The Shadow of Urbanization: The Periurban Interface of Five Indian Cities in Transition


Vishal Narain, Poulomi Banerjee, and Pooja Anand

East-West Center Working Papers, Environmental Change, Vulnerability, and Governance Series, No. 68


Honolulu: East-West Center

Publication Date: January 2014
Binding: paper
Pages: 32
Free Download: PDF


Periurban areas refer to areas at the periphery of cities. They provide the land and water resources needed for urban expansion, while receiving urban wastes. This paper describes the process of periurban expansion around five major Indian cities, namely, Patna, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Chennai and Ahmedabad. These cities have expanded under the current regime of neo-liberal policies, infrastructure development and real estate growth. As spaces in transition, periurban areas around these cities have absorbed much of the migrant population. However, the cities have grown beyond the carrying capacity; this has caused the ecological foot-print of the cities to spill over into the peripheries. While conventional approaches to urban planning and rural development create a dichotomy between rural and urban areas, the concept of periurban raises questions both about the sustainability and equity dimensions of urban expansion, also raising issues of the politics of urbanization.