The lack of planning and policy attention to peri-urban areas in India has led to marginalisation and increasing health inequalities causing severe social, economic and environmental problems.

This interdisciplinary project, which was funded by SHLC’s Capacity Development Acceleration Fund,  aims to develop a new planning and policy framework for integrating the urban-peri-urban to promote resilience in Indian cities.


In the developing world, cities are expanding rapidly but infrastructure and service provision are not keeping up resulting in serious inequalities. This project is addressing the challenges of unprecedented urban sprawl in Indian cities leading to increasingly marginalized communities, deteriorating environment, health, and quality of living particularly in the peri-urban areas.

A mixed-method approach is being adopted to addressing urban-peri-urban land use relationships and interrelated challenges of urban sustainability and resilience in Chennai. The research is being conducted in a phased approach with an overall focus on co-production through participatory workshops and focus groups, as a way of framing all the interactions with key stakeholders. a comparative, multi-level, case-study based methodology will be applied to study diverse scales of peri-urban areas in Chennai.

The main objectives are to:

  • Review the existing local and national planning and policy for urban and peri-urban linkage and development in Indian cities.
  • Assess the existing policy responses to the urban and peri-urban interface and their social, environmental and economic impacts.
  • Examine the challenges and opportunities of integrating land policy, infrastructure services and connectivity in urban planning and development.
  • Develop in consultation with practitioners and policy makers, related policy and planning best practices to enable inclusive and resilient urban development.
  • Deliver a bottom-up, co-produced, integrated planning and policy framework to promote quality living in peri-urban areas.

Project Outputs

The project was led by Dr Lakshmi Priya Rajendran from Anglia Ruskin University, Dr Christopher Maidment from Reading University and Dr Arindam Biswas from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee.

 This research project ‘CoUP: Connecting the Urban and Peri-urban: A transformative policy framework for inclusive and resilient urban development in India’ was funded by the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC)’s Capacity Development Acceleration Fund. SHLC is funded via UK Research and Innovation as part of the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.