Balanced Urban Development: Options and Strategies for Liveable Cities

Volume 72 of the series Water Science and Technology Library pp 17-27

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


Re-Ruralising the Urban Edge: Lessons from Europe, USA & the Global South

  • Helen ArmstrongAffiliated withQUT Email author 
  • , Abby Mellick LopesAffiliated withSchool of Humanities & Communication Arts, Western Sydney University


Major cities of the world are characterised as either growing cities, such as in Asia and Australia, or shrinking cities as in Europe and North America. Growing cities are destroying their rural edge while shrinking cities are creating a new rural urbanism, often in their urban centre. This chapter describes the instrumentality of design and its enabling function in achieving new typologies for peri-/inter-urban rural land with key drivers being state-of-the-art technology and mapping techniques. Peri-urban economics require new land-tenure models and innovative forms of agriculture that synthesise agriculture, nature conservation, infrastructure and communities. The chapter also looks at small-scale community innovations including a number of initiatives in Penrith, Western Sydney, such as Out & About in Penrith which explored community activities in local open space, Penrith as a Regional City Garden with diverse models of urban agriculture and the Cooling the Commons project which explores the role that forms of urban agriculture might play in adapting urban environments for liveability in a climate-changed future. Findings from these projects reveal the potential of mobile infrastructure and temporary urbanism for Western Sydney.


Urbanisation Re-ruralisation Urban edge Urban economics Land tenure Urban environment