A rural urban fringe is defined as an area towards the outer boundaries of the city that has mixed urban and rural land uses and where full city services cease to available and the area from where the agricultural land uses predominate.
These areas are generally areas of haphazard construction, unauthorized dwelling, unplanned infrastructure and spontaneous expansion of urban areas because of encroachment. Such areas are the consequence of urban sprawl.
Rural Urban Fringe areas are some of the challenges in urban planning because it does not come under municipal administration boundary of urban centre and rural administration does not have enough resources or teeth to deal with rapidly changing economic landscape and expansion of urban character. The rural-urban fringes are areas of urban blight where land prices may be very high because of speculative pricing.
The changes taking place have two fundamental factors:
1. Changing land use
2. Changing socio-economic lifestyle
Stages in development of rural-urban fringe: Rural Urban Fringe does not come up suddenly and abruptly because there is a gradual transition with a proper sequence where changes in social-cultural infra character of land use distinctly change from rural to urban.
* Region exist in urban shadow
* Agriculture predominating Rural character visible
Change in agriculture land use
* Crops grown for local consumption
* Expansion of dairy farming and market gardening
Change in occupational structure
* Local popl employment shift from agri to urban centre
* Land fallowing due to speculative prices
Urban landuse growth
* Extensive land use growth
* Warehouse, garbage dump, airport, light manufacturing
* Urban popl prefers to move out of city centre
* Rise of large extensive villas, farm houses
* Unplanned construction
In Indian context, Rural Urban Fringe is a recent phenomenon. In medieval and ancient times the boundaries were most objectively defined by fort walls, rivers, presence of forests but with the development of communication & expansion of cities, the boundaries have now blurred. Post independence period has witnessed a radical transformation of urban space. Rapid increase in the size of cities led to urban encroachment in the rural areas.
Growth of industry, commerce, institutions generates jobs for rural population. For the people engaged in agri, rapidly growing city provides market for vegetables, fruits, milk etc. Consequently the rural people change their lifestyle. Thus we have the emergence of the semi-urban society-transitional phase between the rural and urban societies.
All obnoxious land uses relevant to urban areas such as garbage dumps, sewage, polluting industries, and slums are often relocated near villages leading to increase in environmental problems & social crimes.
The problems of Rural Urban Fringe require urgent regulation so as to maintain the symbiotic relationship that exists between the rural areas & the urban areas for the betterment of both.
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