Landscape and health
Minister of Health of the Government of Catalonia
The state of our health is the result of a series of financial, cultural, social and environmental factors, some of whose effects have already been identified. These factors, however, do not only act individually. Rather, they interact and generate very complex phenomena which have an impact on the population's health. This impact explains the variability of indicators such as life expectancy found among the different European Union member countries.
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Presentation of the book Paisatge i salut
The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and the Government of Catalonia's Ministry of Health have recently published the book Paisatge i salut (Landscape and health), the first issue in the Landscape Observatory's "Plecs de Paisatge" collection. This book, which will be presented on Tuesday, 18 November, at 7 pm, in the Agbar Tower in Barcelona, explores the relationship between landscape, quality of life and individual and social well-being from an innovative and interdisciplinary perspective. Paisatge i salut thus reflects on the initiatives which have been developed in this area, initiatives ranging from public policies linking health to territory and environment and to therapeutic experiences. A free copy of this book is available from the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia. In a few months' time it will also be available via the following website www.catpaisatge.net.
Seminar on sound landscapes in Catalonia
Landscape has traditionally been associated to the sense of sight, but hearing, smell, taste and touch can also be equally or more determinant than sight when perceiving and experiencing a certain landscape. How a place sounds is also part of its identity and it is an essential dimension of its landscape. But how do we study and systematise these sounds? How do they develop? What are Catalonia's sound landscapes? To answer these questions, the seminar Sound Landscapes of Catalonia will be held on 11 December in the CCCB (Contemporary Culture Centre of Barcelona), organised by the Fundació Bosch i Gimpera/Innovation Centre of Barcelona University, Fundació Caixa Catalunya and the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia. This seminar will focus on some of the more successful experiences on sound landscapes in Catalonia. This seminar will also serve as a prior step to organising an international seminar in the future which will include the other sensory landscapes. The seminar's agenda can be consulted here.
Seminar on Photographic Observation for Landscape Policies
The French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development is organising a seminar entitled Photographic Observation for Landscape Policies in Paris on 13 and 14 November. The aim of the seminar is to bring together experts in town and country planning, landscape designers, artists and photographers to discuss the role of photographic landscape observatories, an emerging tool in many European countries. France has had a National Landscape Photography Observatory since 1989, created to house photographic series taken of the same place at different times. This has proved to be a very useful tool in studying the mechanisms of the transformations taking place and the role of the various actors in these changes. The seminar will also focus on the primary photographic programmes enacted by public authorities in matters of territorial planning, with photography as a source of knowledge and debate on the landscape. The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia will participate in this seminar.
Seminar on La Selva, a Territory in Transformation
The Centre d'Estudis Selvatants (Centre of La Selva Studies) has organised a seminar entitled La Selva, a Territory in Transformation on the 21, 22 and 23 November in Santa Coloma de Farners. The objective of this seminar is to reflect on the reality of the La Selva district from a multidisciplinary approach, with testimonies regarding its transformation, perceived changes and, if needed, a diagnosis to succeed in achieving a more sustainable space. The seminar will include presentations by two main speakers who will discuss the phenomena which interact in the transformation of the territory and the landscape from a contemporary viewpoint, on the one hand, and the historic scale of landscape transformations in La Selva, on the other.
Conclusions of the PAYS.DOC Project of European cooperation on landscape
During 2005-2007, the General Directorate of Architecture and Landscape of the Ministry of Town and Country Planning and Public Works took part in the European project PAYS.DOC, a part of the European programme Interreg IIIB – Medocc. Thirteen Mediterranean regions took part in the project. PAYS.DOC has helped to strengthen bonds and foment dialogue on the implementation of the European Landscape Convention based on four lines of work: the creation of a virtual network to observe Mediterranean landscapes and their changes; the 2nd Mediterranean Landscape Prize; the establishment of shared guidelines on the integration of activities into landscapes in four relevant fields (agrarian buildings, industrial areas, roads and cultural landscapes); and the creation of the web portal Paysmed (www.paysmed.net) to communicate, promote and foment co-operation between the Mediterranean regions. The first three lines have led to three publications. One of these is the Guia de Bones Pràctiques de Paisatge (Guide to Good Landscape Practices), co-ordinated by Catalonia and available in Spanish, French and Italian.
Final approval for the Landscape catalogue of Terres de Lleida
On 10 September, the Terres de Lleida Landscape Catalogue was finally approved, the first of the seven catalogues which the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia is preparing. By the
Edict passed on 10 September 2008 and based on a Resolution by the Minister of Town and Country Planning and Public Works, final approval was given to the Terres de Lleida Landscape Catalogue whose content can be consulted on the Landscape Observatory website. The Terres de Lleida Landscape Catalogue was delivered to the Minister of Town and Country Planning and Public Works (DPTOP) by the Landscape Observatory on 31 October 2006. The DPTOP then submitted it for public comment on 27 November 2007. Currently, the Landscape Observatory is also preparing catalogues for the following regions: Alt Pirineu and Aran, Comarques Centrals, Comarques Gironines, Terres de l'Ebre and the Regió Metropolitana de Barcelona. These catalogues will be delivered to the DPTOP in 2009.
Towards approval of the Territorial Spatial Plan for Landscape Planning in Tenerife
The Government of the Island of Tenerife this summer began the last steps leading to approval of the Territorial Spatial Plan for Landscape Planning in Tenerife (PTEP), prepared during 2005 and 2006 by a team of specialists in territorial and landscape planning from the Universities of La Laguna and the Polytechnic of Catalonia, under the coordination of geographer José Ramon Vera and architect and economist Joaquim Sabaté. The advance document was approved in the plenary session of the Government of Tenerife on 27 June 2008, and was submitted to public comment from 7 August for a period of two months, so that the public, entities and organisations in the island could give their opinions and make suggestions. Following the principles of the European Landscape Convention, PTEP pursues the protection of the landscape of the island of Tenerife as a natural and cultural resource, promoting knowledge of its state and the possibilities of action. A summary of the Plan can be consulted here.
Formation of the Alliance of World Heritage Cultural Landscapes
On 15 September, representatives of various Spanish cultural landscapes signed an agreement to found the Alliance of World Heritage Cultural Landscapes. Through this agreement, the representatives ratified their commitment to the Declaration of Aranjuez, dated December 2007, and the 1st International Conference on World Heritage Cultural Landscapes which sought to unite forces to recognise and preserve these landscapes while making them compatible with economic development. The Alliance, which is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, was consolidated internationally last October during the 2nd International Conference on Cultural Landscapes held in Sintra (Portugal).
Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize 2008
More than 500 professionals met on 25, 26 and 27 September at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona for the 5th European Biennial on Landscape. After these five events, the Biennial has become one of the most significant international events in the landscape area and the most important in Europe. This event coincided with the Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize given this year to the Danish project, Nicolai, by landscape designer Kristine Jensen. This project aims to transform the old Nicolai educational centre (1890-1930) in the city of Kolding into an emerging multidisciplinary cultural area to house a cinema, literary activities, a kindergarten, music and crafts. Eleven projects were entered for this award from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Portugal, among others. Other finalists included the Water Park in Zaragoza prepared by the landscape designers Iñaki Alday, Margarita Jover and Christine Dalnoky. Both the winning project and the 11 finalists as well as the 275 selected projects were on exhibit until 24 October in the Barcelona chapter of the Catalan College of Architects.
Series 'Paisajes amenazados' published in La Vanguardia
Collection of nine features published in the newspaper La Vanguardia from 5th July to 30rd August 2008 under the general title "Paisajes amenazados" (Threatened landscapes) and written by the journalist Rosa M. Bosch. The series present nine landscapes corresponding to different locations in Spain which are subjected to interventions that may threaten their own nature.
Centre of international documentation and research on landscape in the Polytechnic University of Milan, with special attention for the content and application of the European Landscape Convention and the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
Grup de Recerca PLANFORBIO
Research group of Lleida University working in landscape planning, forest management and the preservation of biodiversity, with publications in various magazines, among them Landscape Ecology and Landscape and Urban Planning.
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
Guide de gestion des paysages au Québec
Sylvain Paquette; Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec; Gérald Domon. Québec: Chaire en paysage et environnement Université de Montréal; Gouvernement du Québec, 2008. ISBN: 978-2-550-52777-0.
This publication seeks to respond to the needs of local groups in Quebec with regard to landscape management instruments. Conceived as a ‘toolbox', the book describes how to diagnose landscape, regulation measures and tools available to raise awareness. It offers examples of good practices regarding landscape protection, appraisal and development.
Shlomo Aronson. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2008. ISBN: 978-84-252-2221-4.
Landscape architects have a great responsibility when creating projects. They must ensure that they do not damage the fragile natural balance in arid zones. Understanding this type of landscape will be of great assistance in preserving the quality of life of those who inhabit these territories. This book gives numerous examples of how to work with a landscape which is initially so hostile.
Paesaggio: l'anima dei luoghi
Luisa Bonesio; Luca Micotti (eds.). Reggio Emilia: Diabasis, 2008. ISBN 978-88-81035510.
This document includes the speeches delivered at the Congress by the same name, where philosophers, architects, town planners and environmental specialists explored the heterogenous aspect of landscape, rethinking a "place" as a specific and special portion of the earth's surface in which nature and culture interrelate in numerous ways.
Publications can be found in the documentation centre of the Landscape Observatory.
LANDSCAPE IN THE PRESS
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