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URBAN ECONOMY | Urban-Rural Interactions

This cluster reflects the increasing recognition of the significance of urban-rural interactions and interdependence for economic growth and poverty reduction. The documents included here highlight the importance of appropriate forms of peri-urban governance to manage the processes of urbanisation and to protect the rights of the rural and urban poor.

quick links

local level city level
  international level websites

local level

Bah, Mahmoud et al. (2003) - "Changing rural – urban linkages in Mali, Nigeria and Tanzania"- Environment & Urbanization - Vol 15 No 1, April 2003 - IIED [pdf]

Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania - This paper compares and contrasts changing rural–urban linkages drawing on research in six case study areas in Mali, Nigeria and Tanzania. The aim of the research was to gain a better understanding of the ways in which the livelihoods of rural and urban households rely on both rural-based and urban-based resources, and on exchanges between urban and rural areas. The paper describes changes in farming systems under the impact of urban expansion, with special attention to access to land and other natural resources such as water, and also access to markets and the role of traders, especially small-scale operators. It also examines how changing rural and urban contexts, as well as wider national and regional contexts, affect patterns of income diversification and mobility, especially the differential impacts with regard to women and men and to young and older people. Finally, it analyzes the role of the case studies’ urban centres in the economic and social development of their surrounding regions.

Baker,Jonathan (1995) - " Survival and accumulation strategies at the rural-urban interface in north-west Tanzania" - Environment & Urbanization - Vol. 7 No. 1, April 1995 - IIED [pdf]

Tanzania - This paper presents empirical material collected in the small town of Biharamulo (population 20,000) and four surrounding villages in 1993. The study area is located in the Kagera Region of north-west Tanzania. The paper attempts to demonstrate how rural areas and small urban centres are economically interdependent. Biharamulo is a district headquarter town and fulfils, inter alia, important administrative, marketing, service and retailing functions. The paper discusses how the four villages interact with the town and illustrates how village households adopt a combination of survival and accumulation strategies including the use of rural and urban resources. The most successful village households appear to be those which use urban opportunities and assets (for example, urban employment, urban house and shop ownership) to diversify income sources and thereby avoid the uncertainties of relying solely on marketable crop production for household security. As a backdrop to the whole discussion, an attempt is made to analyze the types of households which might be poor or, at least, susceptible to poverty.

city level

Djillali, Benouar (2002) - The Need for an Integrated Disaster Management Strategy in North Africa Towards Poverty Reduction: A Case Study of Algiers - USTHB [pdf]

Algeria- As many other countries of the world, the northern African countries also suffer from environmental and geological problems, among others, the large cities and their suburbs. The capitals, particularly, represent gravitational poles and constitute true economic metropolises of them, recording a considerable migratory flow in addition to one important demographic growth, a fast industrialization and an anarchistic urbanization, which make of it the receptacle of various sources of pollution, where ground, air and sea do not escape the consequences of these plagues.

Eaton, Derek & Thea Hilhors (2003) - "Opportunities for managing solid waste flows in the peri-urban interface of Bamako and Ouagadougou" - Environment & Urbanization, Vol 15 No 1 April 2003 - IIED [pdf]

Burkina Faso, Mali - This paper examines the links between solid urban waste management and peri-urban agriculture in Bamako and Ouagadougou. Staple crop farmers in the vicinity of both cities value urban waste as a source of organic matter and are prepared to pay for it. Cultivation on degraded soils has even been revived in some cases thanks to this readily available resource. However, uncertain land tenure means that farmers have little incentive to ensure the safe disposal of dangerous elements in solid waste. Current plans would eliminate this recycling practice and promote largescale composting, but the cost for farmers will be too high, leaving them with an incentive to make their own illicit arrangements for acquiring waste material. Furthermore, small enterprises and associations that have come to play a complementary and innovative role in waste management would be forced out. The key challenges for policy are to build on economic and institutional reality and to regard urban waste not as a dangerous nuisance but as a source of nutrients for agriculture. Opportunities exist to deliver waste that has been sorted, though not composted, to peri-urban farmers.

Jenkins, Paul (2003) -"In search of the urban–rural frontline in postwar Mozambique and Angola"- Environment & Urbanization, Vol 15 No 1, April 2003 - IIED [pdf]

Angola, Mozambique- This paper describes urbanization processes in three intermediate urban centres, two in Mozambique and one in Angola. Both countries have suffered major social strife, and the rural livelihood base that existed before and after Independence has been severely affected. The lack of national and local infrastructure, combined with limited market opportunities and competition from cheap agricultural imports, undermine attempts to revitalize the rural economy through commercial agriculture. The growth in population size of the three urban centres is largely the result of the need for rural residents to combine non agricultural activities, mainly in the urban informal sector, with subsistence farming for their survival, rather than the product of demand for labour in urban-based industry and services. Whilst local solutions to the centres’ environmental problems are absolutely necessary, they need to be linked to realistic interventions at the global level concerning development opportunities and to a better integration of rural and urban development programmes.

international level

Payne, Geoffrey (2002) - Land management in urban and peri-urban areas, Asian land Policy Workshop, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia [pdf]

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia - Urban growth in Asia has produced some of the world’s largest conurbations. Whilst growth rates vary considerably, this large population base has created substantial numerical increases even where the percentage growth has been relatively low. In some secondary urban areas, Kirk notes that growth rates have been particularly high, so that urban expansion into peri-urban areas is a common feature throughout the region. As has already been noted, agricultural areas in Asia tend to be held in a large number of small parcels. Urban expansion is therefore complicated by the need to co-ordinate the aggregation of many small parcels into larger areas of planned urban development.


Habitat Agenda

Section IV related to the Peri-Urban interface:
C-2 Sustainable land use [pdf]


Documents highlighting DFID's published work in support of the Urban-Rural Interface and its relevance to urban governance and planning.

Adell, German (1999) - Theories and Models of the Peri-Urban Interface: A changing Conceptual Landscape - DPU / PUI [pdf]

The aim of this literature review is to examine the complexity of the theoretical discussion on concepts and models of regional development, where the PUI finds a theoretical place within the broader literature on rural-urban interactions and linkages. The validity of a rather old concept (first discussions date from the 1950s) will be assessed, and its evolution when confronted with new theoretical contexts such as globalisation will be examined.

Allen, Adriana &Julio D. Dávila (2000) - Mind the gap! Bridging the rural-urban divide - DPU / PUI [pdf]

Rural areas have long been a source of food, raw materials and labour for cities. So too, are cities places of opportunity for rural dwellers, providing markets for agricultural products, specialised services and sources of temporary employment and shelter. Urban-rural linkages are particularly intense in the peri-urban interface, characterised by constant flux, complex social structures, fragmented institutions and shifting focus. Different policy solutions are clearly needed for peri-urban areas to those advanced for rural or urban areas.

Allen, Adriana with
Nilvo L. A. da Silva and Enrico Corubolo (1999) - Environmental Problems and Opportunities of the Peri-Urban Interface and their Impact Upon the Poor - DPU / PUI [pdf]

The objective of this document is to provide an overview of the problems and opportunities of the peri-urban interface (PUI) with regard to the broad concerns of environmental
sustainability and poverty.

Atkinson, Adrian (1999) - Principles and Components of a Strategic EPM Process Relevant to the Peri-Urban Internface - DPU / PUI[pdf]

In the first instance the concern of this paper is with inquiring, as stated in the title of the paper, into principles and components of a strategic environmental planning and management (EPM) process relevant to the PUI. The research focuses attention in particular on the problems and needs of the poor living at the interface.

Brook, Robert & Julio D. Dávila (2000) - The Peri-Urban Interface-A tale of two cities - DPU/ University of Wales[pdf]

Ghana / India - The main aims of the project were to consolidate the considerable knowledge generated over five years by several research teams about the peri-urban interface (PUI) of two medium -sized cities: Hubli-Dharwad (India) and Kumasi (Ghana). The Consolidation Project Team were given the task of assessing whether this knowledge was adequate for development of new calls for research, and for identifying any significant knowledge gaps resulting from a change in focus in DFID's aid programme from that of increasing productivity towards reducing poverty.

Budds, Jessica & Alicia Minaya (1999) - Overview of Initiatives Regarding the Management of the Peri-Urban Interface - DPU / PUI [pdf]

Ghana / Kenya - The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the initiatives that are being taken with respect to the management of the peri-urban interface by development agencies, NGOs, research institutes and government authorities. The report is structured in two parts: the first will consider the initiatives being undertaken at the programme level and the second will
consider interventions at the project level.

Cornish, G. A. & P. Lawrence (2001) - Informal Irrigation in Peri-urban Areas : A summary of findings and recommendations - HR / DFID [pdf]

Ghana / Kenya- Although many agencies engaged in Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA)
stress the importance of water as a production input, there is little detailed
information available describing the use and management of this resource. To address this knowledge gap the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) funded this research project to obtain quantitative and qualitative information on the productivity and constraints of irrigated, peri-urban agriculture.

Dávila, Julio D. with Jessica Budds and Alicia Minaya (1999) - A Review of Policies and Strategies Affecting the Peri-Urban Interface - DPU / PUI [pdf]

As discussed elsewhere (Adell, 1999; Allen, 1999), whilst there is no accepted definition of what precisely constitutes the “peri-urban interface”, the project team has identified at least three different approaches from where it has been conventionally conceptualised. These approaches may be classified according to the set of variables they choose to emphasise: physical attributes, such as proximity to the city and poor infrastructure; socio-economic variables; or urban-rural flows (of people, energy, goods).

DPU / PUI (2001) - Living between urban and rural areas- Shaping change for improved livelihoods and a better environment [pdf]

Guidelines for strategic environmental planning and management of the peri-urban interface

Hide, J. M. & J. Kimani (2000) - Informal Irrigation in the Peri-Urban Zone of Nairobi, Kenya : Findings from an initial questionnaire survey - DFID [pdf]

Kenya - The research is based on field studies being carried out in and around Kumasi, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya. The survey reported in this Technical Note was carried out to provide quantitative information on the role of informal irrigation in the peri-urban zone of Nairobi, Kenya, examining its importance and contribution to family welfare, its technical characteristics and the institutional, social, economic and technical constraints faced by practitioners

Mattingly, Michael (1999) - Institutional Structures and Processes for Environmental Planning and Management of the Peri-Urban Interface - DPU / PUI [pdf]

Strategies are needed which deal not only with urban impacts but also with the transitional nature of activities in the zone, once urban impacts are felt. And there are strategies for rural activities to exploit their proximity to towns and cities. Yet these strategies must be matched to the limited capacities of the institutions available for formulating and implementing them if they are to be effective. Alternatively, institutions can be given new capacities or new relationships.

Tacoli, Cecilia (1999) - Understanding the Opportunities and Constraints for Low-Income Groups in the Peri-Urban Interface: the Contribution of Livelihood Frameworks - DPU / PUI [pdf]

There is increased recognition that the ways in which individuals and households achieve their basic needs are based on the management of a complex combination of capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities. Related to this is a more dynamic analysis of poverty which has been developed in recent years and which shows that people tend to move in and out of poverty, depending on how vulnerable they are to external shocks and stresses, and on how rapidly they can recover from such crises.

2003 Development Planning Unit | Sikandar Hasan | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh || Tina Simon