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Integrating the urban-agricultural edge : an exploration of new ruralism in south Delta Porter, Edward Robbins

Abstract

Urbanization is eating our foodshed. While policy-level attempts to address agricultural land conversion focus primarily on the preservation of agricultural land and urban containment, few solutions have been explored for the edge - where the two meet. Developed at the regional scale of land-use planning, present-day strategies are generally characterized as prescriptions for land-use conflict mitigation and the resultant places - or placelessness - is largely defined by the segregation and/or buffering of residential development from agricultural land. This project examines the alternative strategy of integration at the urban-agricultural edge, based on the articulation of agriarian values and the ideas presented by ’new-ruralism.’ The application of these principles to the Southlands property in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, serves as a test case to explore strategies for the re-integration of the urban-agricultural edge, the development of agriculturally integrated neighborhoods and the use of development as a mechanism for the transformation of our local food system. Beyond the scale of the Southlands, this project attempts to re-examaine our relationship to agricultural landscapes and proposes the deliberately designed edge as a means to reintegrate city and country, stop urban sprawl, and engender stewardship of the natural systems that sustain us.

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