With ongoing urban extensions and population growth in Indian cities, periurban areas gain importance. These spaces are assigned diverse functions, including food and water supply, providing livelihoods, and ecosystem services, while repositioning along the urban-rural continuum. Periurban areas are confined by multi-layered structures, yet, they immerse in an institutional urban-rural vacuum with new actors emerging. These processes shape the access to resources, such as water, cause realignments of existing structures, and thus define periurban transformations.
The project “H2O – T2S in urban fringe areas” addresses these transformations in the urban fringe of three Indian metropolitan cities (Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata). It investigates particular contexts of water-based livelihoods, water as a consumption good, and water-related institutions and governance, contributes to understanding site-specific drivers of vulnerabilities and engages periurban capacities to create more sustainable future pathways. The project combines a mixed-methods research in six periurban villages over a period of three and a half years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our plan to involve local stakeholders to participatorily develop transformation pathways could not be realized and was amended to a gradual, modified Delphi method with local actors, and Indian and international experts. During a three-rounded scenario-based planning exercise, the participants identified, compared and prioritized scenarios, determined possible tipping points and forecasted decision-making steps towards more sustainable periurban futures.
The presentation will provide an insight into our research findings with a focus on water-based livelihoods in the village Paud in periurban Pune as an example for one of the six villages studied in the project.