Adriana Allen: A PERIscope on the PERI-urban


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Presentation at the STEPS Conference 2010 - Pathways to Sustainability: Agendas for a new politics of environment, development and social justice

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Adriana Allen: A PERIscope on the PERI-urban

  1. 1. Development Planning Unit (DPU) A PERIscope on the PERI-urban Adriana Allen ( DPU Environmental Justice, Urbanisation and Resilience Programme Pathways to Sustainability: Agendas for a New Politics of Environment, Development and Social Justice 23 - 24 September 2010, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex University Panel: Peri-urban dynamics
  2. 2. DPU’s Peri-urban Interface Programme ‘Journey’ General & comparative Applied research in Papers research Hubli-Dharwad, India Drama, Video Posters / website 1998 PUI environmental Guidelines planning & management PUI knowledge 1999 (DFID) consolidation Book: “A Tale Hubli Dharwad (India) (NRSP DFID) of Two Cities” Manizales (Colombia) 2000 Kumasi (Ghana) PUI participatory Newsletters External Support Agencies planning Publications Book (NRSP DFID) 2001 Publications International conference: “Rural-Urban Encounters” Brasilia NEUR-DPU link Rural-Urban Network 2002 Seminars / Public. (FAO) Urbanisation & Publication / (BC) EEZ 2003 Urban/PU agriculture FAO Website Service provision Participatory action Publications 2004 governance in the planning Website PUI of metropolitan In the PUI Particip. Video regions Workshops 2005 (NRSP DFID) (DFID) (Action networks) Mexico, Caracas Publications 2006 Cairo, Chennai & Website Dar es Salaam Dialogue fora Guidelines Various ongoing initiatives focused on the co-production of 2010 peri-urban water and sanitation
  3. 3. Why to be concerned? Living between two worlds • A large percentage of the future population growth in developing countries will occur in the localised spaces where the urban meets the rural as cities and their impacts spread into outlying areas. …and yet • Current national and international initiatives and commitments to improve the sustainable development of rapidly urbanising areas in the developing world tend to neglect the peri-urban context Beyond the rural-urban dichotomy • The traditional distinction between urban and rural areas is becoming increasingly blurred and insufficient to capture the reality of a large number of dwellers that live between those areas …in particular, • an increasing number of the poor, engaged in rural-urban interchanges as a result of undue reliance on farming, declining real output prices, limited markets, price instability, climatic and market risks, absence of rural financial markets, declining farm sizes, etc.
  4. 4. Urbanisation without infrastructure
  5. 5. Land conflicts and forced evictions 60-70 millions people will have been evicted between 2000 and 2020
  6. 6. ‘Second nature’ versus ‘first nature’?
  7. 7. On definitions: ‘Peri-urban’ as….  the urban fringe: “the space into which the town extends as the process of dispersion operates area with distinctive characteristics which is only partly assimilated into the growing urban complex” (Adell, 1999 citing Carter’s 1981 definition).  as a ‘lacking’ area: “usually characterised by the loss of rural aspects (e.g.: fertile soil, agricultural land, natural landscape) or the lack of urban attributes (such as services & infrastructure)” (Allen, 2003).  a transition zone: “of interaction between urban and rural socio- economic systems; …. a zone of rapid economic, social structural change (Rakodi, 1998 cited in Adell, 1999)”.  a new kind of ‘rural/urban hybrid’: “a dramatic new species of urbanism” (Davis 2004).  a challenging ‘periphery’: subject to “ambiguity, informality and illegality”…But also encompassing unconventional or unorthodox alternatives to dominant planning and management perspectives.
  8. 8. On emerging landscapes in the rural-urban continuum…  Towards a space-less city-region? Edge-cities, post- suburban landscapes and the ‘informational city’  Region-based urbanisation: ‘extended metropolitan regions’ (Ginsburg et al, 1991) , ‘ruralopolises’ (Qadeer, 2000) and the ‘desakota’ (McGee,1991)  Sustainable urbanisation as ‘reciprocal urbanisation’? From spatial definitions to functional and relational focus on rural-urban flows
  9. 9. Rural-urban linkages Rural systems Rural – Urban Flows Urban systems People Non-agricultural Socio-economic employment Production Urban services structure and relations Production supplies Commodities Non-durable and Rural economy durable goods (sectors) Capital/income Markets for selling Rural production rural products regimes Information Processing / manufacturing Information on Natural resources employment, production, prices, Waste and pollution welfare services Source: Allen, 2003, based on Douglass, 1998:31.
  10. 10.  The PUI is a mosaic of The ‘Peri-urban Interface’ ‘natural’, ‘productive’ and ‘urban’ sub- systems Affected by material and energy flows demanded by both rural and urban areas.  Heterogeneous and changing social and economic structures Mix of mix of newcomers and long-established dwellers. Mix of farming, residential and industrial land uses. Diversified livelihoods strategies  Fragmented institutional landscape Affected by rapid change and unclear boundaries and jurisdictions.
  11. 11. On the drivers of change  ‘urban and rural economic refugees’ in search of cheaper residential land and multiple livelihood opportunities;  conservationists’ who buy bush or farm blocks for re- vegetation or timber plantations;  ‘minimalisers’ seeking to establish less materially intensive lifestyles with a degree of self-sufficiency;  ‘sprawlers’ seeking larger blocks than available in urban areas, where they can live extended suburban lifestyles  and many more….
  12. 12. On intervention models Source: Allen, A, ‘Rural-urban linkages: Models of intervention’ in SOFA (2002:90-106).
  13. 13. On planning and research implications  Beyond negative conceptualisations  Maintaining a focus on ‘hidden’ entities  From lacking areas to ‘insurgent peripheries’  Recognising opportunities in hybrid situations  Turning the peri-urban notion inside out