Urbanization | VOL. 13, ISSUE 81, November-December 2013

Periurban India

Though the expression ‘periurban’ is used commonly, a clear and unambiguous definition is not yet available. However, a general consensus in literature leads to surmise these as fringe areas between rural and larger urban centres. Periurban areas have unique characteristics where general urban morphology is altered and traditional physical differences between urban and rural areas are modified significantly. The most appropriate definition of periurban can be a specific and non-neutral transition or interaction zone where urban and rural activities are juxtaposed and landscape features are subject to rapid modifications by human activities. Normally, the process of emergence of periurban areas is linked to the development of large urban centres in the proximity and resultant changes accrued in land use pattern, economic activities, socio-economic-demographic and psychographic profile of the local populace. Periurban areas, thus, might include valuable protected areas, forested hills, preserved woodlands, prime agricultural lands and important wetlands, which can provide essential support services to urban residents. It has been observed that periurban areas are often far more environmentally unstable and vulnerable compared to exclusive urban or rural settings. By and large, one can say that the periurban area development is a by-product of unsystematic and uncontrolled urban growth and sprawl, especially in developing countries. [caption id="attachment_1659" align="aligncenter" width="454"] Fig. 1: Share of different size class of urban centres - India, 2011[/caption] Periurban India  A...

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