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28 SEP 2016

Peri-Urban Food Production

Using Sydney as a case study, this report aims to develop an understanding of what best practice looks for land-use planning on the urban fringe.

Peri-urban areas around the world have traditionally been the food bowls of our cities. Increasing urbanisation is threatening the existence of peri-urban agriculture, paving over the soils that have fed global city populations. Increasing conversion to commercial and residential uses, fragmentation, land-use conflicts and global challenges such as climate change pose a threat to the viability of food production in peri-urban areas.

This report considers responses that might emerge from the planning system to address threats to peri-urban agriculture. The report focuses on the experience of peri-urban planning and food production in the Sydney Basin, in New South Wales, Australia.

The report reviews a range of planning responses to managing peri-urban areas for resilience and sustainability. These include strategic planning measures, financial incentives, property rights protections and improved methods for valuing the benefits that peri-urban agriculture provides to cities.

For many cities, perhaps including Sydney, a large proportion of peri-urban food production has already been lost, converted to residential use and supporting infrastructure. For that which remains, and for those cities that have sustainably managed their peri-urban agricultural lands, policy and initiatives are required to ensure that food production on the urban fringe can continue to contribute to urban resilience in the future.

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