Abstract : This thesis is based on a field survey conducted in four medium-sized towns in the Rhône-Alps : Annecy, Bourg-en-Bresse, Montbrison and Romans-sur-Isere. This work, performing a comparative analysis, aims to enlight the complex and varied relations maintained between the medium-sized towns and agriculture. It considers how agriculture is integrated in town and country planning and urban projects carried by medium-sized towns. The link between these cities and agriculture is based on various elements : the local food supply, legacy of their role as market-town ; the patrimonialization of agriculture, particularly through the promotion of local products and the organization of agricultural events ; the food and farmwork services, expression of the agricultural and food-processing function of these cities. Agriculture is integrated in the image of these towns, and sees itself exploited for identity and territorial attractiveness. It is then publicized to be given to see to residents and tourists, helping to qualify these towns. There are nevertheless some apparent paradoxes in the positioning of local authorities, between a discourse attentive to agriculture and its valuation and a lack of protection of farmland against urban sprawl. This thesis, by considering all these factors, contributes to enrich the knowledge of the place and role of agriculture on the outskirts of cities, and to highlight the specificities of medium-sized towns thereupon.