"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.
India periurban centres can play a crucial role in creating a balanced urbanisation structure. Yet, they are often left out in the planning process. The essay highlights the concerns of these neither-rural-nor-urban centres and brings forth the ramifications of ignoring these spaces in the Indian context.