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Preconditions for sustainable land use by agriculture in urbanising network society

Research project CP/47 (Research action CP)


Persons :


Description :

Context

Scientists and professionals suggest more and more that, if agriculture wants to have a sustainable raison d’être in urbanised and urbanising society, it no longer can and may be considered merely as an economic activity. Therefore the research project doesn’t want to start off from a spatial policy that honours a quantitative area demand by agriculture that is merely based on economical prognoses. As an alternative, it departs from the hypothesis that the quality demands of society towards specific regions and the existing and actual spatial conditions of mixed urbanity and rurality in these regions will be decisive for the spatial development perspectives for agriculture in these regions. In other words, sustainable land use by agriculture will have to contribute to the creation of spatial quality … Quality counts!


Project Description

Objectives

The main objective of the research project is to evaluate the consequences of relevant alternative discourses on the relationship between city and countryside for agricultural land use. These reality based discourses should express the actual functioning of society as a network society in a better way than the common discourse of city and countryside as antipoles. First the role and position of an open area in network society will be translated in spatial quality demands (and concepts) and the consequences of these demands for the spatial development of agriculture will be discussed on a macro and meso level. Secondly the role and position of the open area will be confronted with the actual spatial conditions of the hybrid urbanising landscape and the present development dynamics on a micro level in two case study areas.

Methodology

Scenario’s, being assumptions on possible future developments and dynamics within network society, seem to be the best way to cope with uncertainties. Each of these scenarios and assumptions on future development of network society can however be questioned. At the same time this might be the main objective of the research project : to stimulate a discussion on the sustainable spatial role and position of agriculture in network society.

1. The notion scenario however suggests a certain autonomy. For a societal phenomenon such as the ordering of several land use forms, the notion (planning) discourse seems more appropriate. A (planning) discourse can be defined as the more or less consistent ensemble of ideas that is being constructed and reconstructed in an interaction between researchers, planners, designers, policymakers, politicians and interest groups. Four relevant (planning) discourses will be analysed : the dominant policy discourse of city and countryside as antipoles and the three alternative discourses of city and countryside as networks of activities, of city and countryside as ecosystems and of city and countryside as systems of places. In a first step these four planning discourses will be translated in spatial starting points : assumptions about and interpretations of the planning discourse (macro level). The spatial starting points are always open for discussion.

2. A more detailed theoretical analysis of these planning discourses and spatial starting points seems useless. It would remain too abstract. Translating them to two case study areas – the surroundings of Kortrijk and Roeselare and the surroundings of Brussels – seems well-considered. This translation will be executed in two ways :
a. A further elaboration of the planning discourses and spatial starting points in spatial concepts and spatial development perspectives for agriculture (meso level).
b. A practical application of these spatial concepts and development perspectives for agriculture on a multiple spatial analysis of a cut through both case study areas (micro level).

3. By confronting these spatial development perspectives for agriculture with the economic and social typology of the agriculture in each case study area, it will become clear how the actual agricultural activity can respond to these spatial preconditions. If the confrontation is positive, the agricultural activity can be considered as a sustainable land use … if the confrontation is negative, a further analysis of the policy implications will be necessary. What kind of (social and economic) efforts are being asked from farmers to meet the preconditions and will it in any way be possible to compensate the loss of income or employment by remuneration of services or by finding new income sources?

4. The entire research will be paralleled by an interaction with relevant actors.


Interaction between the different partners

The translation of relevant planning discourses in spatial starting points (macro level), spatial concepts and spatial development perspectives for agriculture in the two case study areas (meso level) will be a task for Afdeling Mobiliteit en Ruimtelijke Planning (Center for Mobility and Physical Planning). This center will also subcontract Resource Analysis for the limited interaction with actors.
Onderzoeksgroep Stedenbouw en Architectuur (Researchgroup Urbanism and Architecture) will be responsible for the urbanistic operationalisation in the two case study areas (micro level).
Vakgroep Landbouweconomie (Department of Agricultural Economics) and Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie (Institute for Social and Economic Geography) will assist the two other research partners with their expertise in economics and sociology. Both will be capable of making linkages with the results of research project CP/18.


Expected results and/or products

Scientifically this research project should result in a report, one and possibly two PhD-researches, a scientific symposium with publication, publications in scientific journals and lectures at scientific congresses.
Politically it should supply new insights as regards the revision of spatial policy plans in Flanders and the Walloon Region and new insights in sectoral policies concerning the countryside.


Partners

Activities

Afdeling Mobiliteit en Ruimtelijke Planning
The activities of this autonomous unit within the civil engineering department are related to three clusters : spatial economy/spatial management; mobility; spatial planning/design.

Onderzoeksgroep Stedenbouw en Architectuur
This research group investigates contemporary urbanity from an architectural (theoretical) perspective and an urbanistic perspective (dominant paradigms and future possibilities).

Vakgroep Landbouweconomie
The department is doing research in the domains of agricultural policy, rural environmental economics, agro-marketing and rural development.

Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie
The research at the institute concerns the whole of social and economic spatial processes through management of statistical data, inquiring, databases and mapping.


Contact Information

Co-ordinator

Georges Allaert
Universiteit Gent (UGent)
Vakgroep Civiele techniek
Krijgslaan 281, S8
B-9000 Gent
Tel: +32 (0)9 264 47 18
Fax: +32 (0)9 264 49 86
georges.allaert@ugent.be
http://www.ugent.be

Partners

Bruno De Meulder
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven)
Departement Architectuur, Stedenbouw en Ruimtelijke Ordening (ASRO)
p/a ISRO, Kasteelpark Arenberg 51
B-3001 Heverlee
Tel: +32 (0)16 32 13 76
Fax: +32 (0)16 32 19 81
bruno.demeulder@asro.kuleuven.ac.be
http://www.asro.kuleuven.ac.be

Guido Van Huylenbroeck
Universiteit Gent (UGent)
Vakgroep Landbouweconomie
Coupure Links 653
B-9000 Gent
Tel: +32 (0)9 264 59 26
Fax: +32 (0)9 264 62 46
Guido.VanHuylenbroeck@ugent.be
http://allserv.ugent.be/~jdeuninc

Henk Meert
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven)
Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie
Willem de Croylaan 42
B-3001 Heverlee
Tel: +32 (0)16 32 24 30
Fax: +32 (0)16 32 29 80
Henk.meert@geo.kuleuven.ac.be
http://www.kuleuven.ac.be

Etienne Van Hecke
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KULeuven)
Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie
Willem de Croylaan 42
B-3001 Heverlee
Tel: +32 (0)16 32 24 41
Fax: +32 (0)16 32 29 80
Etienne.vanhecke@geo.kuleuven.ac.be
http://www.kuleuven.ac.be


Users Committee

Karel Debaere, Intercommunale Leiedal
Ludwig Lauwers, Ministry of the Flemish Community, Administration of Agriculture and Horticulture, Center for Agricultural Research
Roger Liekens, Ministry of the Flemish Community, Administration of Spatial Policy, Housing and Monument and Landscape Conservation, Department of Spatial Planning
Joris Relaes, Ministry of the Flemish Community, Administration of Agriculture and Horticulture, Department of Sustainable Agriculture
Fabiaan Van de Sande, Provincial Planning Department West-Flanders


Documentation :

Randvoorwaarden voor duurzaam agrarisch ruimtegebruik in een verstedelijkende netwerksamenleving : eindrapport  Allaert, Georges - De Meulder, Bruno - Van Huylenbroeck, Guido ... et al  Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2006 (SP1639)
[To download

Randvoorwaarden voor duurzaam agrarisch ruimtegebruik in een verstedelijkende netwerksamenleving : bijlagen    Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2006 (SP1640)
[To download

Conditions connexes pour une utilisation durable de l’espace rural dans la société en réseau en voie d’urbanisation : résumé    Bruxelles : Politique scientifique fédérale, 2007 (SP1704)
[To download

Randvoorwaarden voor duurzaam agrarisch ruimtegebruik in een verstedelijkende netwerksamenleving : samenvatting    Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2007 (SP1705)
[To download

Preconditions for sustainable land use by agriculture in urbanising network society : summary    Brussels : Belgian Science Policy, 2007 (SP1706)
[To download

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