Sustainable Planning for Peri-urban Landscapes



Urban systems keep growing worldwide with different intensities and characters. As a direct consequence, peripheries increase in number, typologies, and complexity, and their growth is highly dependent on local territorial and socioeconomic conditions. Particularly in peri-urban areas, landscapes underwent fast socioeconomic transitions that have deeply modified their territorial assets and land uses. Forests, agricultural and seminatural areas in peri-urban contexts have been affected by processes of urban developments that heavily modify the provision of ecosystem services. Urban development has produced discontinuous and low-density patterns so that outside the main city, the landscape is characterized by a strong fragmentation of farmlands, forests, seminatural areas, and strong mixes of urban and non-urban land uses.

Planning approaches are required to deal with complex drivers of urban and landscape development to achieve a sustainable growth of peri-urban landscapes and maintain the current provision of ecosystem services. This chapter outlines the main characteristics of peri-urban landscapes and introduces a set of planning topics, solutions, and approaches that are under the lens of current applied research of sustainable planning. Examples from recent literature of such approaches are presented, along with a discussion about their potentials, uncertainties, limitations, and trade-offs about the usability and effectiveness in reaching a better level of sustainability.


Planning Peri-urban Sustainability Urban agriculture Nature-based solutions 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Civil Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of CataniaCataniaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly
  3. 3.Institute for Geosciences and Geography, Dept. Sustainable Landscape DevelopmentMartin Luther University HalleHalleGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Environmental PlanningLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany

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