Degraded terraced landscapes are one of the most characteristic “landscapes of abandonment” in the European mountains. Especially in the last few decades, increasingly terraces have been losing their functionality, undermining the stability of slopes. Public initiatives and scientific surveys focusing on such landscapes have recently increased, but the problems of maintaining and managing abandoned areas are still acute. A project promoting adoption of abandoned terraces, which began in 2010 in the Brenta Valley in the Veneto region, Italy, is a small but interesting attempt to revitalize a traditional landscape through new forms of social management. The success of this initiative provides an opportunity to reflect on new forms of family farming in periurban European mountain contexts that retain some characteristics of Alpine culture—generating new forms of community and solidarity, farming practices oriented toward multifunctionality, and relations marked by multiscalarity. These practices involving new family farmers differ from both traditional productive farming and modern market-based economy. However, in order to improve and expand, such new family farming will require innovative forms of governance and partnership between city and mountain residents, going beyond the tourism- and conservation-based models of the 20th century.
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