Exploring the 'city-bush divide': what do urban people really think of farmers and rural land management?

Witt, G. B., Witt, K. J., Carter, R. W. and Gordon, A. (2009) Exploring the 'city-bush divide': what do urban people really think of farmers and rural land management?. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 16 3: 168-180.

Author Witt, G. B.
Witt, K. J.
Carter, R. W.
Gordon, A.
Title Exploring the 'city-bush divide': what do urban people really think of farmers and rural land management?
Journal name Australasian Journal of Environmental Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1448-6563
Publication date 2009-09
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 16
Issue 3
Start page 168
End page 180
Total pages 13
Editor Helen Ross
R. W. Carter
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning)
959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
Abstract Many developed economies have highly urbanised populations. As environmental concern in the general population has increased, farmers have found themselves at the centre of competing demands in relation to the resources and land they manage or own. Australian farmers are concerned that urban people are unsympathetic and see them as ‘environmental vandals’. These perceived negative views of farmers are part of a wider division variously described as an ‘urban - rural’ or ‘city - bush’ divide. However, there is no empirical evidence to support, or define the nature of a divide, if it does exist in relation to urban people’s views of farmers’ environmental performance. This study found little evidence of a city - bush divide in relation to urban views of farmers and rural land management. Although diverse views are held of farmers and rural land management, there is a reasonable level of trust in, and empathy with, farmers. Nevertheless, rural land management is of high concern for urban people and they consider the environment to be in poor condition. We identified five groups of people, with only one group that could be considered sceptical of farmers’ land management performance. The results highlight the difficulties in developing appropriate rural land management policies that balance legitimate societal concerns for environmental condition and public versus private benefits and costs, while not adversely affecting the many farmers whom the majority of urban people feel act responsibly. The data suggest uncertainty in the urban community as to whether government is effectively achieving this balance.
Keyword urban - rural
public interest
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Created: Thu, 12 Nov 2009, 11:59:32 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Integrative Systems