Periurbanization and its interfaces:
A peculiar case of Kapas Hera in
By: Rinku Gupta
2012 DS 030
2012 DS 042
Understanding Peri-urban Interface?
• The peri-urban interface is still generally
considered as a transitional zone between city
and countryside, often described “not as a
discrete area, but rather as a diffuse territory
identified by combinations of features and
phenomena, generated largely by activities
within the urban zone proper” (Nottingham
and Liverpool University, 1998).
• It is increasingly accepted that in many regions
of the developing world, including its largest
countries, the boundaries between urban and
rural are getting blurred (Jones
andVisaria, 1997), thus affecting the very
definition of such an entity as a peri-urban (or
• It suggest that the focus has shifted from a
spatial definition (assuming a central urban
point surrounded by a de-densifying
periphery) to a more functional focus on
diverse flows between the rural and urban
sectors, recent developments both in theory
and in real world contexts –such as space-time
compression and globalisation — point to the
need of a reassessment of the changing nature
of the rural-urban divide.
• In context of South Asia particularly India, it reflects,
functionally integrated territorial structures where
agricultural and non-agricultural activities are
increasingly found in complex spatial mixes, evidence
from other regions in the Third World (mainly in
Africa where the origin of the peri-urban concept in
development contexts can be found in French
literature) may suggest that in physical terms the
distinction between rural and urban landscapes is
still relevant. Nevertheless in functional terms, the
increasing and sustained integration is recognized.
(Potter and Unwin, 1995)
• These are certain features of peri-urban areas.
“heterogeneity of land uses”
“the morphological conditions and the
densities of build areas”
“complex functional relations”
“changing social structure”
• This was in turn challenged by human and rural
geographers arguing that the transitional landscapes
between city and countryside were not necessarily the
result of urban driven processes, thus coining terms as
rurban or ruralurban.
• the rurban periphery was characterised by a lower
population density, a higher proportion of vacant land
and farming land. It also featured lower rates of
population density and less dynamic processes of land
use change and conversion and of daily commuting
towards urban areas. (Pryor, 1968)
• Although both of the above argument does not fully
match with Kapas Hera town but are partially true.
Profile: Kapas Hera Census Town
• It’s a small census town in south-west Delhi
bordering Gurgaon. As per census
2011, population of Kapas Hera village is 35000
including migrant workers population of 2 lakh
(Source: NDTV Report)
• Migrant worker basically belongs to Bihar and
Eastern Uttar Pradesh come to reside in this
census town periphery, and this border town is
famously known for its laborers who used to
work in Gurgaon and South Delhi.
• Most of the migrant workers are daily wage earner, and
those who are in certain industrial establishment do
not get minimum wages ensured, and in past it has
created much of the protest in the region.
• A crude class structure exist in the town.
• Labourers are living in a pitiable condition.
• Delhi Municipal has divorced this town in respect of
every public goods distribution.
• Migrant workers are facing the double brunt of the
landlord as well as
Contextualizing Spatial Access in
• The lack of spatial access to work (an income
earning opportunity) and livelihood needs (such
as potable drinking water, primary health
service, sanitation, basic education, cooking
energy, recreation and social networks) is an
indicator of poverty situation of the peri-urban
low income households in Delhi.
• The cost in terms of money and time (the
spatial access cost) spend in gaining access to
work and livelihood needs.
Trajectories of Rurbanization: Taking a
• Sub-altern Stand seeks to counter a vision of
urbanization reduced to a process of agglomeration
and a competition between global cities.
• It contest for, what are the characteristics of these
small census towns or “grey spaces” like Kapas
Hera, which are both recipient and motors of economic
change? What are their contemporary economic
dynamics? How land is get used? Growing non
agriculture use of land? How distribution of public
goods are shaped in these census towns?
• Kapas Hera has witnessed huge “rurban bias”(inspired
from twisting “urban bias theory” approach) despite of
having urban rural linkages. Impact of globalization and
dispersal is well acknowledged phenomena.
• Applicability of Desakota model( by canadian
geographer Terry Mcgee) and Networked theory does
not attract much of the value in case of Kapas Hera.
This town population ( feudal in many respect) and
added migrant workers are neither reflection of post
fordist society nor industrialist society but are caught in
between the binary, and are struggling for existence.