Short supply chains in periurban zones : A way to maintain rurality near the city? Some examples taken in the Île-de-France region

Proceedings for the Conference “Rurality near the City”, Leuven, 7‐8th of February 2008

Christine Aubry, Leïla Kebir, Catherine Pasquier, February 2008

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Summary :

According to Parker (2005), a supply chain is short when the number of intermediaries between the consumer and the producer is low, and/or when the geographical distance between both is small. Ideally, a short supply chain (SSC) should gather both


SSC’s are often presented in the international literature as a sustainable way of territorial development. Most of the case studies however are located in rural zones, even in lagging rural zones (Ilbery and Maye, 2005) and concern generally traditional farms (Battershill and Gilg, 1998). What about SSC’s in urbanised zones? Can it be ensured that SSC

developed by agriculture near the city (that means where the “AND” is active in the SSC definition) could be an interesting way to maintain an agricultural form of rurality near the city? Are SSC’s a well-adapted tool for landscape management?

To enable the answering of these questions, an interdisciplinary research work about SSC was initiated in 2006, in the Île-de-France Region located in the surroundings of Paris.

The first results and questions of this research program will be presented here, after a preceding explanation of the analytic framework and operational objectives. For two examples, it will be demonstrated how SSC and territorial development near the city can be linked. By doing so, first guidelines and thinking elements for policy makers will be given. New questions that turned up and the perspectives of this work will be stated in the conclusions.