Peri-urbanisation in Europe

A new kind of space is emerging in Europe: The Peri-urban contains the urban fringe and urban periphery and is located in between the urban and rural areas. It is here in this in-between-space that major demographic, economic and land use shifts will take place, presenting the urban regions with several challenges of sprawl, air- and spatial quality and accessibility.

The PLUREL program has done research on peri-urbanisation in 27 EU countries, on the regional level, and with 6 case studies, including Haaglanden in the Netherlands. According to PLUREL’s definition, the Randstad Holland consists almost entirely of urban and peri-urban areas. And in the top-20 of peri-urban regions in the EU-27, 9 regions are Dutch!

In the Synthesis Report (download full PDF), dynamics and driving forces of the peri-urban are discussed, as well as possible future problems and policy challenges. Peri-urban agendas are put forward regarding Economy and employment, Population and migration, Housing and community, Mobility and transport, Food and farming, Environment and landscape, Recreation and tourism, and Managing growth.

Four scenarios are used in the project:

  • High Growth (‘Hypertech’)
  • Climate Change (‘Extreme Water’)
  • Energy Crisis (‘Peak Oil’)
  • Social Fragmentation (‘Walls and enclaves’)

The report ends by setting out new concepts for urban-rural linkages and providing recommendations for targeted policies for rural-urban regions across Europe.

Flooding of the Elbe river, Germany, 2002

View over Warsaw, Poland (PLUREL case study)

Editors: Annette Piorr, Joe Ravetz, Ivan Tosics
Publisher: University of Copenhagen/Academic Books Life Sciences
(ISSN: 978-87-7903-535-5)

2 thoughts on “Peri-urbanisation in Europe

  1. There is a chapter on polycentric development in the book, I believe. It seems that according to their methods polycentric regions like Randstad Holland or Ruhrgebiet are also very peri-urban in character.

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