The increasing demand for rural land and its natural resources is creating competition and conflicts. Many interested parties, including farmers, nature conservationists, rural residents and tourists, compete for the same space. Especially in densely populated areas, agriculture, recreation, urban and suburban growth and infrastructure development exert a constant pressure on rural areas. Because land is a finite resource, spatial policies which are formulated and implemented to increase the area allocated to one use imply a decrease in land available for other uses. As a result, at many locations, multi-purpose land use is becoming increasingly important. This notion of multi-purpose land use is reflected in the term 'multifunctionality'. This volume provides insights into viable strategies of sustainable management practices allowing multiple functions sustained by agriculture and natural resources in rural areas. It shows how the rural economy and policies can balance and cope with these competing demands and includes numerous case studies from Europe, North America and developing countries.
'This very timely and eclectic collection of chapters extends the concept of multifunctionality in important new ways. The volume will be of great value to researchers and policymakers everywhere who are concerned about the future of food production and natural resources, as well as rural areas generally.' Stephan J. Goetz, Pennsylvania State University, USA 'As a rock hard economist I do not share all the perspectives presented in this timely book, but the analyses are insightful and well put together. A must for everyone who wants to know more about multifunctionality.' Eirik Romstad, Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and Past President of the European Association of Agricultural Economists 'This is a timely analysis the highlights a key problem in rural land management, that of clashes between human demands and productive capacity as multiple agents seek to exploit the multiple functions of rural areas. Set against a background of continuing local spatial dominance of agriculture and its declining economic importance while global food security is being undermined by fundamental shifts in land use, these chapters provide a coherent multidisciplinary perspective on the economic and political dimensions of multifunctional land management that sets the scene for analyses of emerging problems in this area such as the impact of climate change.' Noel Russel, University of Manchester, UK 'This book will certainly find its way onto the core reading lists of my courses on rural geography, and I am convinced that it will provide an important yardstick against which future books on multifunctionality will be evaluated.' Geoff Wilson, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy