Abstract: Cities are dependent on their surroundings for their existence and growth. Having a rapidly increasing population, a city needs a huge amount of agricultural products for its sustenance. To a considerable extent, it depends on countryside for the supply of vegetables, milk, food-grains, fruits and labour. These commodities are not only brought from immediate surroundings but also from hundreds of miles away. Thus, the city covers a huge area of surroundings for getting their agricultural products. The frequency and intensity of services depends on linkages in terms of distance of a city with its countryside and the available nature of transport and communication. The characteristics and socio-economic development of a fringe differ from that of another. People do their recurring commuting to perform their daily activities and jobs from the margins of a city to its central part, where their offices and institutions are generally located. The villagers also travel daily to cater their socio-economic needs to neighboring towns and cities. Thus, cities work as centres of gravity for socio-economic, cultural and administrative activities which are truly representative of the countryside.
Aligarh city performs a variety of functions. It provides a number of services to its countryside i.e., health services, educational services, banking services and bus services and in return of which it receives some services from its surrounding areas i.e., supply of agricultural products and daily labour. The information on the basis of which the fringe zones has been delimited, have been collected through surveys and records maintained by the colleges and schools, telephone offices, commuters’ assembling points, banks, mandis and milk collection points. The five sets of determinants for delineating the rural urban fringe of the Aligarh city are spatial, economic services, occupational structure and demographic and housing character. Our main conclusion is that the expansion of the city mainly has a north and north-east direction, especially along bypass and national highways.