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Research article2011Peer reviewed

Designing Farmland for Multifunctionality

Haaland, Christine; Fry, Gary; Peterson, Anna


Multifunctionality has become a major objective of European agricultural policy. However, recent research concerning the multifunctionality of agriculture has focused on economic, production or abiotic factors and has paid less attention to biotic, landscape and social aspects. In addition, relationships in the form of trade-offs between different landscape values such as biodiversity, cultural heritage, recreation and aesthetics have been little studied. This case study of a farm in southern Sweden explores the synergies and conflicts that can arise between these landscape values when planning at the farm scale. The results demonstrated that it was not easy to integrate the considered landscape values in practice, though we are often asked for them in policy documents. From the case study, we developed some general relationshipssynergies and conflictsbetween biodiversity, cultural heritage, recreation and aesthetics that can occur when improving multifunctionality on farmland. We combined methods originating from the natural sciences and the design traditions of landscape architecture to analyse and develop assessments of landscape values with the aim of improving multifunctionality by integrating these values. Finally, we discuss how the design approach of landscape architects can contribute to developing multifunctional farm plans and how the design process results in farm-specific solutions.


Aesthetics; agriculture; biodiversity; cultural heritage; farm plan; integration; landscape values; recreation

Published in

Landscape Research
2011, Volume: 36, number: 1, pages: 41-62