Peri-urban dynamics – population, habitat and environment on the peripheries of large Indian metropolises
Specific forms of urbanisation are evolving on the peripheries of the large developing metropolises. These processes of peri-urbanisation result in the formation of “mixed spaces”, midway between urban centres and rural spaces – transitional spaces subject to rapid and multiple transformations: physical, morphological, socio-demographic, cultural, economic and functional.
Our initial hypothesis in order to understand these processes is that within the metropolitan areas ‘location’ is never neutral. The urban peripheries do not constitute a simple framework of analysis, but a specific space pin which settlement patterns, and land use correspond to diverse and often conflicting stakes, indicative of processes signifying a political and societal vision of the city and access to it.
Mixed spaces, apportioned between populations with contrasting lifestyles and varied land use, peri-urban spaces are also disputed spaces, bringing into play divergent and even conflicting interests. The need for housing, especially by the poor, the development and maintenance of greenbelts and new industrial zones, enter into competition.
The papers included in this first volume of the series of three Occasional Papers on peri-urban dynamics highlight the forces that govern peri-urbanisation and reflect upon the main issues at stake, as presented in the introduction (Véronique Dupont). They also attempt, more specifically, to refine the concepts related to the ‘peri-urban’ spatial category, and to better define and delimit this research ‘object’. The authors examine not only the literature related to the Indian and Asian metropolises (Hans Schenk), as well as other developing countries (Suresh Rohilla), but also explore the concepts and models elaborated to analyse the evolution of the western metropolis, drawing in particular on the North American case (Paul Jargowsky, Pushpa Arabindoo) and the French case (Philippe Cadène).