Dry-Stone Walls: Living Walls
Geographer, Naturalist and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences
Appreciation for dry-stone walls is currently on the rise, and even though there is still much progress to be made, there has recently been a widespread movement to revive this important and popular architectural tradition.
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Publication on Landscape and Education
The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia has just published the book Paisatge i educació (Landscape and Education), the fourth in the Landscape Observatory's Plecs de Paisatge collection. The book will be presented at 7 p.m. on Thursday, 26 May 2011, in Catalunya Caixa's La Pedrera building in Barcelona. It is the result of the international seminar of the same name, which was held in Barcelona in November 2009 in collaboration with the Council of Europe, the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability and the Ministry of Education of the Catalan government, the European network RECEP-ENELC and the Catalunya Caixa Charitable Trust. This publication, which is the first interdisciplinary work in the collection and includes contributions from authors of different nationalities, deals with the subject of landscape education in Europe within the framework of the European Landscape Convention. This book and the other publications in the collection can be ordered from the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia. The full text will also be available on the website of Landscape Observatory.
Landscape Catalogue of the Counties of Girona Wins SCOT Planning Award
On Thursday, 28 April 2011, the Landscape Observatory was presented with the Catalan Territorial Planning Society (SCOT) Planning Award for creating the Landscape Catalogue of the Counties of Girona. The award, which is presented every two years and is currently in its second edition, recognizes the best plan, project, initiative or analytical study in the field of regional planning or management completed during the preceding two years (i.e. 2009-2010) in Catalonia. The award was presented alongside the Institute of Catalan Studies Sant Jordi Prizes, whose objective is to "strengthen Catalonia's cultural and scientific level". The aim of the SCOT Planning Award is to recognize and encourage the efforts of specialists, the public administration and other organizations in the innovation of tools and processes used for analysis and regional planning and management. With that in mind, the panel of judges highlighted the catalogue's innovative character, its value as a model, its conceptual interest and relevance. The SCOT considered the project "a key element in assessing and intervening in landscapes and in good regional planning and management". The Landscape Observatory was also praised for its citizen-participation processes, interinstitutional specificity and team interdisciplinarity when drafting the catalogue. The Landscape Catalogue of the Counties of Girona benefited from the knowledge and experience of the Laboratory of Landscape Analysis and Management (LAGP) at the Universitat de Girona, the Barcelona Centre for Landscape Research and Projects (CRPPb) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and the X3 Environmental Studies team. The Landscape Observatory would like to extend a special thank you to the many organizations and people, the connoisseurs and lovers of the region's landscapes, for their involvement and collaboration in the project.
International Seminar on the 'Challenges of Landscape Mapping: Spatial Dynamics and Intangible Values'
Landscape mapping is opening up new horizons that pose real challenges for the future throughout Europe. Without going into too much detail, drafting the landscape catalogues of Catalonia represented a major effort in innovation and imagination in terms of creating inventories and cartographically interpreting and representing the elements, values and dynamics of the landscapes, and in terms of capturing quality landscape objectives on a map, without many previous references. How do we map the intangible values of a landscape? Can we represent or symbolize the values that correspond to the sensory (not only visual) and emotional perception of a particular landscape? How do we capture the rapidly changing dynamics at the edges of urban areas? How can we identify and explain by means of cartography new landscape identities that emerge in certain regions? How can cartography represent a population's aspirations for a particular landscape? These and many other questions led the Landscape Observatory to organize the International Seminar on the "Challenges of Landscape Mapping: Spatial Dynamics and Intangible Values", which will be held on 29 and 30 September 2011 in Tortosa (the capital of Montsià County). During the seminar, there will be discussions about the technical innovations and graphical representations required in order to create new landscape maps that can incorporate all of these elements and fulfil planning and sector policies, as well as raise awareness about the landscape.
Olot City Council Joins European Network of Local and Regional Authorities for the Implementation of the European Landscape Convention (RECEP-ENELC)
On Wednesday, 20 January 2011, Olot City Council board of governors came to an agreement that the city of Olot would join the European Network of Local and Regional Authorities for the Implementation of the European Landscape Convention (RECEP/ENELC), established in 2006 in Strasbourg at the instigation of the Council of Europe. The aim of Olot City Council is to actively participate in everything relating to the landscape in order to strengthen the city's position as a point of reference for Catalonia as a whole. Examples of its involvement in this field include its participation in the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia, which is based in Olot, and the conception of the forthcoming Landscape Museum of Catalonia. The network currently consists of 36 members from seven European countries: Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Belgium, Romania and Slovakia, and Olot City Council is the first city council in Catalonia to become a member.
Five years of RECEP-ENELC
The next meeting of the Executive Board of the European Network of Local and Regional Authorities for the Implementation of the European Landscape Convention (RECEP-ENELC), which will be held in Florence on 1 and 2 July 2011. This meeting coincides with the fifth anniversary of RECEP. An excursion will be organized by the hosting authorities and RECEP-ENELC for the members participating in the meeting on Saturday 2 July 2011.
Award Presented to César Manrique Foundation
In March 2011, the Association of Spanish Geographers and the Official Association of Geographers presented the New Regional Culture Award to the César Manrique Foundation. Joan Nogué, the director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia, was responsible for outlining the reasons for presenting the award to the Foundation (read the full speech here), which is continuing the project started by Canary Island artist César Manrique (1919-1992) to preserve the landscape values of the island of Lanzarote. The director of the Observatory described Manrique's creative project, which linked landscape, public art and tourism, as "the only one of its kind" in Spain. He said, "If we are still able to enjoy what Lanzarote has always had to offer and what has become its greatest attraction, it is down to the legacy of this ‘total' artist, a term he used to describe himself." He went on to talk about the artist's "extreme sensitivity", which has been adopted and promoted by the foundation that bears his name.
National Heritage Council in Ireland Organizes Two New Editions of Landscape Character Assessment Course
The Irish organization The Heritage CouncilThe National Heritage Council is organizing two new editions of the Introduction to Landscape Character Assessment training course, in collaboration with the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and various Irish organizations, which aims to bring together experts on urban and regional planning from the fields of geography, architecture, archaeology, ecology and engineering to discuss how to perceive, assess and plan the different facets of the Irish landscape. The first course will take place at Spanish Point and Tulla (County Clare, in the west of Ireland) and the second course will take place on 21 and 22 September 2011 in the same locations, (registration is open). The course received an award from the Irish Landscape Institute (ILI) in 2009 and will introduce the participants to the methodologies used in Landscape Character Assessment. As in previous years, the public-participation procedures used by the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia when drafting the landscape catalogues of Catalonia will be included in the course and presented by the X3 Environmental Studies team.
Publication of Abstracts of Presentations from Landscapes of Everyday Life International Conference
The International Conference Landscapes of Everyday Life: Intersecting Perspectives on Research and Action was held from 16 to 18 March 2011 in Perpignan and Girona. The conference organizers, the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing and the French Institute for Research on Environmental Sciences and Technologies (Cemagref), have published abstracts of the presentations, as well as a list of the poster sessions. The event, which brought together some 250 participants from 20 European countries, was organized in collaboration with the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia. The theme of the conference was based on the premise that, although a large majority of Europeans currently live in urban and suburban areas, their landscapes have not received any special care. The aim of the conference was therefore to reconsider these landscapes that are home to millions of people in terms of the improvement projects implemented there, taking into account the values assigned to them by the interested parties and populations and the efforts made by others to redevelop these landscapes.
Andorra Signs European Landscape Convention
Jordi Torres, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Andorra to the Council of Europe, signed the European Landscape Convention on 23 March 2011 in Strasbourg, thus complying with the government resolution of 6 October 2010. The government's spokesperson, Bruno Bartolomé, explained that signing the agreement would enable Andorra to enter networks with other countries and international organizations in order to establish policies to regulate landscape preservation in the broadest sense.
New 'Observer' Section on the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia Website
With the aim of highlighting the people who contribute to the Landscap-e bulletin as "observers", a new space has been dedicated to them on the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia website. "The Observer" is the bulletin's feature article and deals with a subject of interest. It is written by a specialist in landscape issues in Europe. This new section will be updated as the bulletins are sent out.
German Forum for Cultural Landscapes
This forum, which was founded in Berlin in 2007, is an active network of associations, societies, trusts and other groups that share an interest in cultural landscapes and work on protecting and managing them.
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
Paisaje y patrimonio
Maderuelo, Javier (ed.) (2010). Huesca: CDAN. ISBN: 978-84-96775-94-7.
A summary of the latest course on the Thinking Landscape cycle organized by Huesca Centre for Art and Nature. This book concludes a cycle that dealt with all of the major issues affecting landscape configuration and analysed the complex relationships that can arise between landscape and heritage.
El llibre dels camins: manual per esvair dubtes, desfer mites i reivindicar drets
Campillo, Xavier; López-Monné, Rafael (2010). [Tarragona]: Arola Editors. ISBN: 978-84-92839-77-3.
This book provides the public with an up-to-date guide to paths; it analyses the problems associated with paths, discusses their potential and suggests possible strategies for integrating paths into general infrastructure and mobility policies.
Atlas des paysages de Wallonie: les Plateau condrusien
Godart, Marie-Françoise; Feltz, Claude (dir.). Namur: Conférence Permanente du Développement Territorial, 2011. ISBN: 978-2-8056-0033-3.
This is the third volume of the Atlas of Walloon landscapes, a document that was created as a tool for knowledge, awareness and management of landscapes. It was designed for a broad audience, from the curious citizen or lover of the region to policy makers and stakeholders. The full text is available here.
Publications can be found in the documentation centre of the Landscape Observatory.
LANDSCAPE IN THE PRESS
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