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Summary

The long term research goal of this project is to understand the changing structure and function of the varied forms of agriculture, and the services it provides in the rapidly urbanizing Central-Arizona Phoenix (CAP) region. The specific ecosystem services of interest here include provisioning (food, fiber and fuel), regulation of water quantity and quality, urban heat island mitigation and recreational and cultural services. The objectives of the project include: 1) Assessment of current state - Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nature and extent of urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in the Phoenix Metropolitan Region through a survey of existing literature, interviews with stakeholders, compilation of census and related data sources, and satellite imagery. 2) Human perception, actions and outcomes - Explore how different stakeholders (farmers, households, water managers and urban planners) perceive and respond to ecosystem services provided by UPA, and how their individual and collective behavior (mediated through institutions) further change the structure and function of these services. 3) Changing dynamics - Examine how different bio-physical and societal drivers (specifically, the economic downturn since 2007 and the recent agricultural commodities boom) are affecting the dynamics of UPA and its impact on structure and function of ecosystem services in CAP region. 4) Sustainable futures: What are the visions of different stakeholders about the future of UPA in the CAP region.

Personnel

Timeline

April 2010 — Ongoing