Urban regions worldwide are increasingly facing the challenge of dealing with highly dynamic metropolitan growth and, at the same time, institutional changes like decentralisation and globalisation. These kinds of changes express themselves most evidently in peri-urban areas, where urban and rural life meets. These peri-urban areas in particular have been the stage for rapid physical, social and economic transformations, both in developed and developing countries. Peri-urbanization takes place here. Based on literature review, this paper presents an effort to identify generic attributes of peri-urbanisation and the way in which development planning tends to reply. Three major attributes are identified: peri-urban space (the spatial expression of peri-urban development), peri-urban life (the functional appearance of land uses, activities and peri-urban innovation), and peri-urban change (a causal and temporal perspective featuring flows and drivers of change). It is also shown that prevalent institutional replies in planning and development generally fail to acknowledge the dynamic and increasingly fragmented attributes of global peri-urbanisation.