The changes affecting farming and its function - like for other sectors of the economy - are becoming increasingly complex, strongly effecting the social and building patterns within a territory. These changes radically modify the traditional balance between land use and its interconnections in rural areas, and how these interact with urban areas, (Donadieu 2006; Barberis 2009; Ploeg 2009; Fonte 2010). To paraphrase Baumann (2000), we will focus on the fluid aspects of a territory, relating to changes and decline, where it has been more and more difficult to apply the theoretical methods and analytical tools commonly used by agricultural economists, who have historically always carefully studied issues concerning the territory when analysing agriculture. This work first reviews the main agricultural economics research streams and then advances the idea of landscape as a method for analysing the transformations affecting the complex relationships between farming and the various economic, social and environmental systems of the territories within which they are situated (Turri 2000; 2002; Farinelli 2003).
territorial changes; landscape; rural/urban; discipline history; agricultural economics