The study of human settlements has long been a preoccupation of researchers, policy-makers, and activists. Under what circumstances do people organize themselves in permanent locations? How does this organization typically take place? How does life in such settlements differ from life outside them? These very general questions have given rise to much more specific ones under current circumstances. Which of these living arrangements are most sustainable? What are the governance challenges emerging within them? or How are settlements interdependent – at regional, national, or international levels? The internal dynamics of urban places are increasingly the focus of researchers, grappling with economic and demographic changes, globalization and new technologies. The Urban/Rural Research Current provides a framework for examining all of these types of questions. By virtue of its focus this Current integrates work from a large number of disciplines and research areas, including sociology, anthropology, urban studies and planning, economics, political science, history, environment, and communication studies.