Can land-based and practice-based place identities explain farmers’ adaptation strategies in peri-urban areas? A case study of Metropolitan Sydney, Australia

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Agriculture and Human Values, 2020, 37, (3), pp. 743-759
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© 2019, Springer Nature B.V. Peri-urban areas around Sydney, as around many cities in the world, are spaces in mutation, which are underdoing dramatic changes in their land use and social fabric: agricultural lands are progressively turned into residential areas, and non-farming landowners with a different set of values and expectations settle in these areas, often sparkling conflicts with farmers. These changes are supported by a planning system that encourages the development of residential areas in the peri-urban. However, it has been noticed that rather than completely disappearing, agricultural activities are still visible in the peri-urban environment, and farmers develop adaptation strategies to adjust to this shifting environment. Many factors affecting farmers’ adaptation strategies have been studied. One element that remains understudied is the role of farmers’ relationship to place. To bridge this gap, we develop a typology of farmers’ place identity (land-based and practice-based place identity) and observe how these conceptualisations of place identity can contribute to explaining farmers’ adoption of incremental and transformative adaptation strategies in the peri-urban. Based on 24 interviews with 15 farmers our results suggest that farmers with a combined place identity (land-based and practice-based) are more likely to adopt transformative adaptation strategies than farmers with a practice-based place identity who are more likely to adopt incremental adaptation strategies. Our results acknowledge that other elements, such as succession planning and farmers’ environmental values, are also likely to play a role in farmers’ adoption of adaptation strategies.
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