Sustainable settlements in peri-urban areas: with special reference to impacts of transport and energy on natural resources management (periurban)

Brief project description

Period: October 1, 2002 - December 1, 2005

Co-ordinator: Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), Policy Analysis Division, New Delhi, India

Sponsor: INCO Dev programme, European Commission

Context and Objectives

In India urban population is increasing at alarming rates and there has been a rapid increase in number and size of urban centres. Urban settlements, especially large cities, draw heavily on natural resources from surrounding rural areas. If not properly managed, cities can generate wastes in a manner that can disturb physical, geochemical, and biological cycles of the ecosystem. Changes in rural areas around urban areas are frequent and are critical factors in determining the environmental quality. It is imperative that the impacts of urbanisation on periurban natural resources must be understood to achieve sustainable settlements. The overall objective of this project is to bring together local communities, researchers, and responsible authorities at the local and national level to identify a set of policy options to achieve sustainable settlements.


The project is a thematic network activity that proposes to bring together local communities, researchers, and responsible authorities at the local and national level to identify policy options to achieve sustainable settlements. It will build upon research carried out at national and international level to understand the environmental and economic problems and opportunities created in the rural areas around the urban settlements. This is achieved through two main activities "discussions" using a range of media (e-mail, letters, face-to-face dialogue, telephonic conversations etc) and "workshop".

Expected results

  • A conceptual base linking inter-relationships between socio-economic processes and natural resources use in Peri-urban areas.
  • An understanding of the existing institutional mechanism will be developed
  • An understanding of energy sources, needs and availability in peri-urban areas. Inter-linkages between energy use and natural resources
  • An understanding of transport facilities, needs and availability in peri-urban areas. Inter-linkages between transport system and natural resources.
  • A set of policy measures will provide clear indications for decision makers about the likely consequences of pursuing different courses of action in societal objectives.

Expected Outcomes

  • Knowledge of socio-economic and environmental perspective contributes to the comprehension of the different pressures and processes operating in the fringe areas around urban centres
  • Environmental policy making at local, community and national level will have a more reliable basis
  • Better articulation of the synergies and trade-offs established between environmental sustainability, economic productivity and social equity
  • The public knowledge will be greater with regards to pressures upon and changes within peri-urban environment, thus resulting in greater influence of public opinion in decision making process
  • The outputs of this project directly contribute to the better management of ecosystem in peri-urban areas in India without compromising the natural resource base.

Project partners


  • TERI
  • Institute of Rural Management, Anand ( IRMA)
  • Division of urban systems development, Anna University, Chennai


  • Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), Leeds University, UK
  • Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden
  • Institute for transport planning and traffic engineering, TU Wien, Vienna