Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

City & Regional Planning

First Advisor

Thomas Daniels

Abstract

This study tests the hypothesis that increased rugosity (the ratio between urban perimeter and farmland area) of the rural-urban fringe allows farms to create greater value for their regions through greater access to urban markets. Findings show that increased rugosity is not associated with farmland loss despite correlating with greater population growth. Rugosity is, instead, associated with higher agricultural sales per acre and more farm-to-city networks. Using the urban interface as a variable to understand farm production and stabilization, this paper includes a spatial statistical analysis of county-level metro-area farm products, farmland loss, and demographics in relation to the concentricity of urban morphology in the United States. Four case studies reveal spatial and social network patterns of direct farm sales and donations of raw product. Farm-to-city market director interviews ground-truth these farm-city functions in relation to county and state-level policies that govern urban and farmland morphologies and function.

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