Development at the rural urban interface can be considered from various perspectives, but the debate is generally dominated by issues associated with urbanisation, such as the lack of infrastructure. The importance of periurban agriculture for a healthy city and the advantages of retaining agriculture are being increasingly recognised in rhetoric, but not in planning strategies, although the urbanisation of agriculturally productive land is of concern around many cities. This paper presents the complexity of these outer-urban rural-urban interfaces. These spaces, are in transition, neither urban nor rural, but form complex spatial and community relations, often demonstrated through conflict over land use.
The Sydney Basin has the largest number of horticulturalist in Australia and the complexity is increased by the large number of farmers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALDB), previously called non English speaking backgrounds (NESB), with 30% of farmers across all sectors speaking a language other than English at home, while 80-90% of farmers in market gardening, which supplies 90% of Sydney’s perishable vegetables, are of a non English speaking backgrounds (Maltese, Italian, Arabic speaking [Lebanese, Iraqis, Assyrians], Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian); almost 100% of cut flower growers are of NESB, mainly Italians, and poultry by Maltese, Lebanese, and people from the former Yugoslavia).