Laure-Elise Ruoso is a transdisciplinary social researcher interested in questions related to peri-urban agriculture and the planning challenges it is facing. She is also interested in the social and institutional dimensions of market-based mechanisms for the protection of the environment, such as biodiversity offsets, carbon farming, and payments for ecosystem services. She is currently working on a project, which aims at understanding landholders’ decision-making processes regarding the adoption of a biodiversity-offset scheme in the Sydney area. Finally, through her doctorate studies, she developed an interest in place-based studies, particularly the identification of pathways towards more inclusive places.
She holds a Bachelor of Geography and Planning and a transdisciplinary Master of Environmental Science. She recently completed a doctorate focusing on the politics of place identity in peri-urban Sydney, particularly, on how competing representations of ‘rurality’ play an important role in determining peri-urban place identities.
Can supervise: YES
Ruoso, LE 2019, 'Can land-based and practice-based place identities explain farmers’ adaptation strategies in peri-urban areas? A case study of Metropolitan Sydney, Australia', Agriculture and Human Values.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, Springer Nature B.V. Peri-urban areas around Sydney, as around many cities in the world, are spaces in mutation, which are underdoing dramatic changes in their land use and social fabric: agricultural lands are progressively turned into residential areas, and non-farming landowners with a different set of values and expectations settle in these areas, often sparkling conflicts with farmers. These changes are supported by a planning system that encourages the development of residential areas in the peri-urban. However, it has been noticed that rather than completely disappearing, agricultural activities are still visible in the peri-urban environment, and farmers develop adaptation strategies to adjust to this shifting environment. Many factors affecting farmers’ adaptation strategies have been studied. One element that remains understudied is the role of farmers’ relationship to place. To bridge this gap, we develop a typology of farmers’ place identity (land-based and practice-based place identity) and observe how these conceptualisations of place identity can contribute to explaining farmers’ adoption of incremental and transformative adaptation strategies in the peri-urban. Based on 24 interviews with 15 farmers our results suggest that farmers with a combined place identity (land-based and practice-based) are more likely to adopt transformative adaptation strategies than farmers with a practice-based place identity who are more likely to adopt incremental adaptation strategies. Our results acknowledge that other elements, such as succession planning and farmers’ environmental values, are also likely to play a role in farmers’ adoption of adaptation strategies.
Baumber, A, Metternicht, G, Cross, R, Ruoso, LE, Cowie, AL & Waters, C 2019, 'Promoting co-benefits of carbon farming in Oceania: Applying and adapting approaches and metrics from existing market-based schemes', Ecosystem Services, vol. 39.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Carbon farming in its various forms has the potential to deliver a range of ecosystem services in addition to climate regulation. In Australia, the main public ‘co-benefits’ that could result from carbon farming are conservation of biodiversity, increases in soil and water quality, productivity increases, and economic and cultural services for Indigenous communities. While there is a lack of empirical evidence that carbon farming is delivering these ecosystem services to date, various metrics have been developed by researchers and through other payment for ecosystem services schemes that may enable effective targeting of these co-benefits. In this article, we review previous studies and schemes and identify four main approaches for metrics that could be applied to carbon farming in Australia: (1) spatial modelling, (2) benchmarks; (3) environmental benefit indices; and (4) indicators. The relative value of each of these approaches varies, depending on the objectives of policy-makers. Spatial modelling and benchmarks can play a key role in decision support systems for landholders who may be interested in carbon farming. Indices are valuable for the development of new or modified market-based schemes that weigh up different co-benefits. Indicators are critical for outcome-based payment schemes and for verifying the effectiveness of co-benefit policies overall.
Ruoso, L-E & Plant, R 2018, 'A politics of place framework for unravelling peri-urban conflict: An example of peri-urban Sydney, Australia', Journal of Urban Management, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 57-69.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Peri-urban areas are increasingly described as ‘third’ spaces with unique characteristics, in opposition to spaces awaiting urban development. However, in many peri-urban areas the process of defining what this ‘third’ space is, is triggering conflict over the meanings attributed to the peri-urban landscape, its ownership and, importantly, whose identity it represents. Our aim in this paper is to develop a framework of the ‘politics of place/landscape identity’ that advances analysis and synthesis of conflict over identity in peri-urban areas. This framework is grounded in the ‘politics of place’ and ‘politics of landscape’ literature, in the ‘place and landscape identity’ literature, and builds upon existing landscape/place models. It integrates the physical, practice, representation and identity dimensions of ‘landscape’ and ‘place’ in a perspective on the ‘politics of place’. We illustrate how the framework may shed light on the ‘politics of place’ in Wollondilly Shire, a peri-urban local government area in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Our case study demonstrates how the different dimensions of the politics of place are articulated, and particularly around what representations they are ‘crystallised’. The framework provides cues for planners and decision makers concerning the representations that would need to be renegotiated between different groups in peri-urban environments, in order to create broader consensus. In the case of Wollondilly the representation that could constitute a ‘nodal point’ for possible intervention is the definition of the notion of ‘viability’ of farming operations.
Ruoso, LE, Plant, R, Maurel, P, Dupaquier, C, Roche, PK & Bonin, M 2015, 'Reading ecosystem services at the local scale through a territorial approach: The case of peri-urban agriculture in the thau Lagoon, Southern France', Ecology and Society, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 1-16.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2015 by the author(s). In recent years, the ecosystem services (ES) concept has become a major paradigm for natural resource management. While policy-makers demand “hard” monetary evidence that nature conservation would be worth investing in, ongoing attempts are being made to formalize the concept as a scientifically robust “one size fits all” analytical framework. These attempts have highlighted several major limitations of the ES concept. First, to date, the concept has paid little attention to the role of humans in the production of ES. Second, the ongoing formalization of the ES concept is turning it into a “technology of globalization,” thereby increasingly ignoring the socio-cultural context and history within which ecosystems emerge. Third, economic valuation has been shown to limit local stakeholders in expressing their daily and immediate ways of interacting with their environment over and beyond extrinsic motivation provided by financial gains. We address these three limitations by analyzing a social evaluation of the roles of peri-urban farmland from a territorial perspective. Our case study is the Thau lagoon in southern France. We conducted in-depth interviews with a broad range of stakeholders and ran two participatory workshops. Using a territorial meta-model that distinguishes three levels— physical, logical, and existential—stakeholder data were analyzed to unravel the interplay of territorial elements at these three levels that gives rise to ES in two broad categories: food production and aesthetic landscape. The coupling of ES and territory concepts opens up several novel analytical perspectives. It allows partitioning of ES in a manner that “re-contextualizes” them and gives insight about both their physical constituents and their meaning at the territorial level. Additional research should incorporate the dynamics of service demand and supply, and further investigate options for implementation.
Dupaquier, C, Desbrosse, A, Maurel, P, Plant, R, Ruoso, LE & Roussillon, JP 2014, 'Contributions of the Pleiades imagery to the integrated management of coastal areas - Application to the Thau territory', Revue Francaise de Photogrammetrie et de Teledetection, no. 208, pp. 45-50.
At present and within a context of integrated coastal management, the population growth and increasing land pressure with their subsequent land cover changes on the Thau basin make this territory an important policy issue. In order to cope with the issues at stake the Thau regional authorities have entrusted SMBT from 2006 onwards with the joint development of several planning tools (SCoT, SAGE and Natura 2000 Convention) to conduct an integrated approach to territorial development. The aim of the present paper is to present the methodology used for mapping the initial 2012/2013 land use cover of the Thau basin from Pleiades imagery. This map will be a basic input for the observatory of the Thau territory and support the implementation of planning tools. The methodology was divided into two parts: first, a photo-interpretation approach for artificialised area mapping and evolution monitoring over several years and second, a remote sensing detection approach with the achievement of an object-oriented classification of agricultural and natural environments. This methodology allowed to obtain an up-to-date land use cover according to a 4 level typology adapted from the CORINE land cover nomenclature. This land cover will be updated every second year to help produce assessment and monitoring indicators for the Thau territory.
Ruoso, L-E 2018, 'Le concept de « politiques de l’identité de lieu » comme outil pour mieux comprendre la marginalisation des terres agricoles dans la commune périurbaine de Wollondilly, Nouvelle-Galles du Sud, Australie [The concept of ‘politics of place identity’ as a tool to better understand the marginalisation of farmlands in the peri-urban Shire of Wollondilly, New South Wales, Australia]' in Plant, R, Maurel, P, Barbe, E & Brennan, J (eds), Les terres agricoles face à l’urbanisation —De la donnée à l’action, quels rôles pour l’information? [FARMLAND FACED WITH URBANISATIONFrom data to action, what part can information play?], Quae, France, pp. 152-173.
In this chapter, which presents some of the results developed in our thesis
(Ruoso, 2018), we will try, using the concept of "identity politics of
place ", to show how some actors manage to marginalize agriculture
in peri-urban landscapes by instrumentalising planning processes, and
in particular land rezoning applications. We will also see
how this mechanism is reinforced, on the one hand, by the priority given, in
planning, population projections and housing needs
arising from it, and, secondly, through the use of information, including
validity can be discussed, with regard to the viability of agricultural land.
Plant, RA, Maurel, P & Ruoso, LE 2018, 'Utilisation du concept de Service Ecosystémique pour une évaluation participative du rôle des terres agricoles péri-urbaines dans le Sud de la France' in Plant, R, Maurel, P, Barbe, E & Brennan, J (eds), Les terres agricoles face à l’urbanisation —De la donnée à l’action, quels rôles pour l’information ?, Éditions Quae, Versailles.
Plant, RA, Maurel, P, Ruoso, LE, Barbe, E & Brennan, J 2018, 'Synthèse : de la donnée à l’intelligence collective sur les terres agricoles péri-urbaines – quels rôles pour l’information, les savoirs et l’action ?' in Plant, R, Maurel, P, Barbe, E & Brennan, J (eds), Les terres agricoles face à l’urbanisation —De la donnée à l’action, quels rôles pour l’information ?, Éditions Quae, Versailles.
Keeping peri-urban farmland and associated activities close to growing urban centers is a global concern. In the face of ever-increasing demand for land development, the challenge of conserving peri-urban farmland - our main concern in this book - continues to be debated.
The recent literature presents various initiatives that have, or could be, adopted to protect and conserve these lands. For example, Akimowicz et al. (2016) have critically assessed the merits of the Greenbelt Act in Ontario (USA) regarding farmers' adaptation and investment strategies. Inwood and Sharp (2012) reported on the resilience of farms in peri-urban areas by studying the succession patterns and adaptation of farms in the United States. As such, this study does not propose initiatives that could be put in place to protect and conserve peri-urban agricultural land, but rather an analysis of how to explain the maintenance of farms in peri-urban areas. From the study of conflicts around agricultural uses in the Greater Paris region, Darly and Torre (2013) analyze the experiences of farmers and the media coverage of, and present innovative mechanisms for conflict resolution.
Ruoso, L, Plant, R, Jacobs, B & Maurel, P 2016, 'Farmers’ place identity and decision-making in a changing peri-urban environment: A case study of Wollondilly Shire Council, Western Sydney, Australia', 22nd International Symposium on Society and Resource Management: Transitioning: toward sustainable relationships in a different world, Houghton, USA.
Ruoso, L, Plant, R, Jacobs, B & Maurel, P 2016, 'Peri-Urban Areas as Spaces of Conflicting Identities: The Role of Landscape and Place', 21st International Symposium on Society and Resource Management: Understanding and Adapting to Change, International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, Charleston, USA.
Gautreau, P, Langbehn, L & Ruoso, L-E 2014, 'Movilización de información en el Ordenamiento Territorial de Bosques Nativos de Argentina.: La heterogeneidad de los mapeos provinciales y la institucionalización de la problemática ambiental', Terceras Jornadas Nacionales de Investigación y Docencia en Geografía Argentina,, Campus Universitario - Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires Tandil, Argentina.
In this paper we propose a geographical analysis highlighting the social and political role of environmental information in the implementation of complex legal systems aimed at regulating the advance of the agricultural frontier in South America; we present a case study focusing on the Argentine Law on Forests ("Ley de Bosques") of 2007. In order to curb deforestation, this law requires every Argentine province to draw a native forest land planning map ("OTBN") classifying forests according to their conservation priority and sets up a scheme of financial incentives for landowners, within the constitutional framework of "minimum common environmental standards" ("presupuestos mínimos de protección"). By exploring the heterogeneity of the mapping processes across provinces we try to shed some light on their political implications. A geographical description of the patterns followed by the classification of forests in the different provinces, of the kinds of information mobilized by the actors, and of the methods employed to draw the land planning maps reveals that very little ecological information was actually used, that no new information was created specifically for the OTBN, and that no explicit mapping methods were applied, which resulted in extremely different ways of producing the maps. These results show that the implementation of the Ley de Bosques is backed by a feeble information basis and is far from responding to scientific quality standards. This may be read, first, as a sign of the inability of the public powers to initiate a serious public discussion regarding the ecological aspects of land planning. Second, we argue that environmental information functions as an asset in the negotiations between the federal and provincial powers. Third, we suggest that, in spite of the weak capacities of state agencies we detected, the process shows an emerging capacity of the federal environmental authorities to place themselves as an arbiter of the management of n...
Plant, RA, Maurel, P, Ruoso, L & Dupaquier, C 2014, 'The Ecosystem Services Concept as a Boundary Object for Incorporating Local Knowledge in Normative Spatial Planning: Findings from Two Case Studies in Southern France', 7th Annual International Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference 2014, San José, Costa Rica.
This paper reports empirical findings from a European research project that explores the ecosystem services (ES) concept as a boundary object in local land use planning. Our theoretical starting point is grounded in classical Pragmatism: we posit that the uncertainties and knowledge gaps that emerge when the ES concept is taken beyond its mainstream interpretation can motivate stakeholders to question their settled beliefs about how they live from, with and in their local environment. This allows a conception of ‘ecosystem valuation’ as a cognitive social process based on the interpretation of signs. A sign is something, for example a parcel of farmland, which stands to somebody, for example a visiting tourist or a local grower, for something, for example a sense of place and history, in some respect or capacity. Such a semiotic perspective can be grounded in real-world land use planning by considering that actors’ settled beliefs about their environments are embedded in the institutions (norms, rules, shared strategies) that govern their actions. Understanding these beliefs (rather than ‘measuring preferences’), how they are formed and how they might change, can therefore inform local land use planning in practical terms.
We reframe and trial the ES concept as a “boundary object” at the nexus of science, policy and practice, addressing three questions: (i): can the ES concept help to better articulate and demonstrate public benefits from peri-urban agri-ecosystems? (ii) what forms of knowledge can be harnessed at the local planning scale to (e)valu(at)e ES?; and (iii) what role do representations play in the process of semiosis?
We present preliminary findings from two peri-urban ES case studies in Southern France: the Thau Lagoon south-west of Montpellier; and the Costières de Nîmes south of Nîmes. The Thau case study involved both planners (experts) and broader stakeholders (actors) and addressed the future of agricultural lands under pressure from urban devel...