Sociology of peri-urban areas

Eric Charmes, October 2015

Who lives in peri-urban areas? This chapter focuses on the characteristics of peri-urban inhabitants and looks at findings and debate on the issue. One of the main findings is that these zones are ‘socially specialised’. Right from the start, each peri-urban zone attracts people with similar purchasing power and expectations of their lodging. Thus it may be noted that some peri-urban zones are relatively well-off, others relatively poor. But peri-urban zones are not just specialised in terms of socio-professional characteristics; they can also be defined in terms of demographic dynamics and racial segregation. Ageing of the population, intergenerational cohabitation and racial conflicts are also important issues to be taken into account in the management of peri-urban areas.

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