1. Introduction de l’atelier : concepts et questions générales

  

1.1. Dynamiques périurbaines : population, habitat et environnement dans les périphéries des grandes métropoles indiennes.
Introduction du thème de recherche et objectifs de l’atelier
 
Véronique Dupont  (Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi)
 
Des formes d’urbanisation spécifiques se développent à la périphérie des grandes métropoles en développement. Ces processus de périurbanisation se traduisent par la formation d’ « espaces mixtes », intermédiaires entre les centres urbains et les espaces ruraux, espaces transitoires objets de transformations multiples : physiques, morphologiques, socio-démographiques, culturelles, économiques, fonctionnelles.
 
Notre hypothèse de départ pour appréhender ces processus est la non-neutralité de la « localisation » au sein des aires métropolitaines. Le périurbain n’est pas pour nous un simple cadre d’analyse, mais un espace dont le peuplement, l’occupation et l’usage correspondent à des enjeux divers et souvent conflictuels révélateurs de processus qui engagent une vision politique et sociétale de la ville et de l’accès à la ville.
 
Comprendre les dynamiques périurbaines implique d’analyser les modalités de peuplement des espaces périurbains, mais aussi de se placer dans le cadre plus large des mobilités et des recompositions urbaines qui affectent les grandes métropoles. Les questions d’accessibilité apparaissent également cruciale pour comprendre le positionnement des habitants des espaces périurbains : simple localisation périphérique (au sens géographique) ou relégation en marge de la société urbaine ?
 
Espaces mélangés, partagés entre populations aux modes de vie contrastés et des usages de sols différents, les espaces périurbains sont aussi des espaces disputés. Besoin d’habitat, en particulier pour les pauvres, maintien d’une ceinture verte, nouvelles zones industrielles, entrent en compétition. Porter l’attention sur les conditions d’habitabilité des espaces périurbains permet ainsi de contribuer à une réflexion plus générale sur les conditions d’un développement « humain » durable pour les grandes métropoles du Sud, c’est-à-dire tenant compte non seulement de considérations environnementales mais aussi d’équité sociale.
 
Comprendre les dynamiques périurbaines sous leurs multiples facettes imposait de réunir des compétences disciplinaires diverses. C’est dans cette optique que nous avons formé un groupe de travail puis organisé un atelier international associant des chercheurs venant de formations différentes : démographie, géographie, économie, urbanisme, anthropologie sociale, environnement, droit.
 
L’atelier était centré sur le cas de l’Inde, pays émergent dont la population totale a récemment dépassé le milliard, et où les défis de la croissance urbaine et périurbaine sont à la mesure de sa population et de ses mégapoles pluri-millionnaires. Il a réuni à Delhi du 25 au 28 août 2004 une vingtaine de chercheurs français/européens et indiens. 

Les objectifs de l’atelier de Delhi

Cet atelier de recherche avait pour objectif ultime d’approfondir les connaissances sur les dynamiques périurbaines dans le contexte des grandes métropoles indiennes.
 
L’objet du groupe de travail était de mettre en commun un ensemble de travaux et de réflexions autour de cette problématique fondatrice, de croiser des approches disciplinaires diverses et de confronter des études sur différentes grandes métropoles dans un même contexte national afin de tirer des enseignements :

-         pour l’analyse des processus à l’œuvre,

-         pour la catégorisation socio-spatiale des populations et de l’habitat humain,

-         et pour nourrir une réflexion sur l’équation complexe entre population, habitat et environnement dans les espaces périurbains, et ses enjeux politiques. 

 
De caractère exploratoire, l’atelier visait :

-         à l’affinement des concepts relatifs à la catégorie spatiale « périurbain » ;

-         à discuter de diverses questions méthodologiques et à confronter différentes approches possibles ;    

-         à aboutir au montage d’un projet de recherche collectif destiné à approfondir les travaux préliminaires en mettant en œuvre une véritable interdisciplinarité.

 
Une mise en perspective comparative internationale des travaux est prévue dans un deuxième temps, en France, au cours d’un séminaire de restitution et de discussion des résultats auprès des chercheurs spécialistes des questions urbaines dans d’autres régions du monde en développement.


 
1.2. La dynamique des espaces périurbains : de l’exemple français au cas des pays en développement
 
Philippe Cadène  (Université Paris 7, UMR SEDET CNRS- Université Paris 7)
   

1.3. Defining ‘Peri-Urban’- A Review
 
Suresh Kumar Rohilla (School of Geography, Queen’s University Belfast; Affiliate Research Fellow, Centre de Sciences Humaines of New Delhi)
 
The paper presents a review of literature regarding  how peripheral areas of the metropolis have been defined, conceptualised and delimited in various ways  in both the developed as well as the developing countries.
 
It is evident from the various case studies such as those of  McGee (1991), Robinson (1995), Marshall et al. (2001), Bentinck (2000), Stephenson (2001), Iaquinta & Drescher (2002) and Dupont (2002), that large inconsistency exists in the definition of ‘peri-urban’ and that all case studies have defined the peri-urban according to their needs, scope of work and data availability. It is also evident that few other terms have been inter-changingly and extensively used along with or in lieu of ‘peri-urban’ i.e. – metropolitan fringe/urban fringe (ESCAP/UN -1990), rural urban fringe (Nangia 1976, Ramachandran1989), metropolitan peripheries (Kundu, 2001).According to the DFID  review on this subject peri-urban development it has been considered as part of wider urbanisation process. Further it stated that with the growth of cities in developing countries, the peri-urban area moves in waves.
 
According to the report the definition of what constitutes ‘peri-urban’ are thin and inconsistent and literature directly relating to peri- urban areas is not substantial. Statistics related to urbanisation is varied and definition of ‘urban’ settlement and quality of data differs country to country which makes international comparisons difficult and local factors more important than generalized assumptions characterizing the nature of peri-urban. Hence it suggests peri-urban interface a region of change and not a distinct boundary. The emphasis being on the process of urbanisation than mere form of urban growth.   
 
The urban specialists have found it as an area having predominantly urban characteristics or an area with both rural and urban characteristics while rural specialists regard it as having essentially rural characteristics. On the other hand environmentalists look at the area suffering from pollution caused by nearby urban core while natural resource managers see the zone as problematic area where buildings and roads encroach productive agricultural land.
 
The literature review revealed that all agree on a common point in that ‘peri urban’ is an area outside existing urban agglomeration where large changes are taking place over space and time. For a sustainable development of the city the area need to be investigated and data needs to be updated (DFID1999).
 


1.4. India’s urban fringe
 
Hans Schenk  (University of Amsterdam)

 

Growing cities expand geographically whereby urban characteristics are introduced into peri-urban areas. Peri-urban developments are hence no autonomous processes but reflections of change and expansion in their urban cores.  It has been argued (McGee, 1991; Forbes, 1996) that a given Asian urban periphery forms a sustainable zone between a major core city and the surrounding countryside (desakota). Empirical evidence in many Asian metropolitan cities shows, however, that, though the concept of a peri-urban area appears to be sustainable, actual peri-urban areas tend to be of a rolling nature. They ‘eat’ their way into the countryside, but are ‘eaten up’ by the expanding urban core area. Hence, the concept of peri-urbanization of expanding metropolitan cities is of a two-fold dynamism: it expands and shrinks geographically and it forms the stage of the transfer from a rural into an urban society. This two-fold dynamism seems to the normal pattern for the major Indian cities.
 
The transfer from a rural into an urban society is marked by a few distinct changes. Socio-economic changes take place, as subsistence agricultural production is replaced by market-oriented primary production and subsequently by industrial and service oriented economic-activities. These changes go hand-in-glove with corresponding changes in land use. New and space consuming industries tend to settle in peripheral areas where land is cheaper, such as the automobile industry in Chennai and Delhi. Polluting industries tend also to move to the peripheries, as environmental controls are less strictly enforced. Recently, the IT sector has rapidly expanded in outlying urban areas of cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi. Furthermore, urban ways of life are introduced in the countryside, while last, but not least, distinct changes in the composition of the peripheral urban zone take place, as new residents start entering it.
 
Three major population categories come to the peri-urban zone, in addition to the original population. In the first place, some of the urban well-to-do start moving to the outskirts of the densely inhabited core city, looking for more spacious living environments at selected locations. These processes can be observed for Indian cities from the nineteen sixties onwards. In the second place,  an increasing number of urban poor invade into the periphery. These invasions, starting on a large scale in Delhi in the nineteen seventies, and in other cities such as Bangalore since the end of the nineteen eighties, are partly of a voluntary character, as it has become more and more difficult to find even a place to live in a (illegal) slum. More and more slum dwellers, however, have been displaced from inner city locations and re-settled in the urban periphery. Re-settlement may mean that serviced housing sites are provided by local authorities, but also that the urban slum dwellers are just ‘dumped’ in the periphery (Schenk & Dewit, 2001). Finally, rural migrants to the India’s major cities now tend to settle directly in the periphery, knowing that a place to live in the urban core (where most of the for them relevant jobs are)  is not longer available.
 
Population movements into urban peripheral areas are not at random. Distinct pockets appear to be reserved for the well-to-do in-migrants, away from poor in-migrants and from obnoxious industrial or other activities. Peripheral areas tend to promote segmentation of the urban population. The case of Delhi illustrates this. In this city, the outward bound area to the South and Southwest is definitely reserved for the urban elites, while displaced urban poor and in-migrating rural poor are to be found in the Northern and Eastern parts of the periphery. Segmentation is also enhanced by scale. Distances in India’s major cities tend to become a major barrier for urban poor and urban well-to-do to meet each other. Many of the urban poor are engaged in ‘household’ work for the elites and middle classes, and are therefore deprived from a source of livelihood. Similarly, many unskilled jobs are still concentrated in the urban core and hence often beyond the reach of displaced poor in the periphery.  Other jobs become increasingly available in the industrial and service enterprises in the periphery, but the – often unskilled – peripheral poor find it difficult to avail themselves of most of these specialised jobs.
 
Urban peripheries have typical relations to public regulations and control. First, it has be noted that urban peripheral developments form the ‘market answer’ to failed attempts by governments to check urban growth by the planning and promotion of secondary cities, etc. This is very much the case in India, where peripheral urban growth was significantly enhanced by the free access for multi-nationals into the Indian market and their choice for locations in or near India’s major cities such as Delhi, Bangalore or Mumbai under the market-oriented regime of the New Economic Policy since the nineteen nineties. Within peripheral areas attempts to control developments by Master Plans and the like, have largely failed. Second, the decline of public agencies has also affected the provision of basic infrastructural amenities in urban and peri-urban areas. The (peri-) urban poor are primarily affected by the non-provision of water supply, sewage and toilet facilities, electricity, roads, schools, medical facilities, etc. Third, this failure is more present in the urban periphery compared to the urban core.
 
The urban periphery is thus not only characterised by fragmentation, but also by deprivation. For some inhabitants in the urban peripheries of India’s major cities, life is attractive and perhaps even better than in the urban core. The ‘globalizing’ aspirations of Indian cities while trying to attract IT and related industries and services, the new housing societies for the elites, and the new shopping malls seem to represent the Indian urban periphery. However, there is in contrast less glamour for many more new inhabitants. Dilapidated living conditions – worse than in the central city - and  lack of livelihood opportunities - less than in the central city - characterize peripheral urban conditions for most of the erstwhile migrants from the countryside who were compelled to seek a living in the city, but are now more and more rejected into a no-man’s land between city and countryside.


1.5. Comparative Metropolitan Development
 
Paul A. Jargowsky (University of Texas at Dallas ; Visiting Scholar, Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi)

 

 

This paper reflects on the definition of peri-urban areas by contrasting the US and Indian experience.  The concept of “peri-urban” is not one that is used among scholars in the United States.  Rather, the dialogue in the U.S. concerns suburban development or, with pejorative connotations, suburban “sprawl” (Drier et al., 2001).  The key focus of this literature is the racial and economic exclusivity of suburban development (Jargowsky 2002) and the effect of suburban development on the central cities, such as eroding of the fiscal base and contributing to the concentration of poverty (Jargowsky 1997, 2003; Wilson 1987).

 

The situation in India and the developing world is quite different. Schenk and Rohilla emphasize that development is both planned and unplanned and extremely heterogeneous.  Far from housing the elite, the peri-urban region often serves as a dumping ground for uprooted slum-dwellers or industries forced to relocate for environmental reasons.  The housing varies enormously in quality and the densities can be quite high. 

 

Immediately these contrasts raise the question: can there be any common ground on a conceptual or theoretical level in the scholarly study of suburban development in the U.S. and peri-urban development in the developing world?  By examining the intersection of what it means to be peri-urban in the Indian context and suburban in the American context, one common feature emerges: peri-urban areas are those which have recently been transformed, or are in the process of being transformed, from self-regarding localities to localities which exist in a continuous but subordinate relation to a major city center.  The newly created suburb on the outskirts of Dallas, with a preponderance of 400 square meter single family homes with private swimming pools, and the relocated slums of Mumbai can both be contained within such a conceptualization.  In this view, “suburbs” in the US are a simply a specific type of peri-urban area. 

The key question then becomes: why do the US, France and India, subject to the same laws of economics and the same general principles of human relations, develop such fundamentally different types of peri-urban spaces?  The answers must be rooted in the politics, governance, economic structures, and idiosyncratic sociological characteristics of the different nations.  Peri-urban zones must, therefore, be understood in terms of the role they play in the larger metropolitan system, including the labor market, housing market, and political structure.  Changes in the peri-urban areas are, for the most part, highly visible manifestations of social structures and policies located at broader scales.

 

For example, in the US, social distances are measured first and foremost on the basis of race, specifically the white/black distinction and secondarily on income.  Particularly after the race riots of the 1960s, those with higher incomes sought to isolate themselves from the poverty and racial tensions of the central cities by moving to exclusive developments in the suburbs.  In India, the situation is quite different. Social distances are enforced culturally through caste, religion, and a strict division of labor. But that division of labor also creates an interdependence. Thus, peri-urban areas in India are heterogeneous because the social structure depends on proximity between higher and lower status persons, and the proximity does not threaten the social structure. 

 

A second example is the legal and regulatory environment.  In the United States, the federal government has no direct power in the area of local land use development.  Constitutionally, that power is reserved to the states, and traditionally states delegate these functions to local governments.  In this legal context, each suburb behaves as an independent actor, with no responsibilities to the core city.  There is no metropolitan oversight of the growth process, and suburban development often outpaces the overall growth of the area, therefore undermining existing areas.  In contrast, Indian peri-urban areas develop with both more and less regulatory oversight.  On the one hand, central authority is stronger, and Master Plans are drawn up in the hope of directing peri-urban growth according to a logic which serves the interests of the broader area.  On the other hand, as Schenk notes, “unplanned” developments may spring up organically without any deference to governmental regulation, which is practically unheard of in the US.  Clearly these differences in the legal/regulatory framework shape the development of peri-urban areas in important ways. 

 

References



1.6. Urbanisation and Urban Dispersal in India: An Analysis of Emerging City – Hinterland Relationship
 
Amitabh Kundu (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Centre for the Study of Regional development, New Delhi)
 

The process of urbanisation during the 1990s has been strongly linked with the growth of class I cities and not so much with the development of the regional economy. These cities have attracted much of the infrastructural and industrial investment and consequently registered high demographic as well as economic growth. The process has failed in disseminating growth impulses in the region, resulting in low levels of employment outside agriculture in rural areas. People engaged in traditional occupations, such as artisans, craftsmen, carpenters, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, etc. seem to have been hit badly in the relatively urbanised or rapidly urbanising regions. The exceptions are the immediate periphery of metropolises and the corridors connecting major cities. It is observed that the incidence of rural NFE is high around a few large cities that seem to be pushing out existing industries in their peripheries. The land-use restrictions in Master Plans have discouraged growth of industries within the city but the entrepreneurs have shown strong reluctance to move very far away form the cities for reasons of accessing the city externalities. This has led to deceleration in urban growth in the city but rapid growth of population as also economic activities in the peripheries.
 
The growth of RU inequality during the period of structural adjustment is expected to accelerate migration to cities, taking the labourers from low productive primary sector to more remunerative secondary and tertiary activities. Unfortunately, RU migration in India has slowed down in recent decades, primarily due to labour restrictive plans and policies followed by city governments. Even the state governments are keen to set up a few high quality global cities that can attract investment from within the country and abroad which again prompts them to devise programmes to sanitise the cities by pushing out the poor rural migrants. The difficulties of finding land for them and rising cost of providing the basic amenities has led to absorption of large sections of rural migrants in the peripheries of large cities. All this has benefited the urban economy in a significant manner as it allows the cities to bring down the municipal expenditures for provision of basic amenities but at the same time make use of the cheap labour, residing in the periphery. Further, this facilitates reduction in regional tensions that are acquiring serious proportions in recent years in slum pockets that are absorbing the squatters, evicted from better off parts of the cities. The decline in RU migration and absorption of many prospective migrants in the periphery are, thus, contributing towards “social viability” in a limited sense by enabling a handful of global cities to find additional physical space in and around the core and create micro environment, attracting national as well as international business. These also enable the cities to interact with the world capital market and ensure a high rate of economic growth for the country.
 
The thesis of healthy dissemination of growth impulses from the city core to the periphery seems to have failed to work in Indian case.  One does not find the villagers in the immediate hinterland enjoying a significantly higher level of economic and social well being than those at long distances. Moreover, one notices the positive urban impact on the developmental indicators declining at a very fast rate in the immediate hinterland, creating thereby a degenerated periphery within a distance of 15-20 kilometres from the city. This periphery seems to be worst hit and much more threatened environmentally, as this is where land becomes available for low productive economic activities, many of these being identified as hazardous in the city Master Plans. Also, it is here that most of the low income migrants are able to find a shelter, as noted above.  Their location in the periphery nonetheless serves a useful function for the urban economy. The city can economise on the cost of labour, who can commute from the periphery to the core. Furthermore, low productive pollutant units in the periphery sustain the profitability of many formal sector activities within the cities, while the environmental costs fall squarely on the peripheral population, where the former are located.
 
Certain innovative institutional arrangements, worked out by the landed peasantry and migrant workers seeking absorption in immediate periphery seem to provide economic and social stability to the production process in a few industrial cities.  It is noted that many landed farmers find it more productive to put their surplus funds in private finance companies. The profitability of these companies is tied with that of the industries that borrow money for making investments. Consequently, these peasants are constantly watching the business climate, helping investors with tips and organizing informal channels of loan recovery in periods of crisis. This, thus, not only allows financing of industrial activities through surpluses generated within rural economy but also sharing of the risk in industrial investment by the peasants. This is because there is no way of recovering the loans in situation of large-scale industrial failures. Consequently, dip in profitability in urban industries often depresses the income in the hinterland due to the risk sharing mechanism, institutionalized through the informal capital market. Further, poor migrant labourers in industrial cities often form community and region based groups to institutionalize some kind of informal social security system against seasonal unemployment. They share the available work and divide their total earnings among members on a weekly or monthly basis. Industrialists, wholesale traders etc. encourage formation of such groups as it helps them in keeping an army of job seeking persons who can be called upon any time, without the former having to compensate in any way for the periods of unemployment. The existence of such systems in certain industrial cities has indeed helped these in minimising uncertainties of labour supply and increasing their competitiveness, contributing to social viability in the process of industrial growth.