First comes a review of which pathways would be most likely to combine in which types of area:
- Urban fringe & coastal areas: set up a national climate protection coastal zone: promote agro-ecological systems of landscape & water management.
- Inner urban extension areas: planning for retrofit of climate-proof settlement design, water management, peri-urban livelihoods, climatic management of heat and storm.
- Hinterland sprawl areas: explore new combinations of rural village & urban settlement; water management for extreme conditions: ecosystems livelihoods with new global-local economic systems, niche products, visitor economies: multi-level settlement structure with local-regional services & facilities.
- Hinterland peri-rural areas: forested mountain slopes and river valleys: plan for transition of former agriculture to new combinations of eco-agri-tourism livelihoods: ensure the conservation of forest cover, soil, water systems.
- Governance systems: overall multi-level multi-sector governance which combines entrepreneur energies, with public sector responsibilities, with the deeper values of civic society… (all in a rapidly changing population and economic structure).
Urban-rural linkages in the peri-urban:
Urban & rural areas are highly inter-dependent, in resources, infrastructure, housing, travel, leisure, ecosystems services etc. The peri-urban adds another dimension to that mix. The aim of the ‘PURL’ is to maximize opportunities and minimize negative impacts on each kind of territory. ‘Sprawl repair’ & similar ideas aim to mobilize the local synergies wherever possible.
- The city-region mapping shows a huge overlap and interaction of extended urban expansion / rural transformation: there may be great opportunities for new forms of urban-rural synergies and linkages.
Peri-urban building design & form
Typical urban patterns & building forms show huge variety: but there is an globalized model of gated communities with single houses or serviced apartments. For both lower / middle / higher income housing, there are low impact design, eco-design and eco-building forms and construction methods, which can enable climate-wise adaptive pathways.
- The mapping shows a large area of urban / peri-urban sprawl along the river valley to the south
west: the question is - how far is it possible to retrofit this for greater climate resilience, higher social value and lower resource intensity?
- Also the perennial struggle between: a) over-engineered A/C based modern housing in security- controlled enclaves: and b) learning from indigenous building forms and layouts with natural micro-climatic and micro-social systems.
Peri-urban stewardship of land & commons.
Many peri-urban territories include large areas of leftover ‘lost space’, and much of this (in some countries) is in common / public ownership. The community based stewardship of marginal land on edges or corridors, can be a powerful way to generate social synergies, e.g. by local food democracy, which can then manage ecosystems for resilience and adaptive capacity.
- use of space to enable formalizing of informal space, for those without space
- sea water intrusion management with mangrove - good collaboration with private sector
Peri-urban infrastructure, airports, industrial areas
Large facilities in the peri-urban can cause disruption & depletion – or, contribute to positive transformation of the peri-urban as a zone of diversity, local-global linkages, and socio-ecological resilience. Airports, major roads or industrial plants can be designed as green corridors with built in adaptation capacity.
- Industrial parks are a clear priority, with great potential as hubs for a future circular economy system.
Water / flood / storm adaptation
Short term: we need ways to manage rising floodwaters and extreme events, via SUDS, walls, canals, basins etc. Longer term: (in some areas) we need to rethink – where are the settlements, what kind of forms & surroundings, how can low impact eco-design manage a transformation towards a water-friendly co-existence.
- major flood future risk zones cover the industrial areas to the west and peri-urban sprawl to the southwest. For both the existing building patterns may be less viable, and more radical pathways may be needed .
Sea level rise / cyclone adaptation
- The map here shows the digital elevation (not actual model of sea level rise), to indicate zones of future vulnerability.
- One priority is the extensive and intensive east coast mangrove forest.
- Industrial areas and critical infrastructures will need increasing levels of protection
- Older housing in lower income areas also may need a rethink on planning & investment.
Peri-urban real estate markets, insurance
Climate change brings a major rethink in the insurance industry, which now calculates the cost / benefit of adaptation as (global average) 7:1 net positive. Such principles can then feed into the real estate market, via green finance and the concept of ‘positive insurance’, which is re-invested to reduce risks & increase resilience.
- To look beyond dysfunctional peri-urban developments and disruption of land & ecosystems, the
real estate sector can rethink its processes of social and ecological value creation. With rapidly increasing flood risk & vulnerability, the insurance sector also needs new forms of positive investment.
Circular economy & eco-livelihood
The practical question is how can businesses invest and create jobs from these peri-urban ‘climate-wise’ transitions and pathways. The peri-urban can be a vital part of a city-region circular economy, with a continuous flow of re-use recycling & recovery. This may include shift from mainstream business models, towards cooperative, mutual or similar forms of social-eco business. These can then work in sectors such as food & forestry, biodiversity & ecosystems, education & health, leisure & well-being of all kinds.
- The case for a peri-urban circular economy is very strong in Surabaya, with its combination of globalized industry and localized agriculture / forestry / ecosystems. This could provide an organizing principle for the climate-proofing of a new emerging peri-urban.
Collaborative governance, civil partnerships
As the peri-urban agenda crosses many boundaries & involves many sectors, new forms of civil society partnerships, networks, forums, dialogues can emerge. These may be based on water catchments, bio-regions, or terrestrial eco-regions, as well as economic zones, commuting patterns etc. Government can enable these with round table structures, deliberative processes, core subsidies, rules for transparency & accountability.
- As a young and thriving democracy with effective digital systems, it seems Indonesia might show
some pathways for adaptive / collaborative forms of governance to respond to complex multi-level problems
- The vision is there for an ‘Institutionalized inclusive city - formal & informal sectors, horizontal – vertical’
- However there are many embedded layers of elite power and wealth – e.g. ‘we need new forms of collaborative governance (not just helicopter billionaires)’
Radical governance, grassroots networks
Emerging forms of radical ecological democracy & the ‘pluriverse’: these are beginning to show real alternatives to the mainstream top-down neo-liberal consensus on development & livelihood. The peri-urban can be host to many creative variations on agro-ecology, local livelihoods, grassroots self-help, social mutual aid, stewardship of the commons etc.
- This is a more open question, starting with the aspirations e.g. ‘use of space to enable formalizing of informal space, for those without space’. For those not (yet) included in the growth and development narrative, or those at the bottom of the ladder, there may be alternative ways forwards, and the peri-urban may be the location of future social innovations.