitly to what we will term this ‘metropolitan countryside’. We invite papers exploring these spaces, on the possibilities of bringing rural and metropolitan space together, and on examining the potentials and limitations of peri-urban landscapes in contemporary metropolitan and global contexts. Rural spaces are often assumed to be influenced predominantly by external actions but can possess powerful internal dynamics which enable them to adapt in imaginative and varied ways to changes such as metropolitan entanglement. Depending on relative distance from the built-up metropolitan core, local agrarian histories and other factors, rural communities need not simply experience just urban and industrial ‘conversion’ but can express ‘contested countryside(s)’ in the metropolitan context.

Woods (2011) has highlighted how a relational emphasis in rural geography can expand the boundaries of rural research and engage rural geographers with new challenges. This session is proposed in this spirit, inviting papers that use the metropolitan countryside(s) idea to explore rural-urban interactions as potentially integral parts of a broad and hybrid rural-urban dimension.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is Friday 18th March 2022. Please send abstracts up to a maximum of 250 words, along with details of the title of the paper, author names and affiliation(s) to Felipe da Silva Machado ( and Keith Halfacree ( Please also indicate which authors will be involved in presenting the paper. Feel free to contact the session convenors if you have any questions about the session.