Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
In This Section

European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.69

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.248

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
In This Section
Volume 5, Issue 1 (Jan 2013)


Agriculture Under Human Influence: A Spatial Analysis of Farming Systems and Land Use in European Rural-Urban-Regions

Dipl.Ing. Ingo Zasada
  • Corresponding author
  • Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Str. 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
  • Email:
/ Dr. Wolfgang Loibl
  • Austrian Institute of Technology, Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria
/ Dr. Mario Köstl
  • Austrian Institute of Technology, Donau-City-Straße 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria
/ Dr. Annette Piorr
  • Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Eberswalder Str. 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
Published Online: 2013-02-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/euco-2013-0005


Peri-urban agriculture in metropolitan regions is exposed to severe urbanisation pressures related to land and labour availability, thus limiting farming activities. Nevertheless, peri-urban agriculture reveals specific characteristics that contribute to the local food supply and the management of a multifunctional countryside near towns. This paper seeks to investigate agricultural land-use and farming-system characteristics in peri-urban areas within Rural-Urban Regions (RUR) across the EU27. The RUR model, which includes an allocation of urban, peri-urban and rural areas, is developed and applied in spatial and statistical analyses to identify relationships between urbanisation and agriculture. The results indicate that metropolitan agriculture compensates shrinking land bases by increasing the intensity of the labour and turnover generated, and is furthermore specialised at developing horticultural produce that is oriented towards urban consumer markets.


Stadtnahe Landwirtschaft in Metropolräumen ist im Hinblick auf zunehmend begrenzter Anbauflächen- und Arbeitskraftverfügbarkeit sowie Nachbarschaftskonflikten und rechtlicher Beschränkungen schwierigen Rahmenbedingungen ausgesetzt. Dennoch wird deren Wert für die lokale Nahrungsmittelversorgung und die Bewirtschaftung multifunktionaler Landschaften zunehmend anerkannt. Hier werden Ergebnisse räumlicher und statistischer Analysen regionalisierter Agrardaten vorgestellt, die basierend auf der Abgrenzung von Stadt-Umland-Regionen und deren urbanen, peri-urbanen und ländlichen Teilräumen, Qualitäten stadtnaher Landwirtschaft identifiziert. Dabei zeigt sich, dass die begrenzten Flächenpotenziale durch höhere Erlöse bedingt durch Intensivierung und Spezialisierung auf Gartenbau kompensiert werden, die vor allem auch eine besondere Rolle städtischer Märkte nahelegt

Keywords : Peri-urban; horticulture; competiveness; specialisation; urban-rural relationships; metropolitan regions; land consumption

  • [1] Andersson, K., Eklund, E., & Lehtola, M. (2009). Farmers, businessmen or green entrepreneurs? Producers of new rural goods and services in rural areas under urban pressure. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 11(1), 29-43. Doi: 10.1080/15239080902774960. [Crossref] [Web of Science]

  • [2] Beauchesne, A. & Bryant, C. (1999). Agriculture and Innovation in the Urban Fringe: The Case of Organic Farming in Quebec, Canada. Tijdschrift voor Economische en SocialeGeografie 90(3), 320-328. Doi:10.1111/1467-9663.00073 [Crossref]

  • [3] Bryant, C. R. & Johnston, T. R. R. (1992). Agriculture in the city's countryside. London: Belhaven Press.

  • [4] Busck, A. G., Pilgaard Kristensen, S., Praestholm, S. & Primdahl, J. (2008). Porous landscapes - The case of Greater Copenhagen. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 7, 145-156. Doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2007.05.002. [Crossref]

  • [5] Cantliffe D. J. & Vansickle, J. J. (2003). Competitiveness of the Spanish and Dutch Greenhouse Industries with the Florida Fresh Vegetable Industry. Series of the HorticulturalScience Department. University of Florida. Last accessed on November 17, 2011 from: [http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/CV/CV28400.pdf].

  • [6] EEA (2011). Corinne Land Cover 1990 and 2006. The European Topic Centre on LandUse and Spatial Information. Last accessed on November 17, 2011 from [http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data].

  • [7] EEA (2006). Urban Sprawl in Europe - The ignored challenge. Copenhagen: European Environment Agency.

  • [8] ESPON (2005). ESPON Project 1.1.1. - Potentials for Polycentric Development in Europe. Luxembourg: ESPON.

  • [9] EUROSTAT (2010). A revised urban-rural typology (pp. 240-253). In: EUROSTAT (ed.): Regional Yearbook 2010. Luxembourg: EUROSTAT.

  • [10] EUROSTAT (2011). Regional Statistics Database. Last accessed on November 17, 2011 [http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/].

  • [11] Gallego, F. J. (2010). A population density grid of the European Union. Population andEnvironment 31, 460-473. Doi: 10.1007/s11111-010-0108-y. [Crossref]

  • [12] Gant, R. L., Robinson, G. M., & Fazal, S. (2011). Land-use change in the 'edgelands': Policies and pressures in London's rural-urban fringe. Land Use Policy 28, 266-279. Doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2010.06.007. [Crossref]

  • [13] Hall, P., ed. (1966). Von Thunen's Isolated State: An English Edition of Der Isolierte Staat. (transl. by Carla M. Wartenberg). Oxford: Pergamon.

  • [14] Hall, P. & Hay, D. (1980). Growth Centres in the European Urban System. London: Heinemann Educational Publishers.

  • [15] Jongeneel, R. A., Polman, N. B. P. & Slangen, L. H. G. (2008). Why are Dutch farmers going multifunctional? Land Use Policy 25, 81-94. Doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2007.03.001. [Crossref]

  • [16] Loibl, W., Köstl, M., Steinnocher, K. (2008). Quantitative classification of European majorurban regions - Theoretical background and typology. PLUREL Deliverable Report 2.1.3. Last accessed June 5, 2012 [http://www.plurel.net/images/D213.pdf].

  • [17] Munton, R. (2009). Rural land ownership in the United Kingdom: Changing patterns and future possibilities for land use. Land Use Policy 26S, S54-S61. Doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2009.08.012. [Web of Science] [Crossref]

  • [18] OECD (2002). Redefining Territories: The Functional Regions. Paris: OECD.

  • [19] Oliver, R., ed. (2000). Urban fringe agriculture: report of the APO Seminar on Urban FringeAgriculture. Tokyo, Japan, May 17-14, 2000.

  • [20] Perlín, R. (2010). Theoretical Approaches of Methods to delimitate rural and urban areas. European Countryside 2(4), 182-200. Doi: 10.2478/v10091-010-0013-5. [Crossref]

  • [21] Péron, J. Y. & Geoffriau, E. (2007). Characteristics and Sustainable Development of Peri- Urban Vegetable Production in Europe (pp. 159-170). In: International Horticultural Congress - International Symposium on Horticultural Plants in Urban and Peri-Urban Life, August 13-19, 2006, Seoul.

  • [22] Pauleit, S., Bell, S., Aalbers, C. & Nilsson, K., eds. (2013). Peri-urban futures: Scenariosand models for land use change in Europe. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

  • [23] Piorr, A., Ravetz, J., &Tosics, I., eds. (2011). Peri-urbanisation in Europe: Towardsa European Policy to Sustain Urban-Rural Futures. A Synthesis Report. Frederiksberg: University of Copenhagen / Academic Books Life Sciences.

  • [24] van der Ploeg, J. D. (2003). The Virtual Farmer: past, present and future of the Dutchpeasantry. Assen: Royal van Gorcum.

  • [25] Renetzeder, C., van Eupen, M., Mücher, S., & Wrbka, T. (2008). A Spatial Regional Reference Framework for Sustainability Assessment in Europe (pp. 249-268). In: Helming, K., Pérez-Soba, M. & Tabbush, P., eds., Sustainability Impact Assessment of Land UseChanges. Berlin: Springer.

  • [26] Robinson, G. M. (2004). Geographies of agriculture: globalisation, restructuring andsustainability. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

  • [27] Tobias, S., Nuesch, A., Nebel, R. & Guilmain, A. (2005). Suburbane Landwirtschaft oder Landschaftsmanagement? Agrarforschung 12(7), 306-311.

  • [28] Wandel, M. & Bugge, A. (1997). Environmental concern in consumer evaluation of food quality. Food Quality and Preference 8, 19-26. Doi: 10.1016/S0950-3293(96)00004-3. [Crossref]

  • [29] World Gazetteer Population Database. Last accessed on June 5, 2012 [http://www.worldgazetteer.com/].

  • [30] Zasada, I. (2011). Multifunctional peri-urban areas - A Review of societal demands and agricultural provision of goods and services. Land Use Policy 28(4), 639-648. Doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2011.01.008. [Crossref] [Web of Science]

  • [31] Zasada, I., Fertner, C., Piorr, A. & Nielsen, T. A. S. (2011). Peri-urbanisation and Multifunctional Agriculture around Copenhagen, Denmark. GeografiskTidsskrift-DanishJournal of Geography, 111, 59-72.

  • [32] Zasada,I., Loibl, W., Berges, R., Steinnocher, K., Köstl, M., Piorr, A. & Werner, A. (2013). Rural-Urban-Regions - A spatial approach to represent urban-rural relationships in Europe. In Pauleit,S., Bell,S., Aalbers, C.& Nilsson,K., eds.,Peri-urban futures: Scenarios andmodels for land use change in Europe. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer.

About the article

Published Online: 2013-02-01

Published in Print: 2013-01-01

Citation Information: European Countryside, ISSN (Online) 1803-8417, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/euco-2013-0005. Export Citation

This content is open access.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in