Thus, growing peri-urban areas or rural areas and cities are interdependent and interconnected. Although peri-urban agglomerations have urban characteristics, they are not classified as such and thus lack institutional structures and capacities to address, amongst others, infrastructure planning and service provision. Rural local bodies are administered without the mandate for spatial planning, and therefore without any planning capacity.

The result is visible in the newly developing outskirts of the cities, where no spatial pattern is followed and development is steered by land ownership rather than by a spatial development strategy. This has consequences for the people living in these areas, such as a lack of adequate basic needs services like fresh water, sewerage, roads, electricity.

Facing problems at the regional scale

There is a need to rethink the frame within which planning is currently conducted in India as it is becoming increasingly clear that traditional definitions of urban and rural are no longer able to capture the complexity of the different land uses and connections between them.