Food Security

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 1325–1336 | Cite as

Access to agricultural land in peri-urban spaces: social mobilisation and institutional frameworks in Rome and Valencia

  • Pedro Cerrada-SerraEmail author
  • Luca Colombo
  • Dionisio Ortiz-Miranda
  • Stefano Grando
Original Paper


Urban and peri-urban agriculture have gained worldwide momentum within the framework of the renewed food and nutrition security agenda. This has a special significance for Mediterranean cities, due to their traditional strong links with their agricultural surroundings. However, the renewed dynamism of peri-urban agriculture is constrained by the limited access to farmland of new farmers or already installed farmers. This paper explores how socio-political movements that aim to renew local food systems and introduce new models of urban-peri-urban governance are revitalising the debate on access to peri-urban farmland. A comparative analysis was conducted in two Mediterranean metropolitan areas (Rome in Italy and Valencia in Spain), in which different policy frameworks shape the conditions of access to farmland. Despite the institutional differences between these two cases, the results show that, for the organisations involved in these movements, facilitating access to farmland is now a crucial challenge in achieving their multiple objectives. The paper also addresses the supportive role (and the constraints) of the local authorities in facilitating access to farmland for those producers willing to adopt alternative business models that can give rise to the transition towards more democratic and sustainable local food systems.


Social movements Access to land Peri-urban agriculture Mediterranean Europe Sustainable local food systems 



This research is part of the project “Assessment of the impact of global drivers of change on Europe’s food security” (TRANSMANGO), granted by the EU under 7th Framework Programme; theme KBBE.2013.2.5-01; Grant agreement no: 613532.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. and International Society for Plant Pathology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Social SciencesUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Italian Foundation for Research in Organic and Biodynamic Agriculture (Fondazione Italiana per la Ricerca in Agricoltura Biologica e Biodinamica–FIRAB)RomeItaly

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