Balanced Urban Development: Options and Strategies for Liveable Cities

Volume 72 of the series Water Science and Technology Library pp 57-83

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


Archaeology and Contemporary Dynamics for More Sustainable, Resilient Cities in the Peri-Urban Interface

  • David SimonAffiliated withMistra Urban Futures, Chalmers University of TechnologyDepartment of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London Email author 
  • , Andrew Adam-BradfordAffiliated withCentre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University Email author 


Understanding of urban fringes or peri-urban interfaces (PUIs) as zones characterised by rapid transitional change and sprawling urbanisation has increased markedly over recent years. Archaeological evidence also illustrates the pivotal role that peri-urban zones once played in the survivability of ancient urban centres. Over the last three decades, urban growth and associated transitional changes have accelerated in most regions, producing major challenges to the development of resilient cities capable of absorbing climatic, economic and environmental shocks. Globalised processes of industrialisation and market interdependence have remoulded urban fringes, bringing increased environmental impacts, including the loss of natural resources and environmental buffers now recognised as essential for urban resilience. Furthermore, ongoing global environmental change (GEC) and increasing socio-economic inequality are generating new priorities as peri-urban zones consolidate, erode and shift outwards. Given the inadequacies of existing frameworks, we advocate a hybrid approach to PUI planning and design that draws on integrated, agropolitan-type perspectives embedded within a resilient, locally appropriate regional-urban focus within broader socio-spatial and geo-economic systems. Diverse historical and contemporary examples inform the discussion of the PUI planning and design and the identification of policy recommendations for a hybrid planning approach based on adaptive capacity and resilience.


Hybrid planning Peri-urban interface Urban fringe Urban sustainability Urban resilience