PERI-CENE (Peri-urbanization & climate-environment change)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Environment, Education and Development


From space, the human impact on the planet is seen by the spread of cities; but the cities themselves are spreading into much larger territories, amorphous sprawling areas between and surrounding cities - i.e. the 'peri-urban'. Arguably, the planet has not only entered the Anthropocene, but also a 'Peri-cene': a global human-environment system shaped by peri-urbanization. Around the world the peri-urban displays many characteristics: global hubs and local enclaves, sprawl and disorder, disruption of communities and livelihoods, and in particular, growing climate risks and ecological disruption. Peri-urbanisation is both a material process of land-use change and impact, and a human process of social, economic, political, and cultural transitions: whether informal or planned, intensive or extensive, the peri-urban is critical to the provision of urban food, energy and water. In turn, understanding peri-urbanisation is critical to three Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 11 on Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 13 on Climate Action, and Goal 15 for Life on Land.

The PERI-CENE project will provide the first ever comprehensive assessment of peri-urbanisation climate impacts, risks and vulnerabilities. It will provide a global typology and global assessment with an inter-active peri-urban analysis tool. It builds an interactive Living Lab with 18 city-regions from around the world, and explores deeper issues in two case studies. The PERI-CENE then develops forward pathways to be scaleable and transferable.

Planned Impact

The project aims to increase the understanding of peri-urban climate risks and their interaction with urban areas in order to effectively help local stakeholders build climate resilience in different spatial contexts. We will co-design convincing arguments around policy and technical innovations that can build resilience in a way that works with existing knowledge and data, and within the confines of scarce resources. By addressing peri-urban issues, our activities and networks will support local areas in developing strategies that move towards the realisation of SDGs 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land). In order to do this, our impact strategy aims to:
- deliver a substantial contribution to progressing local policy making for climate resilience by supporting stakeholders in the understanding of the interdependencies between peri-urban and urban areas in terms of climate risk;
- increase awareness of the opportunities and challenges associated with addressing human-environment interactions in peri-urban areas;
- devise innovative communication tools in order to support local stakeholders in diverse contexts to manage climate risk in peri-urban areas;
- build new dialogues between researchers and local stakeholders to support the understanding of human-environment interactions in peri-urban and urban areas.

The project will fill a significant knowledge and strategic gap on the governance of climate risk in peri-urban areas. The target non-academic communities for this research are local government policy makers, urban planners, community groups (?), national policy makers and transnational network organisations who are attempting to make fundamental and long-lasting progress on climate change adaptation and building resilience. The map tool and associated methodology will be of particular use to urban planners and regional policy makers. The global Living Lab and the two local case studies will provide arenas for dialogue in order to support the co-design of knowledge. The resultant identification of policy and technical innovations will result from this increased dialogue between researchers and local stakeholders. The project findings will be directly relevant to the XX cities that engage in the project. These cities will benefit directly from the project reports and the recommended pathways of policy combinations, and will build capacity to address the co-identified problems relating to peri-urban areas. The project will also produce policy and practitioner briefs and policy guidance for different identified stakeholder groups that seeks to transfer the learning into other local contexts.

The project website will serve as the main dissemination channel for the project outputs. Project outputs will include project reports, policy briefs, a policy instrument toolkit, and workshops in the case study cities (see the description for Work Packages 3 and 4). The project outputs will be publicly available and will be promoted through social media (e.g. Twitter Linked-In), articles in academic and professional journals, and through our existing links with transnational partners such as ICLEI, 100 Resilient Cities and UN-Habitat. In this way, a wider international audience will access the outputs and can become engaged in the discussion through the course of the project and beyond as a result. The project team will also help to continue the international discussion through co-organising discussion events associated with our international partners e.g. the ICLEI World Congress and Resilient Cities: The Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation


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