This chapter reviews current thinking about environment-development issues in the transitional zones between distinctly urban and unambiguously rural areas, known variously as rural-urban fringes/transition zones, or peri-urban zones/areas or interfaces (PUI). Such concerns reflect the growing real-world limitations of traditional concepts of a simple rural-urban dichotomy. Moreover, recent archaeological research suggests that these phenomena may have ancient antecedents. Present-day fringes/interfaces have become intimately bound up with notions of (more) sustainable urbanization and urban development, with different issues and agendas manifested in different geohistorical zones of urbanization. Following an overview of planning issues in (post)industrial societies, the chapter addresses the complexities of changing peri-urban production and livelihood systems in the context of rapid urbanization in poorer countries, distinctive peri-urban challenges of appropriate and flexible planning and development, and the future prospects for enhanced sustainability in this most challenging category of development-environment interfaces. Possibilities for mutual learning between geohistorical regions are also raised.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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