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Multifunctionality assessment of urban agriculture in Beijing City, China.

ABSTRACT

As an important approach to the realization of agricultural sustainable development, multifunctionality has become a hot spot in the field of urban agriculture. Taking 13 agricultural counties of Beijing City as the assessing units, this study selects 10 assessing index from ecological, economic and social aspects, determines the index weight using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method, and establishes an index system for the integrated agricultural function. Based on standardized data from agricultural census and remote sensing, the integrated function and multifunctionality of urban agriculture in Beijing City are assessed through the index grade mapping. The results show that agricultural counties with the highest score in ecological, economic, and social function are Yanqing, Changping, and Miyun, respectively; and the greatest disparity among those counties is economic function, followed by social and ecological function. Topography and human disturbance may be the factors that affect integrated agricultural function. The integrated agricultural function of Beijing rises at the beginning then drops later with the increase of mean slope, average altitude, and distance from the city. The whole city behaves balance among ecological, economic, and social functions at the macro level, with 8 out of the 13 counties belonging to ecology-society-economy balanced areas, while no county is dominant in only one of the three functions. On the micro scale, however, different counties have their own functional inclination: Miyun, Yanqing, Mentougou, and Fengtai are ecology-society dominant, and Tongzhou is ecology-economy dominant. The agricultural multifunctionality in Beijing City declines from the north to the south, with Pinggu having the most significant agricultural multifunctionality. The results match up well with the objective condition of Beijing's urban agriculture planning, which has proved the methodological rationality of the assessment to a certain extent.