The peri-urban interface (PUI) is subject to a wide range of transformations and flows which originate within and outside its domain. Most of such changes are driven by the proximity of urban areas (land conversion processes, market opportunities, migration patterns, waste disposal issues, etc.); however, they can also be inscribed in the wider context of the linkages urban areas maintain with their rural hinterland and the natural resource base in the territory which surrounds them.
Urban-rural interactions are affected by and impact upon both urban and rural patterns of production, consumption, mobility, on environmental conditions in wide regions and on the livelihood strategies of an increasing number of people in the developing world.
This paper argues that peri-urban interfaces face two main interconnected challenges: that of the sustainability of their natural resource base and that of the quality of life and livelihood strategies of the poor. Based on the findings from a number of case studies, the document provides an overview of the problems and opportunities of the PUI with regard to the broader concerns of environmental sustainability and poverty, and proposes a series of considerations for environmental planning and management to the benefit of the poor.