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Urban agriculture and land use in cities: An approach with the multi-functionality and sustainability concepts in the case of Antananarivo (Madagascar)

Abstract : Urban planners are increasingly interested in agriculture around cities and have to decide whether to maintain or not areas of agricultural land use within and close to growing cities. There is therefore a need for researchers to design tools to guide public decision-making on land use. Various approaches, originating from different disciplines, may be adopted in this respect. We designed an interdisciplinary research program in order to test two related concepts: the "sustainability" and the "multi-functionality" of agriculture. We show that these concepts provide a useful framework for obtaining appropriate knowledge about urban agriculture, which urban planners could apply in real situations. In close collaboration with urban planners, we applied an interdisciplinary research methodology, based on common farm surveys and territorial approaches, to the Antananarivo area (Madagascar). The main functions analyzed were the food production and environmental roles of urban agriculture. Two aspects of sustainability were assessed: the farm sustainability and the territorial sustainability, with expert scores. This approach identified a wide diversity of farming systems that performed differently, depending on their intra- or suburban location. The food supply function appeared to be important not only for fresh produce but also for rice consumption. The function of protection against flooding is now important and this importance will increase with climate change. A diagnosis of sustainability was made and discussed with urban planners: several farming systems and zones were identified in which agriculture was considered important as a means of maintaining or developing the food supply, employment and incomes, and even landscape or environmental quality. We also identified other areas in which poor production conditions and/or the negative effects of urbanization on agriculture jeopardized its sustainability. This methodology appeared to be useful for determining the most appropriate role of urban agriculture in the land-use planning of this city. Our study raises new questions on the subject and should lead to more focused research programmes. We discuss several points of interest and the limitations and possible extension of this method.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 11:25:47 AM
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Christine C. Aubry, J. J. Ramamonjisoa, Marie Hélène Dabat, J. J. Rakotoarisoa, J. J. Rakotondraibe, et al.. Urban agriculture and land use in cities: An approach with the multi-functionality and sustainability concepts in the case of Antananarivo (Madagascar). Land Use Policy, Elsevier, 2012, 29 (2), pp.429-439. ⟨10.1016/j.landusepol.2011.08.009⟩. ⟨hal-01000158⟩



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