Peri-urban areas have commonly been defined in relation to a nearby metropolitan area on their inner boundary, a rural area on their outer boundary, or as the land in between. Peri-urban areas usually are not homogenous but are dynamic areas and the focus of significant non-metropolitan growth, both in Australia and internationally. A functional analysis requires an examination of the reciprocal relations of interacting systems as well as the characteristics, extent and impacts of cities and rural areas on peri-urban areas. Typologies of peri-urban development must address this heterogeneity. An examination of two Australian peri-urban case study areas applies an enhanced typology and reveals a disorderly pattern of existing subdivision with little discernible pattern and reflecting historical subdivision approvals. The development of these fragmented lots is leading to clusters of dwellings on small lots and individual houses not related to farming practice across many parts of peri-urban landscapes. Governance and institutional arrangements are equally fragmented with little evidence of long term sectoral strategic planning or cross-sectoral policy and management. This lack of integrated planning threatens the future of Australian peri-urban areas at a time when their values are becoming increasingly important for Australian cities and regional areas.
This paper was presented at the State of Australian Cities National Conference held in Adelaide from 28 to 30 November 2007.