Sharing Place: A Case Study on the Loss of Peri-urban Landscape to Urbanization in India

In Sharing Ecosystem Services
Book Chapter

Peri-urban landscapes are fast changing with the loss of its own characteristics and transforming into a new landscape with new mosaic set of characteristics that are strikingly different from the previous. There is an increasing trend across the world to transform these peri-urban areas, just outside the periphery of bigger cities, into satellite towns so that they can accommodate the city’s increasing population as well as be a development hub attracting more business and development for the area. In this study, a survey was carried out with the local communities inhabiting in village pockets inside a newly developed satellite town in the peripheries of Kolkata, one of the four metropolitan cities of India. The study enquired how the local communities perceive about sharing their land with the new residents living in high-rise apartments and how the change in the status of home gardens and sharing of its produce has changed the social relationships in the area. Majority of the respondents were found to be not happy and/or satisfied about sharing their place with the new residents as land acquisition to develop the city has resulted in loss of livelihood and income for them. The difference in sociocultural aspects was also found to be major contributor behind the gap between new and old residents in the area. The home garden status of the area has also significantly changed as most of the households have lost their property. The sharing of produce among neighbors, family members, and others in the community has also declined that results in loss of social relations.