Discovering the Peri-Urban Interface

What does Peri-urban really mean to people?

by Stewart Wall August 3rd 2021

On August 2nd I hosted a zoom meeting with members of the Royal Photographic Society who have shown an interest in doing their own projects that visualise the concept of the Peri-Urban. The meeting created some lively discourse and I hope to see some fascinating projects, and one of those conversations revolved around the term ‘Peri-Urban. Ange Edwards, an academic in her own right reported she had spoken to half a dozen friends, and non of them had heard of the term before, and Mark Flatman, a Chartered Town Planner suggested that ‘Urban Fringe’ might be more appropriate. I’m going to spend some time thinking this through, although my early reading suggests that there is a lot more to the term ‘Peri-Urban’ when we apply research to it, especially when we add ‘interface’ to the term.

Figure 3 is a screen grab from a 2003 paper by Adriana Allen titled ‘Environmental planning and management of the peri-urban interface: perspectives on an emerging field’ during which she writes “the Peri-Urban interface has significant implications, not only for the livelihoods and quality of life of those who live in these areas but also for the sustainability of urban and rural development. This is because the ecological, economic and social functions performed by and in the peri-urban interface affect both the city and the countryside”, which leads me to think that how we look at the Peri-Urban Interface is a really important consideration, and some form of measurement, or criteria is vital. I need to consider some secondary research questions, and consider how they might help understand the Peri-Urban Interface more.

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Camera towards Lincoln

Camera towards Lincoln

They say Lincolnshire is flat, although I guess the name ‘Waterhills’ suggests its not. 

We decided to take a drive and a walk to get some images overlooking the land where Waterhills is situated and found a vantage point on the Riby Road (A1173) just a few hundred yards off the Grimsby Road (A46).

When I write ‘vantage point’ the views were stunning, but with fields full of corn and the hills being in a dip we could not see evidence of them at all. It is not surprising the Romans built a garrison at Caistor .

Although there is very little evidence of The Romans being at Caistor now, other than things like a blue heritage plaque on a metal fence in front of what was part of the Roman wall near St Peter and St Paul Church there has been a lot of research made into their times. For example click here

  • All images taken with the Fuji X-Pro 2 and 35mm f2 lens.
  • Composed in camera as square images
  • Only the slightest post-production applied

The positive effects of biodiversity on the well-being of individuals visiting urban and peri-urban green areas

Go greener, feel better?

The positive effects of biodiversity on the well-being of individuals visiting urban and peri-urban green areas

Back in April I photographed this old hunting lodge that has been abandoned for many years. It is on the corner of a junction along the A46 not far from where I live. I took the photographs on a Fuji X-Pro1 and an old Zuiko Olympus 28 mm lens I have from the 1970s. I shot totally in manual an looked at the light and the experience made me feel very relaxed. I blogged about the experience on the RPS East Midlands Regional zone and the RPS put the post on the front page of the main website, there is a lot of engagement with wellbeing and mindfulness at the moment, and I think that is why they liked the post. Click here to read it.

The title of the post you are reading here was copied from a paper of the same name that was published in the Landscape and Urban Planning Journal, Volume 134, February 2015. The authors wrote about how “the literature on human experience in green environments had widely showed the positive outcomes of getting in contact with nature. This study addresses the issue of whether urban residents’ evaluations of urban and peri-urban natural settings and the positive outcomes deriving from contact with such settings vary as a function of their biodiversity”. They listed the following as the highlights of their study:

  • We assess benefits and well-being deriving from visiting urban and peri-urban green areas.

  • We examine how biodiversity of urban and peri-urban green areas affects well-being.

  • Biodiversity positively affects well-being, especially for urban green areas.

  • Length of visit to green areas and biodiversity predict well-being through the mediation of perceived restorativeness.

  • Urban green spaces rich in biodiversity can enhance well-being and promote sustainable lifestyles.

Over the next few visits to the Waterhills I plan to consider these highlights and work out the potential of my own project. I also plan to create a resource section on this website to include past studies such as the one I am referring to in this post.