Periurban Area: A Review of Problems and Resolutions

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTV4IS090051

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Periurban Area: A Review of Problems and Resolutions

Ar. Manita Saxena

Associate Professor SOA IPS Academy Indore India

Ar. Suman Sharma

Assistant Professor SOA IPS Academy Indore India

Abstract- India at present time is undergoing a fast paced urban transformation from predominantly rural economy and rural habitation system. The past few years has seen the rapid growth of cities in India and transformation of land use from rural to urban. This process has developed fringe area known as Periurban areas. These areas are facing serious problems and dynamism for planning and execution of land use transformation.

This paper reviews the problems and issues of periurban areas in India. The paper is based on extensive literature review so as to identify the problems and resolution issues for peri urban areas. Paper produces a concrete list of issues, problems and suggested areas for immediate attention for proper development and effective economic activity execution in cities of India

Key words: Peri urban, urbanization, problems of periurban, Governance, Infrastructure


At the moment India is the country of low level of urbanization in reference to gross population living in urban centers but has one of the highest growth of urban development. In last 50 years the population of India has grown nearly two and half times but urban population has grown nearly five times. In 2001 total 306.9 million Indian were living in 3700 towns and cities spread across the country. In 2011 total 377 Million or 31% population was living in urban areas. In 2031 total 600 Million are expected to live in urban places. In reference to world over situation of developing countries the various % of population living in urban areas China has 54%, Mexico has 78% and Brazil has 87% in urban areas. Due to rapid growth of Indian economy the rate of urbanization will increase in India. The share of persons living in urban areas rose by- 3.35 per cent in the decade 2001 to 2011, 2.10 per cent in the decade 1991 to 2001. The major proportion of urban population is concentrated in larger cities in India (Census Report GOI 2001).

The above phenomenon has resulted in emergence of new urban growth nodes underscoring the need for adequate policy attention for smaller cities and Peri-urban areas. These nodes are emerging on the expense of rural areas and transformation of rural areas to urban areas. Transformation is a long process which develops hybrid landscape of fragmented urban and rural characteristics. The space between city and countryside that are shaped by the urbanization of former and rural areas in the urban fringe is called periurban areas. Development that occurs

on the periphery of any city, commonly termed as suburbs which accommodate population growth and migration to cities by crowding of areas rather than by expansion of planned cities is the periurban area. This pattern of growth and population absorption has changed land use significantly and the change has been the sharpest in the large metropolitan cities in India.

Metropolitan city growth in India has be phenomenal in recent past. In 1991 there were 23 metropolitan cities in India which grew to 35 in 2001 and 46 in 2011. The following graph shows the real story.

The lateral spread of cities has also very remarkable in India. The area for urban uses has increased from 38,504 sq. km in 1961 to64,026 sq. km in 1991. Since 1971 with the decadal rate of growth of urban land area rising from,

8.72 per cent during 1961-71 to20.54 per cent during 1971- 81 to21.81 per cent between 1981-91 (Census Report GOI 2011)

Negative Impact of Urbanization has also been visible. Since the 1990s concerns have been raised about negative impact of spreading urbanization and its impact on the Peri-urban areas (Bentinck 1996).The Periurban areas are away from the political power and without any official urban status. These areas lack the institutional capacities and governance structures to respond to the processes of change in a positive way.


The area of transition between well recognized urban land uses and the area devoted to agriculture is Periurban area. This area of mixed urban and rural land uses between the points where full city services cease to be available and the

point where agricultural land use predominates is known as Periurban Area.

The periurban usage in India has been predominant. The poor has found it easier to build shelters and to occupy land for agriculture in periurban areas. The industry has considered periurban areas as sources of materials essential for urban life like water, brick-clays, sand and gravel, limestone, fuel-wood and timber etc are procured from periurban areas. The middle class has found periurban areas as a potential residential zone for houses with golf courses and other recreational facilities. The local government has considered the fringes of urban areas as a site for locating landfills, waste dumps, peripheral freeways, airports or noisy and toxic industries. The conservationists consider the site of valuable protected areas, forested hills, preserved woodlands, important wetlands or mangroves, and major coastal ecosystems. For education and human well-being the place of the first contact urban people have with major areas of natural vegetation and biodiversity.

Peri-urban areas are formed in a number of inter-connected ways. Including Physical growth of urban areas (urban sprawl) and rural to urban migration are primary reasons of periurbanization. Locating new manufacturing industry (national/international) and locating new services like air ports, university etc form the periurban areas.

The Peri urban areas can be characterized as place of fast and unplanned growth resulting in negative health issues and environmental degradation. The jurisdiction is unclear or duplicated in matters of planning, land tenure and land transfer or governance of these areas. Another characteristic is the tenure of residents. The tenure is not always based on clearly defined and enforceable reasons. These areas have absence of planning and building guidelines, regulations, rent act, and provision of urban services. Service & Social infrastructure is inadequate to meet even basic needs of human being. These area supports the people whose significant proportion of residents are in lower income categories and lives in unplanned settlements due to growing population Increased differentiation or polarization between capitalist and subsistence producers.

The people who lives in periurban are those who cannot take advantage of the opportunities presented by urban markets generally land less poor lives in periurban areas. Those who have insufficient capital to purchase land and/or intensify production lives in these areas. Those who are excluded from credit and extension systems of modern society are found in these areas. Urban pressures on common resources such as forests, rivers and wetlands, may lead to environmental degradation and change of land use in these areas.

Residents in villages within the zone of Peri-urban influence alternative economic opportunities for self- employment. The poor are more likely to be casual workers, and may move from working in agricultural work to more urban-based work, such as construction, road

building, selling fruit and vegetables. There is considerable difference in social and cultural aspects of urban and periurban areas. These areas can be identified as the areas of cheap Land, Good accessibility, Room for expansion, plenty of space, Easy Worker Availability, Less Pollution.


Peri-urban development results in some basic problems like poor Infrastructure, Low level of economic activities, poor land use planning Problems like relocation of people, acquisition of land, encroachment, Slum dwelling inferior housing, psychological break downs of people, legal and Law and order related problem, absence of political system, social and environmental Problems are common phenomenon.

Many peri-urban problems result from lack of clear local government system. The periurban area is a area which is part of neighboring city or is autonomous. Unplanned, unregulated fast growth in city outskirts or periurban area is very common. Development along transportation corridors outside the boundary of the master plan of a large city is a natural fallout and this happens in periurban areas.

Absence of any institutional structure for proper governance and development of periurban area leads to weak infrastructure. Panchayats jurisdiction is not sufficient and effective to resolve the problems of city expansion. Peri-Urban areas are particularly vulnerable to environmental damage because of their proximity to the city which is degrading their land and water resource. The periurban areas become dumping ground of solid and liquid wastes or spill over from the city.

Increased population in periurban area has strained the environmental carrying capacity of these areas. These outlying areas have an unsatisfactory level of environmental infrastructure services. In these areas large companies, public institutions, townships and upper income group installs privatized basic services but there is a complete absence of these services for the poor.

Without municipal services, solid wastes lie uncollected along roadsides, or dumped in any low-lying land despoiling the local landscape. It is immense health hazard at the same time rapid growth of population in Peri-urban areas has increased volume of solid and liquid wastes but the institutional capacities to handle them remain absent. In reference to socio-economic indicators peri urban areas are the systematic creation of a degenerated periphery.


The development in the Peri-urban area is governed by several agencies including Nagar Panchayats, Panchayats, Town & Country planning department of state government District administration, MPCs, DPCs, Development authorities. The Panchayats can deal with rural areas but when urban aspect comes, they are not competent enough.

Panchayat lack financial resources, material institutional capacity & technical expertise to handle the land use

transformation and urbanization issues. The role and responsibility of all such governing bodies is not clear in these areas. These bodies lack clarity on their function which may be overlapping & coordination.

The DPC s &MPCs can guide development in such areas as per the provisions of 74th constitutional amendment 1992.Reasons for Governance failure and unsatisfactory state of the environmental situation in most Peri-urban areas is largely due to official neglect and non-recognition of these areas as deserving of urban civic status. This outcome is due to the dichotomous way which the census define the urban areas (Bhagat 2003). Many of the census towns are urban outgrowths and though they are organically a part of neighboring cities or large towns, they are not governed by municipal administration.


Major issues for improvement of governance and planning for the periurban areas include the governance rules and machinery. The complete clarity in roles of various agencies for governance and coordination is essentially required. Social capital and role of Local Initiative has to be effective and well laid down. Official Neglect of the Peri-Urban areas low Social sustainability and low Infrastructure sustainability Environmental Vulnerability are the other major areas.

Todays Peri-urban is tomorrows big cities. Therefore we have to catch them young & groom them before it is too late


I reference to the MP State Govt. circular of 1997 a remedial action against illegal & unauthorized development in and around the periphery is suggested by making Municipal & planning limits co terminus. But in reality this does not solve anything moreover Villages inhabiting such areas will not get rural benefits under various Govt. policies & Municipal authorities.

The rural areas are already over-burdened with many responsibilities like eco system preservation etc. The rural areas not able to provide infrastructure & other facilities. There is a non-applicability of construction byelaws in areas beyond planning limits. The lack of development control mechanism gave impetus to need of generating a model of controlling the development of settlements in Peri-urban area

City is the economic growth center in present time. The efficient performance of metropolitan cities is crucial for countrys vibrant economy as Metropolitan areas are the main centers of growth and economy in the country. The Peri-urban areas in these cities are emerging at a fast pace thus are very important.

As Peri-urban areas, are critical to the development it requires appropriate strategies for Minimizing conflicts and

strengthen rural-urban interface Integrating city and Peri- urban areas in a phased manner to make them integral part of the city growth & developmental process

It is essential to find ways at regional as well as local level to contain, control and direct growth in Peri-urban areas. Confusion in the definition leads to poor policy design and implementation and inaccurate policy/program evaluation. Thus there is emergent need for removing confusion in governance bylaws and agencies jurisdiction.

Food security problem for rural poor may have solution in Peri-urban agriculture. The Cheap land is the place for population under migration. Densification of Periurban area may lead to clearance of choking of core city. Peri- urban area tends to transform into Urban areas with due course of time thus the pattern for transformation shall be studied.

Around 1/3rd of the countrys population already lives in urban areas and increasing thus the role and importance of periurban area is also increasing. There is a need for a suitable planning mechanism which would take care of the interactive process between various local bodies, and agencies of state & central government. Sustainable Metropolitan city also depends on the planned growth of its fringe areas. It is needed to evolve a spatial planning framework having regard to the provisions of the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act 1992 (74th CAA) so that the rural to urban transformation of Peri-urban areas be promoted in a planned & sustainable manner

According to 2001 census, 42.6 million people are living in slums of cities having population of 50,000 or more, Periurban area can be solution for that. Control urban sprawl- illegal and unorganized development is leading to high rate of urban sprawl. With the study of Peri urban areas, these unorganized expansions can be prevented. Control environmental degradation-When a city expands, it cuts down nearby green spaces which hurt the ecological sustainability of city and periurban areas. If the development happens in a planned way, there would be less damage for species and forests. For appropriate and efficient land use we need to study peri urban areas, the small settlements at the rural urban fringe usually are shifted when the development starts. If the fringe is already planned, there would be no need for the shifting.


The Periurban areas in India are one of the most happening areas and needs most urgent attention so as to understand the dynamics of urbanization and urban transformation The policy practice and planning goes hand in hand so that quality of life in thee areas as well as problems of urban infrastructure in future cities can be resolved The India offers a unique situation of increasing population and migration of population from rural to urban and from one state to another. This means that cities will be filled with new settlers for almost next 50 years

The spatial and vertical expansion of cities, renewing the dead urban areas and transformation of rural land to urban agglomeration is going to be continuous and very important issue for planners in India. The economic prosperity and social stability/sustainability, depends on the proper management of as well as transformation of Peri urban areas. People participation shall be increased for better development The spatial and vertical expansion of

cities, renewing the dead urban areas and transformation of rural land to urban agglomeration is going to be continuous and very important issue for planners in India. The economic prosperity and social stability/sustainability, depends on the proper management of as well as transformation of Peri urban areas. People participation shall be increased for better development


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List of books and reports referred for this study

  • The Peri-Urban interface R.M Brook.

  • Contemporary perspective on the Peri-Urban zones of cities in developing area -David Simon, Donald.

  • Indore-city changing resilience strategy in changing climatic scenario.

  • Indore, master plan 2021

  • Peri-Urban Accra more by Petra Doan

  • Proactive Planning for Infrastructure in Peri- Urban Settlements: A Tool Book-Dr D Dumashie

  • 11th five year plan document

  • Urban Transportation Planning by Michael Meyer and Eric Miller

  • World Bank report. Urbanization beyond Municipal Boundaries Nurturing Metropolitan Economies and Connecting Peri-Urban Areas in India

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  • Synthesis report Peri-urbanization in Europe Ametto pior, Wolfing toibi

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