Public lectures 

The urban-rural divide: Contrasts and interdependencies

The urban-rural divide is a recurring theme that is often addressed in the context of federal referendums.

Mon. 12.12.2022


18:15 - 19:45



University of St.Gallen, Room A 01-014
9000 St. Gallen
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With the different ways of settling in the city and in the countryside, each seems to have developed a specific identity. Nevertheless, there is a lively exchange of goods, ideas and people moving between the two living spaces. The differences as well as the mutual dependencies can be seen on a demographic, political, economic and cultural level. Even though the clear boundaries between urban and rural areas are becoming increasingly blurred, differences still exist. The ongoing urbanisation and the challenges it poses are not only an issue in Switzerland, but also in other countries.

This lecture series aims to highlight various aspects of this topic and illustrate them with examples.

3 October
City and country, key concepts in scientific and political discourse  
Prof. em. Dr. Paul Messerli, Professor of Human Geography, University of Bern  

31 October
The effects of the political system on the urban-rural divide illustrated by the settlement structure and building culture  
Ueli Strauss, Strauss Raumentwicklung, former Head of the Office for Spatial Development and Geoinformation of the Canton of St.Gallen, Wittenbach, and Rainer Siegele, Mayor, Mäder / AT 

14 November
Clean country air - a myth? 
Dominik Noger, Head of Air Quality Section at the AFU, Canton St.Gallen 

28 November
Zwischenstadtland Schweiz: Urbanisation of the countryside and suburbanisation of the cities?  
Dr. Lineo Devecchi, Head OZG Centre for Communities, University of Applied Sciences Eastern Switzerland,  

12 December
Urban planning concepts for a new village in the mountains? The connection between old and new in the Andermatt tourist resort  
Prof. em. Dr. Erich Renner, Professor for Sustainable Development, ZHAW, and Municipal Councillor, Andermatt  

19 December
Cities of the Global South in the Focus of Climate and Development Finance: The (New) Urban Agenda of International Financial Institutions  
Prof. Dr. Hanna Hilbrandt, Professor of Social and Cultural Geography, University of Zurich  

Chair | Prof. Mathias Schneider, Lecturer, OST, and Secondary School Teacher, Kantonsschule am Burggraben (KSBG), St.Gallen, 
and Susanne Täschler, geography / GIS specialist, St.Gallen