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A true landscape democracy

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... Researchers across a broad range of disciplines and subjects including geography, psychology, philosophy, sociology and anthropology, notably planning and landscape architecture, have investigated related questions (Gobster et al., 2007;Westling et al., 2014;Ostrom, 2010;Vouligny et al., 2009;McGranahan, 2008;Renetzeder et al., 2010;Li & Nassauer, 2020). Knowing people's LPs not only brings public interests into the planning process which promotes landscape democracy (Arler, 2002), but also contributes to the evaluation of public policies which further helps decision-makers to produce better plans and designs (Pinto-Correia & Kristensen, 2013;Tress & Tress, 2003). ...
... Therefore, in the future, LP research would not be human-centered but should be studied from the landscape sustainability perspective, where human and environment can coexist and have mutual promotions and development. features, such as more songbirds but fewer insects (Arler, 2002). Second, the pictures of landscapes that are used to be evaluated through the survey are usually isolated from its background, thus the local history or other relevant features could be ignored. ...
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Landscape preference (LP) studies highlight one of the most important issues of the human-environment relationship, and their related publications have increased rapidly over the last two decades. However, there is no systematic review with a holistic understanding of this field. In this study, we applied a bibliometric approach to examine the evolution of LP research and identify its status and future prospects. We obtained 7,637 LP research publications from the core Web of Science collection from 1968 to 2019 and analyzed the characteristics of publication outputs as well as performances in various countries and institutions. In addition, content keywords analysis was conducted to discover the drivers, focus, motivation, and trends of LP research. We found that 1) publications, subject categories, and active journals increased rapidly since the 2000s, with Landscape and Urban Planning as the most influential journal in the field; 2) the USA, England, and Australia are the leading countries in LP research, while China is starting to have some influence; 3) LP research is most closely linked to ecological and environmental studies, being developed by objective drivers, i.e., interactions with landscape change, and subjective motivations, i.e., implications for planning and management; and 4) LP research is advancing the landscape sustainability science, integrating natural and social science together through ecosystem services. By comprehensively reviewing the evolution and prospect of LP research, we provide insights for further research in this field.
... Participation is often linked to democracy and is associated with the right to have a voice when one's surroundings are impacted by public decisions. According to Arler [20], at least three sets of, often conflicting, values are usually associated with democracy: personal freedom and self-determination, co-determination, and participation in common affairs, and objectivity and impartiality. The first refers to freedom for individuals to make decisions in relation to their own life conditions. ...
... The third set of values, objectivity and impartiality, concerns the core of the democratic decision-making process. Following Arler [20] (p. 7), the important principle here is that arguments (not power) put forward in open public debate, coupled with fair decision-making procedures, should determine the outcome of political decisions, and that these arguments should impartially address the public as a whole and not just one particular privileged section of it. ...
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Rural landscape dynamics are challenging existing policy regimes for a number of reasons and new approaches to landscape governance are needed [...]
... Participation is often linked to democracy and is associated with the right to have a voice when one's surroundings are impacted by public decisions. According to Arler [20], at least three sets of, often conflicting, values are usually associated with democracy: personal freedom and self-determination, co-determination, and participation in common affairs, and objectivity and impartiality. The first refers to freedom for individuals to make decisions in relation to their own life conditions. ...
... The third set of values, objectivity and impartiality, concerns the core of the democratic decision-making process. Following Arler [20] (p. 7), the important principle here is that arguments (not power) put forward in open public debate, coupled with fair decision-making procedures, should determine the outcome of political decisions, and that these arguments should impartially address the public as a whole and not just one particular privileged section of it. ...
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This paper focuses on a three-year rural landscape strategy-making process, which was driven by a Danish municipality and involved a large number of stakeholders. The project was part of an action research program aimed at developing new approaches to collaborative landscape planning. Gaining experiences with such approaches was part of this aim. During the course of the project, the focus and scale of the strategy changed significantly. The process developed in interesting ways in respect to three dimensions of collaborative landscape planning: collaboration, scale, and public goods. After a brief review of the three dimensions and their links to landscape planning, the case story is unfolded in three sections: (1) The planning process, (2) the process outcome (the strategy), and (3) the aftermath in terms of critical reflections from participating planners and local stakeholders. The process and outcome of the landscape strategy-making process is discussed in the context of collaboration, scale, and public goods, including a brief outline of the lessons learned.
... Commercial or market needs might emphasize faster responses along the vertical axis of Figure 1, whereas community or social interests might emphasize lateral complexity over longer times on the horizontal. Hence, a challenge for local cogovernance as part of a cross-scale business strategy (Zenger, 2016) is how to align business engagement in landscape management that can be equitably sustained across generations of farms and businesses, while respecting local landscape democracy (Arler, 2008). Both the vertical and horizontal dimensions need to be explored with intentional balance. ...
... How do business-landscape relationships reshape the role of government in managing common goods, and how can businesses bring their interests constructively into landscape planning processes? What kinds of deliberation, expertise, and decision making could be used to engage businesses with local landscapes in socially sustainable and democratic ways (Arler, 2008;Primdahl et al., 2018)? ...
Article
Agribusiness enterprises link rural landscapes to global and regional markets. The nature of these business–landscape relationships is vital to the sustainability transition. Decisions by farmers and agriculture policymakers aggregate to changes in the ecology of landscapes, but the influence of food supply system businesses on rural landscape sustainability also requires scrutiny. This article uses four international cases to present a conceptual framework for investigating how different business strategies can support agricultural landscape sustainability. Insights from North America, New Zealand, The Netherlands, and Denmark inform the framework dimensions of horizontal/territorial and vertical/systemic business–landscape relationships. Three types of business model that promote rural sustainability are highlighted: provenance, cogovernance, and placemaking. These models engage strategies such as environmental management systems, certification, ecosystem and landscape services, and spatial planning. Research directions that will improve understanding about how business can engage with rural stakeholders for more sustainable rural landscapes are identified, including the need for cross disciplinary perspectives incorporating social, ecological, and business knowledge.
... A concern for the future of landscapes resonated well with the rationale for the establishment of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) (Council of Europe, 2000), designed to facilitate landscape protection, management and planning. The overall aim was to establish 'a true landscape democracy' (Arler, 2008). The by now well-known ELC definition of landscape as "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, 2000, p. 3) soon sparked considerable and critical engagement among Nordic landscape researchers (e.g. ...
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The compact city has become the preferred and mainstream model for urban, peri-urban and sometimes even rural planning in the Nordic context. However, the compact city is increasingly contested as a model for sustainability and may be criticized for a functionalistic perspective on social practices and transitions. Besides, the compact city model is part of increasing transnational or global urban policy mobilities including generic models and strategies, and it may be argued that this contributes to the de-contextualisation of urban planning and development. In this chapter we scrutinize the spatialities of the compact city model and examine how the compact city model has played out in the Nordic context – focusing in particular on Oslo. We ask: how is the compact city developed and promoted as a spatial model? We argue that although the compact city has to some extent been promoted in influential policy circles as a universal model, the compact city in Oslo has some distinct features shaped by the Nordic context. In particular, these features can be attributed to welfare state governance centred on the public sector, yet it is also here we find some of the most significant differences between the Nordic countries. In closing, we discuss whether there is such a thing as a Nordic compact city model, and point to some of its political, social and cultural implications. Is there a pathway for a re-contextualized, relational and grounded compact city model?
... It calls for the abandonment of a focus on the identification, enhancement, and protection of "special" landscapes in favour of the recognition of the importance of the qualities of ordinary, everyday, and even of degraded or stigmatized places. In this sense, it can be said that the ELC democratizes landscape, taking a social rather than an elitist view of it (Moore-Colyer and Scott, 2005;Prieur, 2006;Arler, 2008). This entails the redefinition of landscape as a vital public good to which all have rights , and the consequent centrality attributed to the promotion of public participation in landscape protection, management and planning processes (Jones, 2007;Roe, 2013a), for a sustainable use of more ordinary landscapes (Selman, 2012). ...
Article
At the beginning of the new century, the European Landscape Convention (ELC) marked a paradigm shift in the conception of landscape, which now includes not only outstanding places but also everyday and even degraded landscapes as important to people’s lives and identity. This requires competent authorities to define appropriate landscape policies to foster protection, management and planning of landscapes. A challenge is thus to find new approaches and tools to make the new concept translated into practice. This is particularly complex in countries like Italy, where landscape policies have been exclusively focused on protection through rigid zoning landscape plans. The case of the Apulia region, which is analysed in the paper, is of particular significance, as it started a radical process of transition in landscape policies few years after the approval of a very rigid regional landscape plan. The region was then the first one in Italy to approve, in 2015, a regional Territorial Landscape Plan (TLP) in line with the ELC. The paper analyses the transition pathway undertaken in the region. A particular attention is paid to the way innovative forms of landscape management and planning have been mobilized, supported and given long-term perspectives, while resistance to change have been lowered throughout the development and the implementation of the new TLP, thanks to a wide range of policy instrument mixes envisaged by the regional government. The Multi Level Perspective (MLP) is used for the analysis, due to its capacity to show the nested and bi-directional dynamics of change across multiple levels and the interactions between different sectors/actors.
... In landscape studies, there is a growing tradition of addressing democracy through the concepts of landscape as a right, including discourses on landscape as a common (Olwig, 2005) and landscape justice (Mels, 2016;Mitchell, 2003). Recently, the term 'landscape democracy' has arisen as a focus of academic literature (Arler, 2008;Egoz, Jørgenson & Ruggeri, 2018;Egoz, Makhzoumi, & Pungetti, 2011). The concept centres on the notion that democracy requires tangible spaces provided by landscape in order for communities to form (Egoz, 2011;Olwig, 2005). ...
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In this paper, we engage with the topic of public participation in landscape planning. Academic discussions and policy rhetoric tend to build on a conceptualisation of landscape as a democratic entity, yet practices of participatory landscape planning often fall short of these ideals. Most scholars approach this rhetoric-practice gap from procedural and norma-tive positions, defining what makes a successful participatory process. We take an alternative approach, scrutinising the role of landscape planning theory in participatory shortcomings, and reveal how poor substantive theorisation of 'the political' nature of landscapes contributes to the difficulties in realising participatory ideals. We engage theoretically with the political dimension, conceptualising and explaining the implications that differences, conflicts and power relations have for participation in landscape planning, that is, politicising the landscape. This theoretical engagement helps bring about a much-needed realignment of substantive theory, procedural theory and practice for developing participation in landscape planning.
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Through tracing what ‘landscape’ has meant, and the political and intellectual work that ‘landscape’ does, we in this chapter explore the shifting nature of Nordic landscape geography. We thereby aim to introduce readers to the role of the landscape concept within Nordic scholarship and critically engage with contemporary debates over the nature and meaning of landscape. Landscape was an important political concept long before the advent of geography as a discipline in the Nordic countries, though what landscape denoted differed between various national and linguistic settings. Based in our mapping of the concept as it has evolved within geography and related disciplines, we centre on three strands of landscape scholarship today: mediations on a particularly ‘Nordic’ substantive landscape concept, attempts to utilise landscape as a concept to influence planning, and attempts to utilise landscape as a concept to grasp environmental issues. Scrutinising these current traditions leads us to primarily underline the necessity of relational approaches to steer the concept away from a problematic and narrow emphasis on the local scale. Yet, and importantly, various relational approaches take analysis in different directions, leading us to also underscore the necessity of critically scrutinising where particular relational approaches might lead landscape geography.
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Cities are like “heterotrophic organisms” because they are dependent on inflows of air, water, food, matter, and energy. Unlike nature, they pollute their own habitat through the production of waste outflows and emissions, extending beyond their own footprint. Data on the ecological footprint of cities have quantified, emblematically, the imbalance between in- and outflows but also what remains: polluted air, water, and soil. The rapid growth of urbanization is a matter of serious concern, but as a part of new development, it can be turned around with an approach in which cities become an “autotrophic organism”. In 2012 Taranto, a coastal city in Southern Italy with an important commercial and military port, was declared as the city “with the highest risk of environmental crisis” in Italy due to a large industrial area developed in the proximity of a highly populated urban settlement. The cause of pollution, a steel production plant, directly employs approximately 12.000 people and another 8.000 contractors indirectly, making it Taranto’s main economic driver. The conflict between economy and environment in the city of Taranto, make it a peculiar case study to be approached with the concept of a Democratic Landscape. This concept reads the territory beyond the natural environment, also recognizing the wellbeing of the inhabitants. After the analysis of a Democratic Landscape in relation to the concept of an “autotrophic organism”, this contribution explores the transformation by regeneration of the ecosystem and the economic regime. In redeveloping a city like Taranto, changing its function from a heterotrophic organism to an autotroph organism, the approach of the so-called “linking open-loop system circularity” is more appropriate. It more adequately describes the system than what is commonly understood for circularity at the building scale of “reduce, reuse, recycle of resources”. Circularity as an attitude brings together many elements that can be considered generic for each project: it can be about recycling or reuse, cutting costs or time, and output of CO2 through reducing material inflow and the transport of materials. In the context of the Democratic Landscape and an autotropic organism, the approach of “linking open-loop system circularity” is tested on two scales in Taranto. One, on the large scale, proposing multiple reuses of agricultural crops after remediation and two, at the local scale, in rebuilding a portion of the city by reusing the demolished buildings materials. The need to rethink and redesign the flow of resources such as building materials, water, food, and energy is essential to the future sustainability of cities. It involves thinking about how to use existing resources rather than dispose of them as in the linear model. It also means establishing new economic models in order to make a sustainable city, flows of intelligent growth and the creation of an identity for a communal sense of belonging. Together, these create a democratic, autotrophic landscape that can sustain a future.
Article
The notion of landscape as value that can provoke a re-thinking of democratic processes are increasingly characterising planning and educational experiences at the local/community scale. In this context, the process of the Regional Landscape Plan of Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG-RLP) is an opportunity for grassroots educational activities on landscape and for the self-recognition of communities as pro-active actors in the political arena. The paper explores the contribution of educational actions to the understanding and development of democratic approaches to landscape, questioning the meaning of ‘democratic landscape’. The research shows the importance of education in gaining awareness of the landscape as a common good and underpins landscape democracy as the result of collaborative and inclusive processes, which go beyond normative participatory clichés.
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