Linking Multifunctionality and Sustainability for Valuing Peri-Urban Farming: A Case Study in the Turin Metropolitan Area (Italy)
Agriculture plays a key role in managing the peri-urban landscapes in Europe, influencing their social, aesthetic and environmental functions. Considering the increase in urban population and land consumption in the last decades, sustainability in peri-urban areas is a priority. Farming multifunctionality is the integration of different functions and activities that produce beneficial effects on local economy, environment and society. Three research questions were explored: How is
... ow is multifunctionality applied in peri-urban agroecosystems? How do we ensure sustainability in peri-urban agroecosystem? How could a bottom-up approach promote sustainable actions, strategies and policies? The Chieri Municipality (Turin Metropolitan Area, Italy) was chosen as representative case study. A trans-scalar approach from the farm to the municipality levels was adopted. The analysis of statistical data and farmers' interviews were performed. Multifunctionality for three main farm categories (crops and grasslands; vineyards and orchards; and horticulture) was explored using the following parameters: website presence, online selling, agritourism, didactic farms, nonagricultural activities, maintenance parks and gardens, renewable energy, and transformation. According to the different farm types, multifunctionality assumes different aspects covering specific sets of sustainability needs. We consider important to move from the farm level multifunctionality to the landscape level multifunctionality in order to provide all services at a territorial scale. As a result, the following perspectives and strategies were proposed: increasing rural farm networks and cooperation, promoting initiates for valorizing the local food products, including farms in touristic and cultural networks, and involving farmers in social and didactic programs. In conclusion, this methodology could be applied for decision makers and planners for implementing a participatory approach in environmental-social and economic programs for peri-urban areas.