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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