Farms as a resilience factors to land degradation in peri-urban areas
AbstractThe purpose of this study was the analysis of the effects induced by urban pressures on the socio-economic and territorial characteristics of the rural peri-urban areas in order to identify planning and intervention strategies aimed at enhancing the quality of agriculture and landscape. A survey was conducted in the surroundings of Parma on farms located in the vicinity of urban areas. The structural, productive and social characteristics of the family-farm units were analyzed. The survey updated an identical survey, carried out in 1986, in which it was examined a sample of 208 farms. The units surveyed were evaluated in two aspects: the “vitality”, which takes into account the structural characteristics (size, production, labour force, etc.), and the “stability”, in which a crucial role is played by the age of the conductor and the presence of a successor. It was found that only 28% of the original farm sample is still alive, one third has disappeared, 30% was absorbed by existing farms, 8% has been abandoned. The factors most favourable to the survival resulted those referred to the vitality, especially the physical and economic size of the farm, the presence of cattle, the percentage of land in property, the presence of young labour. Among the factors that predispose to the abandonment, the urbanization processes were found to be determinants, in terms of expansion of both the built-up area and of that planned as urbanisable. The research has highlighted the importance of the vitality of the farms together with a context that has maintained its original rural features. These combined aspects can better define what we call the resiliency of the landfarms system i.e. the capability of positively reacting to the variable modifications of the internal and external conditions.
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Copyright (c) 2013 Paolo Zappavigna, Andrea Brugnoli
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