The DAUME project analyzes the dynamics and methods of governing agriculture in the urban and peri-urban regions. The stakes in this endeavor are particularly intense surrounding the Mediterranean since the principal agricultural lands, indispensable to the life of the inhabitants and the preservation of natural resources, are located on coastal plains where urban pressure is similarly concentrated. The challenge therefore is to integrate agriculture with urban development in the practices of regional organizations and in local public policy over the long term.

  • The DAUME project proposes to contribute to this objective in a dual fashion: interdisciplinary (urban/agriculture) and international (North and South banks of the Mediterranean Sea).
  • It links fundamental research , by the production of concepts and schedules of interdisciplinary analysis, and finalized research, by the integration of knowledge produced in the prospective scenarios built in cooperation with – and for – the stakeholders, both public and professional.

Objectives of research

The DAUME project will attempt to respond to the following questions:

  • What are the dynamics of the agro-urban systems?
  • What are the factors of sustainability of agriculture in peri-urban and intra-urban situations?
  • Quelles organisations territoriales et projets politiques intègrent l’agriculture dans un objectif de durabilité urbaine ?
  • Can we speak about sustainable agro-urban systems? Is this concept suited to effective action?

In formulating these questions, we make the hypothesis that the sustainability of urban and peri-urban agriculture can be secured through policies and projects that attempt to connect agriculture and urbanism, to engender sustainable “agro-urban systems.”

We characterize the “agro-urban system” by the ensemble of relations and interactions that are established between cities and (intra and peri-urban) agriculture, recognizing from the outset that they are multidimensional: geographic, territorial, economic, ecological, social, cultural, political, etc.

In speaking of agro-urban systems, the goal is to understand the relationships between cities and agriculture in all their dimensions, and in a symmetrical way between the agricultural and the urban, to look beyond the rural-urban divide, i.e. beyond the separate visions of an urban system on one side and an agro-food system on the other.

To achieve this, the DAUME project relies on scientific teams with intersecting competences (agricultural and urban) and on the comparison of terrains presenting contrasting agri-urban situations. It will begin by the construction of a common conceptual framework and will end by the integration of knowledge in scenario-based forecasting .

Improving sustainability by integrating agriculture and cities

  • DAUME positions itself at the interface of two rarely connected fields of research: urban research and agronomical (and rural) research . This symmetric approach should allow us to go beyond the identification of the functions, services, conflicts, and policies, which characterize the agricultural peri-urban dynamics, and which numerous projects already defined.
  • DAUME considers territory and territorial governance as integrative elements between the different social, economic, and environmental purposes of sustainable development.
  • The DAUME project should contribute to the hopeful change of relations between cities and agriculture by helping the stakeholders to imagine and conduct projects in favor of sustainable development.
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