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Conference in Thy/Aarhus 20 – 23 May 2022


20. - 23.05.2022


The event is organized by Rural Agency and Mo Michelsen Stochholm Krag, Aarhus School of Architecture in collaboration with Thisted Municipality and ARENA.

Data centres, precision-farming, home offices and increasing connectivity: new forms of rurality are emerging physically and conceptually, and new dynamics are at play between ‘human’, ‘extra human’ and ‘non-human’ scales. What possibilities might there be within these new inter-scale relationships? What social and environmental gains and losses are at stake? Re-Scaling the Rural aims to initiate a critical investigation of past, current, and what may become future concepts and interpretations of rural life. 


The UN’s 2018 Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) highlighted the power imbalance that exists between the ‘big players’ in global agribusiness on one hand, and smallholding farmers, local fishing communities, migrant rural workers and indigenous peoples, on the other. 


While the UNDROP may be primarily aimed at developing countries, it may be as relevant to many European countries where, for instance, big farming industries are replacing small-scale farming at a rapid pace and villages are being abandoned, partly as a consequence of politically supported centralization. 


Does UNDROP belong to a paradigmatic alternative to the ‘urbanization of everything’? What kinds of ruralities might pertain if small rural voices (including those of other species) were listened to more? What can cities learn from villages? (and vice versa)? What if farms and other industrial projects in affluent countries got smaller instead of bigger? 


Re-scaling the Rural will be interdisciplinary, international and local in scope. It will take place in, and be informed by, the Thy region of the west coast of Denmark. The conference will include paper presentations, keynote lectures and guided walks and talks in the area.



The conference is structured around three broad rural themes that will be manifest in the surroundings of our rural conference venue in Thy: Coast, Farmland, and Nature. Each of these is allocated a day in the conference schedule that will include paper presentations, key notes, as well as guided walks and talks to sites of particular thematic relevance. Each day will culminate with communal dining.

The coastal municipality of Thy includes extensive natural and cultivated landscapes and is the setting for several village communities. The area has historically provided great natural benefits for farming, fishing, tourism and other rural industries but now has to address the major environmental, economic and ethical challenges facing these industries. Urbanization and depopulation, landscape decay and green energy conversion are also among the major issues that Thy faces, in common with other rural territories.

Following three days in Thy, the fourth and final day of the conference will be devoted to concluding discussions, and an exhibition with poster sessions in Aarhus School of Architecture, Aarhus.


If you have any queries please email the organisers at:

More information about the conference:

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