The increasing demand for rural land and its natural resources is creating competition and conflicts. Many interested parties, including farmers, nature conservationists, rural residents and tourists, compete for the same space. Especially in densely populated areas, agriculture, recreation, urban and suburban growth and infrastructure development exert a constant pressure on rural areas. Because land is a finite resource, spatial policies which are formulated and implemented to increase the area allocated to one use imply a decrease in land available for other uses. As a result, at many locations, multi-purpose land use is becoming increasingly important. This notion of multi-purpose land use is reflected in the term 'multifunctionality'. This volume provides insights into viable strategies of sustainable management practices allowing multiple functions sustained by agriculture and natural resources in rural areas. It shows how the rural economy and policies can balance and cope with these competing demands and includes numerous case studies from Europe, North America and developing countries.
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