- To describe and critically reflect on the key concepts, theories and frameworks for understanding the rurban commons as socio-ecological and/or socio-technical systems.
- To define and analyse rurban commoning processes by applying spatial, actor-based and institutional perspectives.
- To recognise the global and local challenges regarding the sustainability and resilience of rurban commons as well as alternative approaches to tackling those challenges.
- To identify and compare different approaches to governing rurban commons in diverse contexts, including both the Global South and the Global North.
- To identify and assess the interlinkages across rural and urban users of commons with regards to synergies, rivalries and trade-offs.
- To apply qualitative and quantitative methods to analyse and assess rurban commons systems and to develop solutions towards improving sustainability and resilience
In the Rurban Commons course, we study the interactions of rural and urban spaces with natural resources, and the implications of those interactions on sustainability and resilience. Our definition of “rurban” entails both using a spatial/geographical perspective and analysing rural-urban interactions. We focus on the commons that mostly apply to MEEM’s three specialisations (water, energy, environment). We combine interdisciplinary approaches from human geography, urbanism and spatial planning, and natural resource governance to define, analyse and improve socio-ecological systems (SES) and socio-technical systems (STS). The course equips the students with conceptual and practical knowledge to define and analyse those systems; identify and compare commoning processes and problems; and to develop solutions towards improving sustainability and resilience. We introduce complex adaptive systems (CAS) theory, especially spatial network thinking, as a bridge between commons and computational approaches, and key computational methods to represent those systems and simulate and evaluate the impacts of policy scenarios. Based on empirical cases from both the Global South and the Global North, the students gain insights from diverse contexts of rurban commons