Recent resurgence of urban-bias and city-centric (development) thought is leading to two concurrent but contradictory trends: the foregrounding of the city as the epicentre of investment or ‘engine of development’ as well as the relegation of rural development to the backwaters leading to widespread rural neglect and poverty. In Africa and other developing countries where rural poverty is quite peaked, gross lack of capital and infrastructure often combine with severe shortage of active labour force to deepen this vortex of rural neglect and deprivation. Amidst what seems like a see-saw growth toggle between the urban and rural spheres, attention is naturally drawn to those compensatory mechanisms that act to alleviate the severe rural–urban development imbalance. In Africa, and perhaps some other non-Western societies, where kinship and community ties are extensive, circular migration and associated exchanges between the urban areas and the rural ‘hometowns’ are resulting in somewhat curious ‘culturally and economically integrated systems’. At the backdrop of the reification of rural–urban linkages approach by UN Habitat, the paper explores myriad dimensions of this persisting rural–urban ‘symbiosis’ in Southeast Nigeria. Specifically, the paper employs a case study of Ajalli–a small but aspiring local community in Orumba North Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State–to confirm whether or not the rural-centric trends orchestrated by circular (rural–urban) migration and the people’s associational life do contribute significantly to rural community development. While framing these self-help development initiatives as object cases of Public-Private-Community Participation (PPCP), the paper points the attention of urban planners to the evolving rural–urban nexuses and the new planning mandate they are instigating.