Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf

Suburban agriculture or landscape management?

Cities and conurbations are usually located in places that are favourable for agriculture. However, in urban regions there are very few people working in the agricultural sector. Although most people use the landscape adjacent to residential areas for recreation, they still expect an agrarian look of this landscape. An investigation of agricultural structures of municipalities in urbanized and rural areas of Switzerland revealed significant differences. Municipalities in urbanized areas show distinctly more part-time farms and a higher amount of ecological compensation areas, whereas rural municipalities have more organic farms. These results indicate that agricultural production is of less importance in urbanized areas than in rural municipalities, and steps towards landscape management are made.

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