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    Historically, landscapes graded from urban centers to scattered villages, to a diverse mosaic of farmlands and natural areas (Figure 1). This gradient allowed both a visual and physical transition while maintaining ecologic, economic, and social connections within the larger landscape. Conflicts between urban and rural residents were minimal, in part due to the limited interface between these different land uses. Today, farmland is being fragmented by low density commercial and residential development, greatly increasing the edges of contact between urbanized areas and agriculture (Figure 2). The result is an enlarged zone of potential conflict between urban and rural residents. Despite close proximity, residents of this zone generally have a completely different set of goals, lifestyles, and daily activities. Urban residents may object to agriculture’s influence on the adjacent environment while agrarian neighbors can be resentful of urban intrusion into day-to-day farming activities.

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    Bentrup, Gary; Schoeneberger, Michele; Josiah, Scott; Francis, Charles. 2001. Ecobelts: reconnecting agriculture and communities - case studies. In: Steward W.C. and A. Lisec (eds), Proceedings of the Ecospheres Conference. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Ne. June 10-12

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