Challenges for the revitalisation of peri-urban agriculture in Spain :territorial analysis of the Madrid and Oviedo metropolitan areas
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Contemporary urban sprawl and urban functional centrality at the regional scale have made the classical urban-rural dichotomy no longer valid. Instead, urban development generates a range of peri-urban transitional areas in which urban and rural uses are mixed in a fragmented land mosaic. The main objective of this paper is to detect opportunitites for the revitalisation of peri-urban agriculture based on an analysis and comparison of its evolution in two different regional contexts in Spain. The peri-urban space is delimited according to density, topography and perceptual criteria. Aerial images and cartographic bases are used to identify land quality and land use changes in the areas, concluding that peri-urban agriculture has suffered both urban occupation and internal changes in crops and agricultural uses, experiencing a process of decline. Innovative initiatives performed in these spaces are also explored as opportunities for revitalisation from a multifunctional approach, linking urban population to peri-urban agriculture, organic farming or landscape management. This analysis serves as a prerequisite to develop new policies for the planning of peri-urban agriculture at local and regional scales, based on a deep understanding of the territory and its evolution.