"If you want to change the system, build a new system which makes the old one obsolete" (Buckminster Fuller 1939)



(Peri-Urbanization & Climate-Environment Change)

Updates and work in progress on the research proposal for the ‘Towards a Sustainable Earth’ program

This is the main Case for Support document – PERI-CENE -case for support

This is the full compiled version with attachments – PERI-CENE – full proposal



From space, the human impact on planet Earth is seen with the spread of cities – but the cities themselves are spreading, into huge tracts of the peri-urban.  We are now not only in the Anthropocene, arguably, but the ‘Peri-cene’: a human-environment system shaped by peri-urbanization.  Around the world the peri-urban shows many things  – global hubs and local enclaves, sprawl and disorder, ecological destruction and renewal, disruption of communities and livelihoods.  Peri-urbanization is both a physical land-use process, and a social / economic / political / cultural agenda. The Peri-cene is critical to the fundamentals of urban food, energy, water, and so to the global human-environment system.

The PERI-CENE project will provide the first ever comprehensive assessment of peri-urbanization impacts, risks and vulnerabilities. We use new settlement / population data to build a typology of the peri-urban and its interaction with climate and environment.  We form a research-policy community from 10-15 major city-regions around the world, to apply and fill this typology, and then to explore responses and ways forward  for problems both local and global. In parallel we run in-depth case studies in India and the UK, which explore more of the layers of social, technical, economic and political forces.

The practical result is to map the options for the City-Region A or B, and the pathways between them.

city-region A or B sketch



We have put together a full proposal for the ‘Towards a Sustainable Earth’ program – details on  https://nerc.ukri.org/research/partnerships/international/overseas/tase/

The research parters include:

University of Manchester (Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy)

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Indo-German Centre for Sustainability)

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm


Research organizations and city / region governments are invited to join the PERI-CENE Living Lab.

This is a ‘collaborative laboratory’ of city-region researchers and policy-makers around the world.  Living Lab Partners / Associates would be invited to:

  • Participation at a major international workshop (fully funded) on peri-urban problems and pathways;
  • Testing the ‘Peri-cene analysis tool’, with local applications of global spatial data;
  • Knowledge exchange with online profiles and research-policy dialogue.

Background – see the next page for where this is coming from.