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A new identity for the peri-urban


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Castles, AK 2014 , 'A new identity for the peri-urban', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The story of agriculture in peri-urban Australia is one of short term intensive farming, regularly relocating
in the face of urban demand. Planning solutions implemented by governments to protect productive
lands from urban growth have not succeeded, with the result that this area of interface between urban
and rural lands has become highly contested and confused. The prevailing view identifies this space
as having no firm identity, inevitably transitioning to residential use. This study sought to unpack the
peri-urban to establish its identity, using its multiple elements as clues. Investigating contextual forces
of population, landscape and food by applying the theoretical lenses of planning, valuation, agriculture
and landscape resulted in a conceptualisation of the space as wicked, yet multifunctional and
Using mixed methods, and recruiting voice as a tool, the study deconstructs the peri-urban landscape,
revealing an alternate view of the space which not only captures the contests and wickedness, but
potentially finds a new accommodation of them. Pulling the peri-urban apart identified a cacophony of
voices, which not only challenges the prevailing view but also reveals that the contestation contributes
to a specific peri-urban identity. The research concludes that these spaces are not transitional or
temporary, rather their multifunctionality and dynamism give them an identity and integrity in their own
right. A critical part of this identity is captured in the idea of a new agrifood market in the space, different
in structure from the traditional market, pulling multiple uses and values together. It has an unexpected
interface - focused as much on relationships as food production. It is nimble, able to react quickly to
consumer demand and its close proximity to urban centres is critical. The ties that bind it are strong,
but they are often informal. It is a blue ocean (Kim & Mauborgne, 2006) with significant implications for
how we plan, value and manage these messy peri-urban agriscapes.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Castles, AK
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 2014

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