Food production on the urban–rural fringe is under pressure due to competing land uses. We discuss the potential to improve resilience for urban–rural regions by enhancing food production as part of multifunctional land use. Through studies of peri-urban land in the regions of Gothenburg (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Gent (Belgium), recent developments are analysed. Arable farming has been declining since 2000 in all three areas due to urban expansion and recreational land use changes. In city plans, networks of protected areas and green spaces and their importance for human wellbeing have been acknowledged. Policies for farmland preservation in peri-urban settings exist, but strategies for local food production are not expressed in present planning documents. Among the diversity of peri-urban agricultural activities, peri-urban food production is a developing issue. However, the competing forms of land use and the continuing high dependence of urban food on global food systems and related resource flows reduces peri-urban food production and improvements in urban food security. The positive effects of local food production need to be supported by governance aiming to improve the urban–rural relationship. The paper discusses the resilience potential of connecting urban–rural regions and re-coupling agriculture to regional food production.
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