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The impact of urbanization on agricultural dynamics: a case study in Belgium

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Urbanization leads to a continuous loss of agricultural land, both directlyunder the form of land take, and indirectly through the use of agriculturalland for non-productive rural activities like recreation, horse keeping orhobby farming. These urbanization processes put pressure on farmers,making farming activities harder through reduced agricultural land, negative externalities and the competition for land. To estimate possible futurechanges, an agricultural agent-based model was combined with spatiallyexplicit urbanization scenarios and with different agricultural subsidizingpolicies for the case study of Belgium. As a result of an aging farmingpopulation and low succession rates, simulations until 2035 showeda continuous decline of farmers in all scenarios; a trend that will continuefor as long as not every farmer that quits his activities is replaced. Theresults also showed that these declines are expected to be higher in therural-urban fringe.
Journal: Journal of Land Use Science
ISSN: 1747-423X
Issue: 5
Volume: 15
Pages: 626 - 643
Publication year:2020