Rural-Urban Fringe is a transition zone between the urban and rural regions which economically comes under the urban shadow but probably is a part of rural area in terms of administration. This zone has mixed land uses which are partly urban and partly rural.
Around urban regions, there may be many villages. But the problem is the urban influence doesn't terminate abruptly and the rural character doesn't start suddenly.
One of the challenges in urban planning is anticipating the growth of an urban area and developing the margins and the peripheral regions keeping in mind the future urban demand. Identifying and anticipating such fringe regions (Rural-Urban Fringe) is important because these areas eventually integrate with the urban area and not planning for these regions can result in Urban Sprawl with the problem of congestion, pollution and can become synonymous with Urban Blight (Urban Decay).
Stages in the development of Rural-Urban Fringe
- Rural Stage
- Stage of land-use change
- Stage of Occupational change
- change in land use to urban land use
- Stage of suburban growth
- A proper village
- Rural land use
- Rural lifestyle - No urban amenities or quality of life.
Stage of land use change
- Agricultural land use continues
- Change of choice of crops
- Market gardening - Crops which are perishable and ready for the urban market
Stage of Occupational change
- The population moves out of agriculture and farming
- The population seeks employment unskilled and semi-skilled jobs like daily wagers, construction workers, domestic help, or semi-skilled workers in light of manufacturing.
Change in land use to urban land use
- The land gets diverted from agriculture into extensive urban land use
- Light manufacturing, warehousing, airports, dumpyards, urban farm houses, and extensive shopping complexes like strip/ribbon malls.
Stage of sub urban growth
- The region now develops as a suburban extension of the main city
- The region is more like a commuter's town or a dormitory town where people reside but commute to the main city for occupation.
- Such a suburb has great diversity and is cosmopolitan in culture.
- Gradually the suburb develops its own economy and its own labor market and is not solely dependent on the main city.
- It has a partly independent economy. Such a city is called Edge City like Gurgaon in Delhi.
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