Drivers of peri-urban farmers’ land-use decisions: an analysis of factors and characteristics



Loss of agricultural land due to urban sprawl has negative impacts on community lifestyles and green landscapes in peri-urban areas. However, researchers rarely investigate the complex decisions made by landowners and land managers about changes in farmland at the fringes of cities.

A postal questionnaire was sent to 1,600 farmland owners and managers on the fringes of Adelaide, South Australia, to elicit information on internal and external factors driving their land-use decisions. Descriptive statistics were developed for farmers’ demographics, farming life, industry and motivations in managing land while investigating 28 primary factors representing the socio-economic, environmental and institutional land governance influences on land-use decisions.

Results demonstrate the advantage of deriving latent factors to identify these land-use transformations, as they identify a different set of factors with higher importance than the farmers’ recommendations alone. These findings can improve the knowledge of farmers’ land-use decision-making behaviour to model complex land-use transitions on city fringes.