Dialogue between Indian and Pakistani scholars on peri-urbanism, exploring potential environmental, health and governance issues may help improve conditions of these areas, said to a press release issued by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute on Friday.
Peri-urban areas are transition zones where urban and rural activities are juxtaposed to rapid modifications induced by human activities. Peri-urban areas occupy large portions of national landscapes and are home to millions of people who face unique problems: resource pressures, slum formation, lack of adequate services like water and sanitation, poor planning and farmland degradation. These areas are often neglected because they are located outside rural and urban administrative boundaries.
In a conference on Friday, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Q Suleri stated that the problems faced by both India and Pakistan were similar and so too must their solutions be. “These joint research initiatives will bring our citizens closer to one another which is vital for normalisation of relationships between South Asian neighbours,” he said.
East-West Centre Research Fellow Dr Sumeet Saksena stated that there is no clear definition of peri-urban and urged for a definition that will enable stakeholders to take care of citizens in these areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2011.