Department of Geography

The urban and the rural

January 17th – The urban and the rural

Nigel Walford, Geography, Kingston

Rob Imrie, Geography, King’s College London

Chair: Simon Rycroft, Sussex

Rob Imrie, Simon Rycroft and Nigel WalfordRob Imrie, Simon Rycroft and Nigel Walford

‘The urban’ and ‘the rural’, despite their territorial and spatial connotations, are neither synonymous with, nor the possession of the discipline of geography: Both are substantive foci which have benefited from interdisciplinary exploration. Over the past 50 years geographers at Sussex have been engaged with an interdisciplinary engagement around both the rural and the urban and have helped establish networks of scholars from across the social sciences and humanities. Some notable achievements in this regard include the pioneering Centre for Urban and Regional Research, cross-cutting research on past and present English rural communities, work on the impact of globalisation on rural livelihoods in the global south, and community cohesion in UK city regions.

Rob Imrie and Nigel Walford are firmly established as leading scholars in the discipline and are in their own ways products of this Sussex interdisciplinarity. Nigel’s work retains his focus on the rural but is inflected with his interest in spatial and geographic data, including research on geodemographics, population ageing, counterurbanisation, agriculture and environmental planning. Rob is a renowned researcher on urban governance and community development with a particular specialism in the regulation of the urban environment and the geographies of disability.

Rob and Nigel will be reflecting on the urban and the rural whilst considering the role of interdisciplinarity and the effect that their Sussex years had on their outlook.  

Listen to a recording of the debate:

50 years 2nd Debate: The urban and the rural

Back to The Debates