ArticlePDF Available

The European Landscape Convention: a revolution in thinking about ‘cultural landscapes’


Abstract and Figures

The thesis of this paper is that the European Landscape Convention has set out a much more holistic understanding of landscape than was previously the case within Europe. The Convention embodies thinking that is beginning to be reflected in the work of governments, environmental agencies and a wide range of interested parties within the landscape field in Europe. Landscapes are not necessarily classifiable as being either ‘natural’ or ‘cultural’ because all landscapes within Europe are to some extent or another impacted by humans. The term ‘cultural landscape’ could therefore be seen as redundant, since all the landscapes of Europe can also be described as ‘cultural’ to some extent. However the issue of labelling or classification is really much more complex. Different individuals, organisations and cultures often develop values according to the extent of human intervention or associations that may have built up over time. The European Landscape Convention helpfully does not value any one landscape above another, indeed it recognises that local and degraded landscapes are as likely to be of importance to the communities – or cultures - who inhabit them or the people who visit them as those which are commonly found to be labelled as globally important. The Convention is revolutionary in the way it has put ‘ordinary’ as well as ‘special’ landscapes onto government agendas throughout Europe.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Roe, M. H. (2007) The European Landscape Convention: a revolution in thinking about
‘cultural landscapes’, Journal of Chinese Landscape Architecture, 23(143): 10-15 (in
Chinese with English Abstract)
Final Draft version:
The European Landscape Convention: a revolution in thinking about ‘cultural
Maggie ROE
Senior Lecturer
School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape
Newcastle University NE1 7RU
Tel: +44 (0) 191 222 8722
Fax: +44 (0) 191 222 8811
The thesis of this paper is that the European Landscape Convention has set out a much more
holistic understanding of landscape than was previously the case within Europe. The
Convention embodies thinking that is beginning to be reflected in the work of governments,
environmental agencies and a wide range of interested parties within the landscape field in
Europe. Landscapes are not necessarily classifiable as being either ‘natural’ or ‘cultural’
because all landscapes within Europe are to some extent or another impacted by humans.
The term ‘cultural landscape’ could therefore be seen as redundant, since all the landscapes
of Europe can also be described as ‘cultural’ to some extent. However the issue of labelling
or classification is really much more complex. Different individuals, organisations and
cultures often develop values according to the extent of human intervention or associations
that may have built up over time. The European Landscape Convention helpfully does not
value any one landscape above another, indeed it recognises that local and degraded
landscapes are as likely to be of importance to the communities or cultures - who inhabit
them or the people who visit them as those which are commonly found to be labelled as
globally important. The Convention is revolutionary in the way it has put ‘ordinary’ as well as
‘special’ landscapes onto government agendas throughout Europe.
1.0 Introduction
The European Landscape Convention embodies revolutionary thinking in relation to the
meaning of the term ‘cultural landscape’. Adopted in 2000 by the Council of Europe, this
Convention not only aims to promote the protection, management and planning of European
landscapes, but also to organise and promote co-operation between the countries of Europe
on landscape issues. The Convention recognises all the territory as part of the landscape,
including urban, peri-urban, rural and natural land as well as water areas and sea. The
condition of this territory is immaterial to recognition under the terms of the Convention. This
pioneering approach provides a holistic view of landscape that has grown out of
contemporary thinking on sustainability and understandings of the human condition related to
ecological processes or culture and nature - and as such it is an important precedent with
considerable potential global significance. This paper examines the background to the
Convention and understandings of the term ‘cultural landscape’. The paper reviews what the
Convention has contributed to policy, thinking and action on the ground and reflects on the
significance of the Convention in terms of the concept of cultural landscapes. Finally the
author speculates on where this might take us in terms of cultural landscapes of the future.
2.0 The Background
2.1 European Concepts of Cultural Landscapes
Both the terms ‘cultural’ and ‘landscape’ have many different meanings for different people
throughout the world. The term landscape in the UK has been used to indicate both an ideal
place and area of land with particular features and characteristics made that way by drivers of
change both natural and human. So there has long been an understanding that value cannot
be separated from a physical description, that the term landscape captures both natural and
cultural features and values, with a special emphasis on the relationships between these
(Roe, 2007). In Europe generally, the understanding of ‘landscape’ holds strong links to a
cultural heritage of painting, literature and music and although this may be similar in cultures
outside Europe, it may seem a completely alien view to others where ‘landscape’ holds fewer
esoteric associations. Phillips (2007) believes this difference in view has hindered the
development of discussion and policy in relation to landscapes at the global level.
Wylie (2007) examines the use of the term ‘landscape’ as an empirical field to be studied
morphologically, a way of seeing the world, an associable set of cultural values, practices and
governances and an ensemble of dwellings. Olwig (2003) and Corner (1999) both provide
useful analyses of the history of the term landscape in Europe which can be seen to have
derived from the Old English landskip or landskaap in Old German but also preceded by the
Old German landschaft which is a complicated term that referred to a ‘deep and intimate
mode of relationship not only among buildings and fields but also among patterns of
occupation, activity and space’ (Corner, 1999:154) in other words, a place with its own
customs and something much more than scenery. Olwig (2005) further suggests that
landscape is not just a spatially defined area, but it was a concept defined by custom and
culture over time. He traces these to the political and legal origins of landscape as set out in
the European Landscape Convention. For many years concepts of landscape in Europe,
particularly in the UK, were strongly and often only related to aesthetic considerations,
predominantly to what can be seen (see Muir, 1999). Those outside the profession of
landscape architecture still use the term ‘to landscape’ meaning solely to rearranging the
vegetation and landform to provide a pleasing picture or to ‘beautify’ the environment.
However, it is interesting that landscape architects in Europe are now perhaps the least likely
of all those professionals involved in landscape in one way or another to consider landscape
as a concept relating solely to the visual.
The European Landscape Convention has now clearly set out a definition of landscape and
encapsulated a broad understanding of the term: ‘landscape means an area, as perceived by
people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human
factors’ (Council of Europe, 2007a). Thus landscape is now understood to have evolved as ‘a
result of being acted upon by natural forces and human beings. It also underlines that a
landscape forms a whole…[and the…] natural and cultural components are taken together not
separately’ (Déjeant-Pons, 2006a:379). Perhaps one of the major achievements of the
Convention is that it has clearly set out a number of definitions like this which are now in
general usage by those such as policy-makers involved in the landscape throughout Europe.
(Table 2). This may seem a minor point, but the importance of interpretation and language
should not be underestimated here. There are now over 23 official languages spoken in
Europe, plus many other regional language forms, and when one reflects that even within one
small country, such as the UK which has one very dominant language, there are major
differences in understandings in terms such as ‘landscape’ and ‘cultural’, then this effect is
magnified many times over where many languages are involved.
When we turn to the term ‘cultural landscape’ the problem is no less difficult. This term came
into common use in the 1990s, probably mainly as a result of its use by the World Heritage
Committee which first recognised ‘cultural landscapes’ in 1992 (Rössler, 2003). Fowler
(2001) argues that the term ‘cultural landscape’ is meaningless particularly in a country like
the UK where all landscapes are influenced by humans. So although some might argue that
the term ‘landscape’ actually already includes concepts indicated by the term ‘cultural’, the
use of the conjunction ‘cultural landscape’ is now relatively common within Europe and, while
there are many different definitions, in general it has been regarded as an area where natural
qualities of great value ‘co-evolved with human society’ (Phillips, 2001:61). Conceptually
speaking, this is very close to the definition of landschaft described above. Sauer and others
emphasise the two-way interaction between physical landscapes and folk or national cultures
in the creation of ‘cultural landscape’ (Ingerson, 2000; Plachter & Rössler 1995). But cultural
landscapes do not always evolve slowly as a result of small decisions by a number of
landowners or farmers but sometimes by rapid change through design (Green & Vos, 2001).
Ashmore & Knapp (1999) review the concept of cultural landscape from a ‘post-modernist
perspective’ where landscape is seen as a ‘“cultural image” whose verbal or written
representations provide images, or “texts” of its meaning or “reading”.’ (p.3). Through all these
discussions it can be seen that human experience is projected into and preserved in a wide
range of ‘cultural’ landscapes and therefore cultural landscapes are most importantly about
people. To examine a broader description it is useful to look at a definition developed in 2003
during a working group of the Le Notre Project, which is a Europe-wide network of Landscape
Architects funded by the European Union:
Cultural Landscapes are landscapes where a strong relationship or synthesis can be
seen between human intervention and natural process. Such landscapes mould and are
moulded by the communities which live within them, and they both exhibit such moulding
to a varying degree. Also important is cultural association and special meanings which
communities identify in the landscape and which may not be visible. Cultural landscapes
may be situated in urban, suburban, rural or wilderness areas and they exist over a
continuum of time reaching from the prehistoric to the future at a variety of scales from
the domestic to the landscape scale (Roe, 2003).
There is a tendency for cultural landscapes to be examined as something that developed in
the past; that is they are historic or archaeological landscapes formed by peoples in past
times, something to be conserved or preserved rather than something that is living, changing
and being changed by cultures and communities today. There is even less focus upon the
concept that cultural landscapes might just be being created today that might be valuable in
the future. Cultural landscapes are sometimes described as ‘traditional landscapes’.
However in many European countries only fragments of what could be considered to be
traditional landscapes now survive.
So there have been and still remain major dilemmas in Europe as to definitions, concepts and
approaches in relation to cultural landscapes. However under the auspices of the European
Landscape Convention, a platform at the supra-national level has now been provided where
such dilemmas can be expressed and discussed by a wide range of people interested in
landscape issues. It is now understood that cultural landscapes develop as a result of
state of flux and should not be managed to retain a moment frozen in time i.e. the
process of evolution and change is an essential feature of cultural landscapes
(Davies, pers. comm., 2005). Spirn (1998) emphasises the importance of people
understanding process not just elements in landscape because ‘material, form and
space are sensed and shaped by processes, by touching, seeing, moving and by
erosion, fires, vandalism and care. Processes provide action’ (p.96).Landscapes
moulded by the agricultural techniques used upon them are sometimes regarded as
‘beautiful pictures’, which should be ‘preserved intact’ (Priore, 2001:31). But this
preservationist approach is now being challenged in a number of ways. In 2001
Chris Smith MP in the British Parliament stated that cultural landscapes are ‘about
neighbourhoods that have deep meaning and local associations for the people who
live there working farms, woodlands, rivers and springs. The sheer diversity and
detail of these locally characteristic features, as well as the traditions and memories
associated with them, are the very essence of the richness and distinctiveness of our
European landscapes’ (Kelly et al., 2001:6).
2.2 Influences on the Development of Policy and Practice in relation to the Landscape
As Adrian Phillips (2007) has acknowledged, until the 1990s landscape was given far less
attention than other environmental issues such as nature conservation and pollution control
within policy at the European level. The first real identification of landscape as a special issue
can be seen at the European level by policymakers through the Dobris Assessment (Stanners
& Bourdeau, 1995) and the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy
(Council of Europe, 1996).
The rise of the sustainability agenda has been particularly important in the development of the
European Landscape Convention. In many European countries there has been an increasing
pressure on land which has meant the fragmentation of habitats and an increasing loss of
traditionally managed landscapes and cultural features, a reduction in diversity of all kinds
within the landscape, but also a disappearance in the characteristics of the landscape that
may not be tangible e.g. associations, songs, traditions, myths and legends. Landscape
ecological thinking suggested that in future it would not be enough to simply protect ‘special
landscapes’, particularly in many of the densely populated areas found in Europe. This has
now influenced many areas of landscape work including the need to protect the diversity
found in the landscape. In addition, research on for example tranquillity mapping and
landscape characterisation has also brought a realisation that the threats of development and
degradation are not just to ‘special’ landscapes, but to what had hitherto been thought of as
‘ordinary’ landscapes. Sustainability thinking has generally encouraged the ideal that human
well-being and environmental protection should be pursued together (Phillips, 2007), plus
more integrated thinking in relation to landscape issues and a more holistic approach to the
management and development processes working in relation to landscapes in terms of
economic, social, cultural and ecological considerations.
Landscape studies have also moved away from the idea of landscape purely as ‘land’, but
now see it more in terms of ‘territory’, most importantly to include water bodies and sea areas
now sometimes described as ‘seascapes’. This has allowed for more inclusive thinking in
relation to rivers and to coastal areas and the establishment of more extensive or landscape
scale - protected areas such as marine reserves. In the UK in particular there has also been
a retrospective agenda within agencies that fund environmental improvement. For example
the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has provided considerable finance to help restore historic
urban parks, thereby providing much work for Landscape Architects. There has also been a
move by archaeologists and others concerned with survey and management to think more in
terms of historic landscapes rather than artefacts, elements or sites. An example of this might
be the way Stonehenge is now seen as only one part of a much wider cultural landscape with
a number of important historic sites. There is a better understanding within policy circles that
examining past change in the landscape for example in relation to climatic change - might
help us to learn something useful for our present dilemmas and that ‘reading landscape is a
way of understanding how our ancestors survived and shaped the world around them’
(Phillips, 2007: 85).
Another important influence on recent thinking has been increasing political will in relation to
developing policy concerning European landscapes. This is partly because greater
awareness has grown of the rate of loss of landscape elements largely as more sophisticated
methods of survey (e.g. satellite imagery) have emerged. Methods of evaluation are now
beginning to value what was previously unvalued. Of course monetary considerations always
speak loudest to politicians, but there has also been a considerable influence in the rise of
green issues which has persuaded politicians that environmental ethics and sustainability
issues are important vote-winning agendas.
3.0 The Convention Revealed
3.1. The Council of Europe
A number of key people have been instrumental in the development of the Landscape
Convention, Mme Maguelonne Déjeant-Pons, Head of the Spatial Planning and Landscape
Division at the Council of Europe has been and continues to be one of these. She sets out a
clear and comprehensive description of the European Landscape Convention (see Déjeant-
Pons, 2006a) in a special issue of the international peer review journal Landscape Research
which is owned by the Landscape Research Group (LRG), a UK based charity which has
been active in lobbying and supporting the Convention’s development.
The Council of Europe is an intergovernmental consultative organisation consisting of a
Committee of Ministers. It was founded after the Second World War in 1949 and currently
has 46 member states representing about 800 million people (Europa 2007). The Council of
Europe is often confused with the European Union, but it has more members (the EU has
currently 27 members) and it has been more concerned with issues of culture, identity and
providing a platform where the various peoples of Europe can be heard (Howard, 2004a). It
was set up to ‘maintain and develop the ideals of individual freedom, rule of law and
democratic principles through greater unity’ (Europa, 2007). The European Union and the
Council of Europe work closely in a number of areas, and although they share the same
values and pursue the common aims of protecting democracy, respecting human rights and
fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, one of the key differences is that the Council of
Europe has little or no money to spend. The Council of Europe sets out legally binding rules in
Conventions (Agreements that are less formal than Treaties) which are open to signature and
ratification by member States and non-member States as well. The process by which this
happens is very confusing and is largely related to political manoeuvrings in individual
countries. Much of the work of the Council of Europe is concerned with issues such as
human rights, but the thinking on this has broadened into an understanding of the importance
of protecting identity and cultural values throughout Europe. Concerns over quality of life and
social well-being are seen as key factors in the development of the European Landscape
Convention and the recognition of the role of landscape in human development and European
identity (Déjeant-Pons, 2006a). The Dobris Assessment of Europe’s Environment, which was
published in 1995 (Stanners & Bourdeau, 1995), identified the need for European level action
to protect landscape. However the Convention itself also responds to the need for
landscapes to evolve to meet society’s changing needs (Phillips, 2007) which is a key point,
and one that distinguishes this Convention from other policies in Europe related to the
3.2. The European Landscape Convention Description
The European Landscape Convention was opened for signature in Florence, Italy, on 20
October 2000 under the aegis of the Council of Europe Campaign “Europe, a Common
Heritage, and it came into force on 1 March 2004. Countries may sign up to the Convention
and by doing so indicate their general support for the declared principles. The Convention is
not legally binding until it is ratified by the particular country and then it may take several
months before it comes into force legally in that country. The total number of ratifications (as
of September 2007) is 27 and those countries who have signed but not yet ratified equals
seven (see Table 1).
The aims of the Convention are ‘to promote landscape protection, management and planning,
and to organise European co-operation on landscape issues’ (Council of Europe, 2007c). The
Convention is structured in four main sections with a preamble (introduction) (see Council of
Europe 2007b). In summary these sections set out:
i. The objectives and scope of the Convention;
ii. The measures to be taken at national level;
iii. The basis for co-operation, the measures to be taken an international level and the role
of committees responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Convention;
iv. The procedures for adopting the Convention.
The Convention sets out general and specific measure at national and international level that
countries should undertake. In terms of general measures: apart from the recognition of the
importance and role of landscape and establishment of policies in relation to landscape,
countries must set up procedures to increase public and stakeholder participation in the
formulation and implementation of landscape policies, and they must ensure that landscape
considerations are integrated into a wide range of other relevant policy areas. Specific
measures broadly cover the need to raise awareness, provide training and education, the
implementation of survey and evaluation, the institution of quality objectives and the
implementation of landscape policies. At International level there is agreement to co-operate
on landscape issues and, where there are transfrontier issues, to work to prepare suitable
landscape programmes (Déjeant-Pons, 2006b).
The European Landscape Convention does not specifically refer to ‘cultural landscapes’ as
does the UNESCO (United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation)
Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 16
November 1972 (UNESCO, 2007). Nor does it identify or designate specific special
landscapes. The basis for the European Landscape Convention is to recognise that all
landscapes are important and that landscape itself is a cultural concept (Howard, 2004a). The
two Conventions have different purposes and scope that reflect the organisations under
whose auspices they were drawn up. However they are seen as complementary. The main
objectives of the European Landscape Convention is to ‘introduce protection, management
and planning rules for all landscapes based on a set of principles’ (Déjeant-Pons,2006a: 367).
The UNESCO Convention, commonly known at the World Heritage Convention, is world-wide
and deals predominantly with historic monuments and in some cases their context. There are
851 sites in 141 countries, and 184 countries have ratified the World Heritage Convention. It
developed from two movements, one concerned with the conservation of important cultural
sites particularly built form and the other concerned with the conservation of nature. The
World Heritage Convention aims to protect ‘universally significant properties that embody a
world of outstanding examples of cultural diversity and natural wealth’ (UNESCO, 2007). Of
course such designations include a number which can be considered to be landscapes, e.g.
the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador; the Dorset and East Devon Coast in the UK; and Mount
Huangshan Scenic Beauty and Historic Interest Site, Sichuan Province, China. However it
was not until 1992 that criteria were adopted which meant that cultural landscapes were
specifically recognised and included under the World Heritage list. A major issue is that there
is a disproportionate number of World Heritage cultural landscape sites in Europe compared
to the rest of the world (Phillips, 2007).
There are a number of other difficult issues that such designation raises including the fact that
giving World Heritage status also provides a considerable tourist attraction and many of these
sites have become ‘honeypots’ for tourist activity. This of course often brings with it many
problems related to how to preserve the site from inappropriate and damaging tourism
pressures. While the roots of the thinking embodied by the World Heritage Convention lie in
the policies of the early nineteenth century where there were laws to protect monuments in a
number of European countries, the European Landscape Convention reflects contemporary
imperatives to consider the quality of all landscapes. Much of this thinking has grown from
landscape ecological theory that suggests that creating small reserves is not enough to
provide protection, but both buffer areas and consideration of connectivity within the ‘matrix’
(or the whole of the rest) of the landscape is critical to ensure protection and survival.
Those responsible for developing the European Landscape Convention were very concerned
to avoid conflict with other existing international and national laws, as can be seen in the
various supporting documents and in the explanatory documents which in particular
recommend scientific co-operation between those concerned with the European Landscape
Convention and the World Heritage Convention (Council of Europe, 2007a). In order to avoid
difficulties and conflicts between the various Conventions, the European Landscape
Convention states that it cannot overturn stronger laws made concerning landscape in other
existing or future national or international policies (Déjeant-Pons, 2006a).
One particularly useful feature of the Landscape Convention documentation is the definition of
terms used e.g. landscape, landscape policy, landscape management and landscape
planning. The exchange of ideas and experience between governments, Non-Governmental
Organisations (NGOs) and others is encouraged by the Convention, and there is a
considerable number of documents, and increasing research, conferences and other activities
related to the subject. A recent report from a Council of Europe Conference noted that the
Convention was already helping to encourage progress in the development of landscape
policies in many member states at national, regional and local level (Council of Europe,
2007b). Monitoring the implementation of the Articles of the Convention is now the main
focus of attention within the Council of Europe.
3.3. The European Landscape Convention - Landscape Threats and Opportunities
Threats to the sustainability of cultural landscapes in Europe are now becoming clearer as the
type, rate and extent of change is understood. For example, the impact seen on the UK
landscape of the European Union agricultural policies has encouraged the view that
agricultural subsidies can act as a major threat to the cultural and natural heritage of
agricultural landscapes. The drivers of change in the landscape are now of particular interest
for landscape research. An example of an important driver is the increase in tourism as
already mentioned. In some areas this has encouraged the ‘museumification’ of landscapes,
in others landscapes may be under threat from the physical impact of too many visitors.
Economic drivers of change have caused the migration of populations and landscape
abandonment in many European countries. Change in the landscape reflects both global and
local pressures which is why it is important to have mechanisms which provide for protection
and enhancement of the landscape at many different levels, from international to local.
The European Landscape Convention is a landmark in the recognition that all landscapes
should be considered as valuable, and that landscape is ‘a key element of individual and
social well-being and quality of life’ (Council of Europe, 2007a: preamble). The Convention
emphasises that landscape cannot be protected by drawing lines around what are considered
‘outstanding’ areas at the expense of others. All landscapes have the potential to hold some
kind of meaning, provide identity and benefit to the community (see Figure 1), and landscape
‘must be recognised and protected independently from its value’ (Priore, 2001:32).
Fairclough et al. (2002) identified that the European Landscape Convention has provided new
opportunities for different disciplines to come together within the common interest. Although
Phillips (2007) suggests that the cross-disciplinary nature of landscape studies is a problem in
that landscape was ‘everyone’s interest, but no one’s responsibility’ (p.86), this I believe is
now a strength in relation to action on cultural landscapes in that many disciplines are
becoming involved and recognising the European Landscape Convention to be of key
relevance to their work.
So although many desirable outcomes have now been agreed in relation to European
landscape policy through the European Landscape Convention, there are some considerable
difficulties to overcome (Howard, 2004b). Language and cultural viewpoints aside, there are
also many areas of potential disagreement between the disciplines involved, between policy-
makers at national and local level, between Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and
interest groups, between conservationists and tourists the list goes on and on.
There is much debate on suitable tools, scales, and scientific models that are appropriate in
the implementation of the Convention. This is because the member countries have very
different political outlooks, domestic environmental legislation and policy, as well as varying
professional and scientific expertise, knowledge and financial resources for this kind of work.
However particularly useful tools are Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA), Landscape
Character Analysis and the use of conceptual models such as DPSIR (Driver-Pressure-State-
Impact-Response) (see Svarstad et al., 2008) to understand the driving forces of change.
Some countries believe they have achieved many of the objectives of the Convention already
within their policy, but this may not necessarily be borne out by an examination of what is
going on at ground level. For example the UK may now have extensive survey material and
strong measures in place in terms of protecting ‘special’ landscapes, but in relation to what
the Convention labels ‘peri-urban’ (in and around cities), which is where the majority of the
population live, there is still much to learn and it is a much contested area of policy.
4.0. Conclusion: The European Landscape Convention - A Landscape Revolution?
There is a plethora of policies, directives and statues relating to the environment in Europe.
However the European Landscape Convention is the only one which takes an holistic
approach emphasising that landscape exists everywhere, that it is an important part of
community and personal identity and local cultures even when ordinary or degraded. The
Convention recognises the importance of integration and co-ordination in environmental
policy and the need for a landscape planning approach. It also provides us with an important
new springboard to think about landscapes of the future. Article 1of the Convention
specifically covers landscape planning which it sees as the process ‘by which new
landscapes are created to meet the aspirations of the people concerned’ and to ‘radically
reshape the damaged landscapes’ (Council of Europe, 2007a). Sarlöv-Herlin (2004)
suggests that Landscape Architects are in a strong position to provide expertise in this field
due to their training in synthesis and cross-boundary thinking in relation to natural and social
science and humanities. But how do we go about creating landscapes that will be valued in
the future? The European Landscape Convention indicates that what are now considered
ordinary landscapes may already be highly valued by local communities; in other words they
could be labelled as today’s ‘cultural’ landscapes. Indeed many of the landscapes identified
under the World Heritage Convention were the ordinary agricultural landscapes of the past.
Naveh (1995) sees the cultural dimensions of landscapes as the ‘tangible meeting point
between nature and mind’ and that there is a critical need for a ‘new conception of cultural
landscapes’ to ensure the ’reconciliation of human society with nature’ (p.43). There is in the
UK a re-examination of what ‘cultural’ actually means in relation to landscape. In Britain there
are now initiatives celebrating and building upon local identity (e.g. Clifford, 2001) as well as
reflecting alternative cultural identities in the new ways neighbourhood land is managed.
Most recent thinking suggests that new ‘cultural landscapes can be created as a positive act
of landscape regeneration and renewal (Taylor 1993; Kelly et al., 2001). If the cultural
landscape is ‘the meeting place between humankind and the environment’ (Phillips, 2001:61)
and is ‘the result of consecutive reorganization of the land in order to adapt its use and spatial
structure better to the changing societal demands’ (Antrop, 2005:21), then we can consider
how these concepts might be used to help us create ‘new’ cultural landscapes.
The development of cultural landscapes is often seen in terms of long-term management
where individuals and communities get close to land by toil with it or constant exposure to its
features which people imbue with particular meanings. What is important is to remember that
both the natural world and human cultures are in a constant state of change. If we assume
that a mutual moulding needs to take place for landscape to be considered as ‘cultural’, how
can this be done in the development of new cultural landscapes? If cultural landscapes mirror
the cultures that are involved in their creation, what kinds of landscape will we gain from
landscape initiatives today and do we really want to mirror our present culture in the
landscape? (Figure 2)
Research findings support the view that concepts of cultural landscapes are very personal
and depend on practices of landscape (e.g. walking, looking, gardening etc.) or interactions
with the landscape (Coles & Bussey, 2000; Fowler, 2001; Appleton, 1986; Wylie, 2007).
Fowler (2001) indicates that cultural landscapes need to ‘speak to us of experiences, of
places remembered, of ideas such as ‘scientific reservoir’, ‘memory-bank’ and ‘desirable
destination’ (p.78). Here perhaps is the key if the creation of new cultural landscapes is
dependent on personal experience, imagery and meaning, then this requires access and
accessibility to that landscape - visual or spatial and without experience of the landscape
that cultural meaning cannot be constructed. It could be argued that those who enjoy
community forest landscapes today are moulding the landscape in a number of ways:
physically e.g. walking in it and digging it; by making decisions about it through involvement in
policy and planning; by being involved in the economics of the forest through subscribing to
something which is involved in its change; and by involvement in visioning events, or planning
its future (Figure 3). In turn community forest landscapes can ‘mould’ people through
affecting their health and well-being (quality of life) and through influencing their everyday
behaviour, education and point of view.
It is clear that the identity and character of landscapes are intertwined with the cultural
character of communities, which have moulded and have been moulded by them. Cultural
landscapes are often associated with agrarian and historic landscapes, but it is possible to
identify a much wider definition and a scope of study and work which incorporates urban,
suburban, rural and wilderness landscapes over time reaching from the prehistoric to the
future and encompassing a dynamic view of scales from the domestic to the regional, or
landscape, scale (Roe, 2003). While the study of landscapes of the past helps us to
understand and define communities, it also may provide information concerning sustainable
landscape management methods, cultural meanings, associations and the aesthetic
preferences of communities. Such study will help Landscape Architects to plan and design
richer and more sustainable ‘cultural’ landscapes in the future.
The European Landscape Convention provides a starting point for an understanding of
European cultural landscapes and the way Europeans now regard their landscape heritage; in
particular the importance of social and economic driving forces, the understanding of the
participation of ordinary people in the evolution of landscapes and the role of ‘ordinary’
landscapes in our cultural heritage and future health, wealth and happiness. So the
Convention can be seen as revolutionary in many different ways; a major benefit in particular
is the way it puts landscape firmly on the agenda at European policy level.
6.0 References
Antrop, M., (2005) Why landscapes of the past are important for the future, Landscape and
Urban Planning, 70(1-2):21-34.
Appleton, J. (1986) The Experience of Landscape (Hull: University of Hull Press).
Ashmore, W. and Knapp, A. B. (1999) Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary
Perspectives (Oxford: Blackwell).
Clifford, S. (2001) For Looking At or Living In? Local Distinctiveness from the Inside Out, in:
The cultural landscapes: Planning for sustainable partnership between people and
place (London, ICOMOS UK) pp.83-89.
Coles, R. W. & Bussey, S. C. (2000) Urban forest landscapes in the UK progressing the
social agenda, Landscape and Urban Planning, 52:181-188.
Corner, J. (1999) Eidetic Operations and New Landscapes, in Corner, J. (Ed) Recovering
Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture (New York, Princeton
Architectural Press).
Council of Europe (1996) Pan European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy
(Strasbourg, Council of Europe).
Council of Europe (2007a) European Landscape Convention website: (accessed 13
September 2007).
Council of Europe (2007b) The European Landscape Convention, Report of Council of
Europe Conference, 22 and 23 March, T-FLOR (2007) 14.
Council of Europe (2007c) The European Landscape Convention text: (accessed 17 September
Davies, C. (2004) (Personal Communication) Director of the North East Community Forests
(NECF) interview, January 2004.
Déjeant-Pons, M. (2006a) The European Landscape Convention, Landscape Research,
31(4), 363-384.
Déjeant-Pons, M. (2006b) The European Landscape Convention, Florence, 20 October 2000,
in Proceedings of a Seminar, Moscow, Russian Federation, 26-27 April, European
Spatial Planning and Landscape No. 77 (Strasbourg, Council of Europe) pp. 7-19.
Europa/European Commission (2007) website: (accessed 13 September
Fairclough, G. and Rippon, S. and Bull, D. (Eds) (2002) Europe’s Cultural Landscape:
archaeologists and the management of change (Brussels, Europeae Archaeologia
Fowler, P. (2001) Cultural Landscape: Great Concept, Pity about the Phrase, in: The cultural
landscapes: Planning for sustainable partnership between people and place (London,
ICOMOS UK) pp.64-82.
Green, B. H. and Vos, W. (2001) Managing old landscapes and making new ones, in: Green,
B.H. and Vos, W. (Eds) Threatened Landscapes: Conserving cultural environments
(London: Spon) pp. 139-149.
Howard, P. (2004a) Editorial: European Landscape, Landscape Research, 29(4), 333-334.
Howard, P. (2004b) Spatial Planning for Landscape: Mapping the Pitfalls, Landscape
Research, 29(4), 423-434.
Ingerson, A. E. (2000) Changing Approaches to Cultural Landscapes, available from: (accessed 07.01.2002) Institute for Cultural
Landscape Studies, Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University.
Kelly, R., Macinnes, L.,Thackray, D. and Whitbourne, P. (Eds) (2001) The Cultural
Landscape: Planning for a sustainable partnership between people and place
(London, ICOMOS-UK).
Muir, R. (1999) Approaches to Landscape (Basingstoke, Macmillan).
Naveh, Z. (1995) Interactions of landscapes and cultures, Landscape and Urban Planning
32(1), 43-54.
Olwig, K. (2003) Landscape, Nature and the Body Politic: From Britain’s Renaissance to
America’s New World (Madison, WI: Wisconsin UP).
Olwig, K. (2005) Editorial: Law, Polity and the Changing Meaning of Landscape, Landscape
Research, 30(3), 293-298.
Phillips, A. (2001) The Nature of Cultural Landscapes: a nature conservation perspective, in:
The cultural landscape: Planning for sustainable partnership between people and
place (London, ICOMOS UK) pp.46-63.
Phillips, A. (2007) International Policies and Landscape Protection, in: Benson, J. F. and Roe,
M. H. (Eds) Landscape and Sustainability, 2nd Edn (London, Routledge) pp. 84-103.
Plachter, H. and Rössler, M. (1995) Cultural landscapes: reconnecting culture and nature, in:
Droste, von B, Plachter, H. and Rössler, M. (Eds) Cultural Landscape of Universal
Value (Stuttgart, Gustav Fischer) pp.38-41.
Priore (2001) The Background to the European Landscape Convention, in: Kelly, R.,
Macinnes, L.,Thackray, D. & Whitbourne, P. (Eds) The Cultural Landscape: Planning
for a sustainable partnership between people and place (London, ICOMOS-UK)
Roe, M. H. (2003) Definition and Explanation of the significance of ‘cultural landscapes’ set
out on behalf of the Cultural Landscapes Working Group, Le Notre European Union
Network Project. See Le Notre Project website:
Roe, Maggie (2007) Landscape Sustainability: An Overview, in: Benson, J. F. and Roe, M. H.
(Eds) Landscape and Sustainability, 2nd Edn (London, Routledge) pp. 1-15.
Rössler, M. (2003) Linking Nature and Culture, World Heritage Cultural Landscapes, in
Cecarelli, M. and Rössler, M. (Eds) Cultural Landscapes, the Challenges of
Conservation, World Heritage Papers 7 (Paris, UNESCO) pp. 10-15.
Sarlöv-Herlin, I. (2004) New Challenges in Spatial Planning: Landscapes, Landscape
Research, 29(4), 399-411.
Spirn, A. Whiston (1998) The Language of Landscape (New Haven, Yale University Press).
Stanners, D. and Bourdeau, P. (eds) (1995) Europe’s Envionment: The Dobris Assessment
(Copenhagen, EEA)
Svarstad, H. Petersen, L.K., Rothman, D., Siepel, H. and Wätzold, F. (2008) Discursive
biases of the environmental research framework DPSIR, Land Use Policy, 25: 116-
Taylor, K. (1993) Australian perspectives, themes and sense of place: evaluating cultural
significance (paper to Cultural Landscape Colloquium, Montreal, Canada, May 1993).
UNESCO (2007) United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
website on the Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural
Heritage: (accessed 13 September 2007).
Wylie, J. (2007) Landscape (London, Routledge).
Thanks to the North East Community Forests (NECF) for permission to use Figure 3.
Part of this paper is based on ideas first set out in a conference paper: Roe, M. H. (2005)
Community Forestry and Landscape Identity: Planning New Forest Landscapes, 10th
UNESCO Universities Heritage Forum, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, available at:
Table 1. European Landscape Convention status as of 13/9/2007
Member States of the Council of Europe
Entry into force
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic
San Marino
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
United Kingdom
Source : Council of Europe, Treaty Office
Table 2: The European Landscape Convention, Article 1 Definitions
For the purposes of the Convention:
a. "Landscape" means an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the
action and interaction of natural and/or human factors;
b. "Landscape policy" means an expression by the competent public authorities of general
principles, strategies and guidelines that permit the taking of specific measures aimed at
the protection, management and planning of landscapes;
c. "Landscape quality objective" means, for a specific landscape, the formulation by the
competent public authorities of the aspirations of the public with regard to the landscape
features of their surroundings;
d. "Landscape protection" means actions to conserve and maintain the significant or
characteristic features of a landscape, justified by its heritage value derived from its
natural configuration and/or from human activity;
e. "Landscape management" means action, from a perspective of sustainable development,
to ensure the regular upkeep of a landscape, so as to guide and harmonise changes
which are brought about by social, economic and environmental processes;
f. "Landscape planning" means strong forward-looking action to enhance, restore or create
Source: Council of Europe (2007c)
Captions for Figures:
Figure 1: Traditional May Day activities on a village green in Yorkshire, UK. All landscapes
have the potential to hold some kind of meaning, provide identity and benefit to the
Figure 2: Disneyland, Paris: does this represent a new cultural landscape?
Figure 3: Mutual moulding: Children in the North East Community Forest and a new cultural
... Na przykład graffiti jest społecznie akceptowalne, ale podpisy (tzw. tagi) są już odbierane bardziej negatywnie zwłaszcza gdy jest to forma obrażania innych i zaśmiecania przestrzeni (Conklin, 2012 (Roe, 2007). ...
... Pojęcie krajobrazu kulturowego znacząco ewaluowało, a według niektórych badaczy i teoretyków, zaczęto go używać powszechnie w latach dziewięćdziesiątych (Roe, 2007 (Roe, 2007), budując kolektywną i personalną tożsamość (Fairclough, 2002). W kontekście krajobrazu w działaniu jest to niezmiernie istotne, z tego względu Autorka pracy rozważa kolejno: elementy krajobrazu kulturowego, zwłaszcza proces kreacji krajobrazu, jego warstwowość, codzienność oraz rolę społeczności lokalnych. ...
... Pojęcie krajobrazu kulturowego znacząco ewaluowało, a według niektórych badaczy i teoretyków, zaczęto go używać powszechnie w latach dziewięćdziesiątych (Roe, 2007 (Roe, 2007), budując kolektywną i personalną tożsamość (Fairclough, 2002). W kontekście krajobrazu w działaniu jest to niezmiernie istotne, z tego względu Autorka pracy rozważa kolejno: elementy krajobrazu kulturowego, zwłaszcza proces kreacji krajobrazu, jego warstwowość, codzienność oraz rolę społeczności lokalnych. ...
The subject of this work is about the grassroots and informal activities in the cultural landscape of European cities. The author views such initiatives as manifestations of the creativity and activity of city dwellers in open public spaces. Two types of activities are considered in this thesis. The first, organised initiatives shape the urban landscape in a conscious way, aiming at a wider change, sometimes even global. The second, informal interventions in the cityscape of Tartu, such as gardens under balconies, graffiti and others. These initiatives focus on changing the immediate environment, decorating it, and improving its functionality. As case studies analysis shows, recognition of the bottom-up landscape of cities, which directly involves residents in its formation, can have an impact on their more conscious shaping. Moreover, by addressing economic, social, cultural, ecological and aesthetic issues, they enrich the everyday landscape for both creators and viewers.
... Therefore, when the term 'cultural landscape' is used in Asia there is confusion on what it really means. There are major differences in understanding in the terms 'landscape' and 'cultural' (Roe 2007). From the above perspective of Chinese traditional cultural philosophy, a human-nature-centred landscape is a priori moral, aesthetical and cultural construct. ...
... However, it encountered great difficulties in publication because the concept of cultural landscape was deemed too confusing. Fortunately, the papers (Zangheri 2007;Roe 2007;Taylor 2007;Han 2007) were finally published and the invited international experts and ICOMOS-IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (ISCCL) colleagues made significant contributions to the introduction of the concept and practice of WHCLs to the Chinese readers. In October 2008, China had the first International Symposium in Guizhou on Village Cultural Landscapes, while Hangzhou held a Forum on Cultural Landscapes. ...
Full-text available
The term ‘cultural landscape’ has many different meanings for different people throughout the world. It has been widely circulated since the international recognition of cultural landscapes extended to World Heritage prominence in 1992 with three categories of cultural landscapes of outstanding universal value defined as the ‘combined works of nature and of man’. However, the application of World Heritage Cultural Landscapes (WHCLs) encountered difficulties in China. This paper reviews the history of nature-related World Heritage conservation in the country, examines the cross-cultural confusion of World Heritage practice from Chinese traditional cultural perspective of culture and nature relationship to address to the international bewilderment about China’s two-decade absence from WHCLs. The paper also reviews the efforts taken by China to dispel the conceptual confusion, what has been inspired by and contributed to the WHCLs in the recent years. Finally, the paper examines what China and WHCLs can mutually benefit from each other based on the common concerns of sustainable development and harmonious human-nature relationship in the future.
... This concept highlights that "landscape is everywhere" and that "all landscapes matter" [4]. Although recognizing the importance of the holistic approach [5] of the Convention in valuing all landscapes equally -natural and cultural, ordinary, special or degraded-this article focuses on traditional and cultural landscapes. Marc Antrop defines traditional landscapes as those "with a distinct and recognizable structure which reflects clear relations between the composing elements" as well as natural, cultural or aesthetical values [6]. ...
... Landscapes exist everywhere: in rural areas, in urban spaces and in the city margins where rural and urban land collide [4], [5]. This interest in urban and rururban landscapes is very important in the case of l'Horta. ...
... The ELC implementation has resulted in a large number of good practices, in particular in terms of landscape valuation and public participation in landscape management (Jones & Stenseke, 2011). Options for the application of the ELC approach are discussed for regions far beyond ELC's core geographical scope (Moore, 2012;Roe, 2007;UNESCO, 2011). ...
Full-text available
The European Landscape Convention urges countries to involve stakeholders including citizens in the governance of ordinary (urban) landscapes. This paper studies conflicting stakeholder perspectives on urban landscape quality in the context of urban sustainability transitions in six European urban regions in the Netherlands, Italy, France, Croatia, Belarus and the Russian Federation. Repertory grid technique helped to identify the dimensions through which persons evaluate urban landscape quality. Ninety-three (93) interviewees elicited 1400 bipolar constructs, such as “Edible green – Concrete” or “Community, group – Loneliness”. They then selected two constructs they consider most relevant in the context of urban sustainability transitions, and ranked all pictures on a 10-points scale. The rankings were analyzed using Multiple Correspondence Analysis. We find that, in spite of the many social and cultural differences between the regions, stakeholders largely agree on the preferred direction of urban transitions; more green and blue spots where people can meet and undertake joint (leisure) activities. The main conflict is between, on the one hand, a preference for organized development and beautification and, on the other hand, naturalness (permeability of soil) and organic development. The paper considers several challenges for transition governance.
... Néanmoins, certains auteurs constatent qu'elle n'aura pas tant impacter l'action paysagère : Olivier Barrière (2012) et Hervé Davodeau (2003Davodeau ( , 2020 considèrent notamment que la « loi paysage » témoigne davantage d'une intégration du paysage dans le droit positif que d'une véritable modification des modes de gestion du paysage, qui se pensent d'abord en termes de préservation. (Roe, 2007), « expression de l'émergence de nouveaux outils de gestion paysagère à de nouvelles échelles » (Dubois, 2008). Il s'inscrit dans un changement de paradigme où les injonctions du développement durable associées aux exigences de gouvernance participative depuis la fin des années 1990 et le début des années 2000 14 modèlent également les contours de l'action paysagère. ...
Full-text available
Dans un contexte où la demande sociale pointe de plus en plus la qualité environnementale et esthétique du cadre de vie comme un élément essentiel dans les sociétés occidentales, le concept de paysage connaît depuis une vingtaine d’années un intérêt grandissant dans les politiques publiques françaises et européennes. Des espaces dits remarquables au cadre de vie quotidien, les périmètres de l’action paysagère ont été étendus et le paysage apparaît davantage sous l’angle d’un projet, devant être construit socialement dans le débat et l’interaction de l’ensemble des acteurs de la société, pour en organiser collectivement la gestion et l’aménagement. Une multiplicité d’acteurs est ainsi convoquée à agir ensemble en faveur d’une action paysagère qui traduise les aspirations des populations. Or, cela suppose que le concept soit approprié dans la sphère publique et que les acteurs s’accordent ou du moins discutent de leurs représentations du paysage, c’est-à-dire de leurs opinions et des valeurs qu’ils attribuent au paysage, qui conditionnent leurs attitudes et, par-là, l’action paysagère. La littérature tend précisément à souligner les difficultés associées à ce foisonnement d’acteurs et le décalage entre les objectifs promulgués par la réglementation et la réalité opérationnelle. Cette recherche mobilise la théorie des représentations sociales telle qu’elle est développée dans le champ de la recherche en psychologie sociale, pour questionner le contexte social à travers lequel le paysage peut être le support d’une action partagée, discutée et négociée. La thèse s’intéresse au territoire réunionnais, marqué par une action paysagère (affichée) tardive, et l’émergence de projets urbains récents où le paysage semble jouer un rôle non négligeable dans la conception d’un urbanisme plus durable. Certains travaux de recherches ayant montré que des politiques paysagères ou urbaines n’étaient pas toujours en accord avec le paysage vernaculaire, imprégné de l’histoire sociale et culturelle des Réunionnais et du vécu individuel des habitants, la thèse interroge les médiations possibles entre le paysage pensé, façonné et géré par les professionnels de l’aménagement, et le paysage habité et vécu par les populations. Il s’agit de comprendre si et comment les représentations sociales du paysage sont partagées, négociées et collectivement construites par ces acteurs. Le protocole méthodologique utilisé est principalement qualitatif, et se structure autour d’entretiens semi-directifs et de parcours commentés. Dans le cadre des entretiens, un exercice d’association libre de mots, inspiré des travaux en psychologie sociale met en lumière l’organisation des représentations sociales, en montrant ce qui est au cœur des représentations et les éléments plus périphériques et fluctuants de celles-ci. Nous identifions à partir de ces trois outils méthodologiques les aspects cognitifs (les attributs associés au paysage), normatifs (les valeurs projetées sur le paysage) et sensibles (les sensations et émotions ressenties par le paysage) qui constituent les représentations sociales du paysage, et discutons à partir de ces résultats de la place que tient le paysage dans le débat public et dans les processus d’aménagement ainsi que des potentialités d’une action paysagère participative sur le territoire réunionnais telle qu’elle est impulsée dans les politiques publiques du paysage.
... This mapping can support strengthening the body of knowledge about spatial characteristics in landscape architecture. Since the landscape is a result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors (Roe, 2007), roads and their surroundings can be considered as a landscape (Kołodziej, 2017). In this study, we considered Jefoure roads as part of the Gurage cultural landscape and characterized them based on landscape principles. ...
Information about cultural landscape settings and characteristics is essential for understanding and finding solutions for their sustainable management. In the Gurage socio-ecological production landscape of Ethiopia, “Jefoure” refers to a traditional grass-covered road with households on either side. This study aims to map and characterize Jefoure roads to help manage them sustainably. Data were compiled using survey tools and recent orthophoto images and then were qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. The results underscore Jefoure as a network of roads of variable lengths that can be as extensive as 87 m. Notably, the physical geography of the landscape has an impact on the length, shape, and directions of these roads. Jefoure roads are multifunctional roads that have been designed and managed by local people for centuries. The Gurage settlement pattern is centered on these roads, which influences their home garden functional spaces. Residents, local groups, land-use planners, and decision-makers need to manage the cultural roads sustainably. This study generates valuable empirical information regarding a Gurage landscape feature that is not common knowledge, and it can support decision-makers and other conservation initiatives aimed at the sustainable management. It may also inform and encourage other researchers in their studies on similar cultural roads. This road has a cultural value and needs to work on its heritagization, in conjunction with the community's various cultural assets.
Full-text available
The aim of this article is to address how the European Landscape Convention (ELC) defines the cultural landscape, and what tools the former provides for the latter’s protection. It is also crucial to determine, from the viewpoint of the Polish legal order, how the legislator implements the protection of the cultural landscape into national law. The general thesis of the article is that the ELC creates an integrated model of landscape protection in which the cultural landscape is considered an intrinsic component. The general thesis is accompanied by a detailed thesis that the ELC does not independently create an optimal level of protection for the cultural landscape, but rather shapes the direction that this protection will take. The ELC also defines the cultural landscape, including the mutual relations between natural and cultural values, as well as the perception of the landscape by people. The basic link for the protection of the cultural landscape in Poland is the municipality, which – with the help of planning and spatial development instruments – can directly affect the quality of the landscape. Legal tools for the protection of the cultural landscape should also be pursued in the matter of monument protection. Celem niniejszego artykułu jest odniesienie się do tego, w jaki sposób Europejska Konwencja Krajobrazowa (ELC) definiuje krajobraz kulturowy oraz jakie tworzy narzędzia jego ochrony. Kluczowe jest również ustalenie, z punktu widzenia polskiego porządku prawnego, jak ustawodawca implementuje ochronę krajobrazu kulturowego do prawa krajowego. Ogólna teza artykułu brzmi: ELC tworzy zintegrowany model ochrony krajobrazu, w którym krajobraz kulturowy jest traktowany jako jego nieodłączny element. Tezie ogólnej towarzyszy teza szczegółowa, że ELC nie tworzy samodzielnie optymalnego poziomu ochrony krajobrazu kulturowego, ale raczej kształtuje kierunek, w jakim ta ochrona będzie zmierzać. ELC definiuje również krajobraz kulturowy, w tym wzajemne relacje między wartościami przyrodniczymi i kulturowymi, a także postrzeganie krajobrazu przez ludzi. Podstawowym ogniwem ochrony krajobrazu kulturowego w Polsce jest gmina, która – za pomocą instrumentów planowania i zagospodarowania przestrzennego – może bezpośrednio wpływać na jakość krajobrazu. Prawne instrumenty ochrony krajobrazu kulturowego powinny być również poszukiwane w obszarze ochrony zabytków.
Traditional cultural landscapes throughout the world are well recognized in environmental policy and nature conservation practice. The multifaceted national and international initiatives for the maintenance of traditional cultural landscapes are outlined, paying particular attention to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, national parks, biosphere reserves, the European Landscape Convention, High Nature Value Farmland, the ASEAN Declaration on Cultural Heritage, the Latin American Landscape Initiative, the Santiago de Cuba Declaration on Cultural Landscapes in the Caribbean, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the initiative Landscapes for People, Food and Nature, and the Japanese Satoyama Initiative. The particular characteristics and objectives of these initiatives are described and examples given.
As nature-based solutions (NbS) are increasingly acknowledged as important for restoring and enhancing ecosystems, in both the urban and rural contexts, deciding on the most appropriate for the specific situation is of paramount importance. This chapter introduces the technique of landscape character assessment, an established method to combine both professional and local community views about places and the current environmental, social, and economic issues affecting them. The way in which this was introduced to colleagues in Gujarat, India, to incorporate landscape values and community views into ecosystem service assessment, is described. This process is suggested as a robust, evidence based, method to inform the decision-making process. Successful implementation of nature-based solutions depends firstly on identification of the problem and involving a variety of perspectives, as in the method described, can ensure that this takes place and provides the basis for selection of the most appropriate solution.
Landscape, Nature, and the Body Politic explores the origins and lasting influences of two contesting but intertwined discourses that persist today when we use the words landscape, country, scenery, nature, national. In the first sense, the land is a physical and bounded body of terrain upon which the nation state is constructed (e.g., the purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain, from sea to shining sea). In the second, the country is constituted through its people and established through time and precedence (e.g., land where our fathers died, land of the Pilgrims' pride). Kenneth Olwig's extended exploration of these discourses is a masterful work of scholarship both broad and deep, which opens up new avenues of thinking in the areas of geography, literature, theater, history, political science, law, and environmental studies. Olwig tracks these ideas though Anglo-American history, starting with seventeenth-century conflicts between the Stuart kings and the English Parliament, and the Stuart dream of uniting Scotland with England and Wales into one nation on the island of Britain. He uses a royal production of a Ben Jonson masque, with stage sets by architect Inigo Jones, as a touchstone for exploring how the notion of "landscape" expands from artful stage scenery to a geopolitical ideal. Olwig pursues these contested concepts of the body politic from Europe to America and to global politics, illuminating a host of topics, from national parks and environmental planning to theories of polity and virulent nationalistic movements.
Adopted in Florence (Italy) on 20 October 2000, the European Landscape Convention is aimed at promoting the protection, management and planning of European landscapes and organising European cooperation on landscape issues. It is the first international treaty to be exclusively concerned with all dimensions of European landscape. It applies to the entire territory of the Parties and relates to natural, urban and peri-urban areas, whether on land, water or sea. It therefore concerns not just remarkable landscapes but also ordinary everyday landscapes and blighted areas. The Convention represents an important contribution to the implementation of the objectives of the Council of Europe: these seek to protect Europeans' quality of life and well-being, taking into account landscape, cultural and natural values. The member states of the Council of Europe signatory to the European Landscape Convention declared their concern to achieve sustainable development based on a balanced and harmonious relationship between social needs, economic activity and the environment. The cultural dimension is also of fundamental importance.
In view of accelerating biological and cultural landscape degradation, a better understanding of interactions between landscapes and the cultural forces driving them is essential for their sustainable management. For this purpose holistic conceptions of landscape ecology as a transdisciplinary science and the cultural dimensions of landscapes as the tangible meeting point between nature and mind are discussed and some relevant anthropological and philosophical approaches to these interactions are presented. Neotechnological landscape degradation, like other syndromes of the severe global environmental crisis, must be addressed as part of a far-reaching environmental and cultural revolution, aiming at the reconciliation of human society with nature. For this new symbiosis landscape ecology should provide a new conception of cultural landscapes and practical, holistic methods and tools, combining scientific knowledge with ecological wisdom and ethics. One of these innovative tools for the conservation of total landscape ecodiversity is described as an example.
(my thesis):
The European Landscape Convention (ELC) highlights the landscape as an holistic concept, which is important for individual and social well being and for quality of life. Landscape questions tend today to fall between the responsibilities of different sectors of society. The implications of the Convention for giving ‘landscape’ a higher status in spatial planning are discussed. Important challenges for planning that need to be focused from a landscape approach are discussed: the growing urbanization; the development and new roles of the urban fringe areas; new infrastructure landscapes; the mental landscapes of tomorrow; an holistic approach to landscape ecological planning and environmental policies and the need for co‐ordination of European planning issues that concern landscapes. Planning for good landscape qualities is not a new issue; many landscape architects and landscape planners have worked in the spirit of the ELC for decades. The importance of educating landscape architects and planners with an holistic approach is particularly addressed. Efforts for a more integrated landscape education, such as the European network LE:NOTRE, already exist and contribute to the implementation of the ELC.
This paper explores the reasons for the growing interest in cultural landscapes in nature conservation circles. It contains a brief discourse on nature and culture, emphasizing the declining power of the idea of pristine wilderness, the realization that many disturbed ecosystems are important to conservation, that agri‐biodiversity is a resource to be protected along with wild biodiversity, and the need to find models of sustainable land use. Examples are given, at the global (World Heritage Convention), European and national levels, of the way in which the growing interest in cultural landscapes manifests itself; special attention is given to the category of protected area known as ‘protected landscape/seascape’. Finally, the author identifies the major natural qualities found in cultural landscapes which will assist in understanding, identifying and protecting those features of value.