ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Urbanisation and New Agroecologies

The Story of Bengaluru’s Peripheries

Rural–urban interfaces worldwide are increasingly witnessing massive transformations in the structure, functions, and services of complex ecosystems of these zones. An attempt has been made to understand the transitions triggered by urbanisation in the peri-urban agricultural systems of Bengaluru. Using a combination of land-use change analysis and group interactions, the temporal and spatial patterns in the impacts of urban expansion on agroecology in Bengaluru’s peripheries have been traced. The varying nature of agroecological and sociocultural impacts corresponding to differences in the pattern of urban expansion along different directions from the city have also been unravelled. Further, agroecological repercussions of existing and proposed urban planning strategies for Bengaluru have been discussed.

Figures A1, A2 and A3 accompanying this paper are available on the EPW website.

The authors acknowledge the financial support received from Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for the project “Ecosystem Services, Agricultural Diversification and Small Farmers’ Livelihoods in Rural–urban Interfaces of Bengaluru” as part of the Indo–German Collaborative Research Project FOR2432. The sub-project I-B02/B02 of FOR2432 is specially thanked for sharing household survey data support by Gubbi Labs (Bengaluru), Meghana Eswar and Shwetha A R in collection and analysis of data including spatial images is also acknowledged. The authors sincerely thank farmers in the study sites for actively partaking in the discussions.

Urbanisation has emerged as a significant driver of agricultural transitions in the developing world with mixed outcomes on production landscapes and livelihoods. Urban expansion is estimated to result in a 1.8%2.4% loss of global croplands by 2030, with 80% of such loss occurring in Asia and Africa, where croplands twice as productive as national averages are predicted to be converted (dAmour et al 2017). Adding to the staggering cropland loss, other stressors of urban origin, including growing demand for exotic commodities, water and labour, seriously impinge on the overall sustainability of farming systems.

Land-use transformations are particularly pronounced in areas lying adjacent to shifting urban boundaries, variously referred to as urban fringes, peri-urban interfaces or rural urban interfaces. These cusp regions exhibit considerable structural and functional diversity depending on the characteristics of the urban core and peripheries that comprise them. Nonetheless certain integral features of peri-urban interfaces include intense urbanrural interactions amidst coexistence of distinct rural and urban activities, diversity of resident populations and land uses, changing social structures, institutional ambiguity, unplanned growth and poor infrastructure (Tacoli 2006; Marshall and Randhawa 2017a; 2017b).

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Published On : 10th Oct, 2018

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