Agroforestry pp 705-724 | Cite as

Urban and Peri-urban Agroforestry as Multifunctional Land Use

  • S. Borelli
  • M. Conigliaro
  • S. Quaglia
  • F. Salbitano


In this era of global changes, rapid urbanization rates, climate change impacts and growing socio-environmental concerns are negatively impacting on various aspects of urban life, such as human health and well-being, urban economy stability, biodiversity levels, land productivity and natural resources availability.

In this context, cities – having become the main centres of consumption and production worldwide – need to move towards more sustainable and resilient urban development models, considering novel approaches aimed at integrating grey and green infrastructure, economic growth and environmental concerns, knowledge diffusion and poverty and hunger eradication.

In this regard, the implementation of urban and peri-urban agroforestry (UPAF) systems – associated with the integration of urban food systems into urban planning – can greatly support the provision of ecosystem services to urban dwellers, thus contributing to the improvement of their livelihood through increased food and nutrition security, energy and fresh water availability, regulation of local climate, carbon sequestration, maintenance of genetic diversity, recreation opportunities and health improvement. In this sense, UPAF is emerging as a new urban practice addressed to promote sustainable land use as well as the integration between urban and rural development. However, its implementation in urban contexts presents several key challenges, such as land tenure conflicts, lack of integration with urban policies and plans and technical knowledge, as well as necessity of innovative governance models.

In this context, the aim of this chapter is to outline, through a review of the relevant literature and case studies from both developed and developing countries, the benefits deriving from the implementation of UPAF systems and highlight how these practices can support the improvement of urban sustainability and resilience, particularly in terms of enhancement of provisioning, cultural, regulating and supporting ecosystem services.


Ecosystem services Resilience Sustainability Urban agroforestry Urban planning Land tenure conflicts 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Borelli
    • 1
  • M. Conigliaro
    • 1
  • S. Quaglia
    • 1
  • F. Salbitano
    • 2
  1. 1.Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations (FAO)Forestry Department (FO), Forest Policy and Resources Division (FOA)RomeItaly
  2. 2.Landscape Ecology Laboratory, Department of Agricultural, Food and Forest Systems Management (GESAAF)University of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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