Land stewardship: reflections in a time of crisis
Land Stewardship Network
Land stewardship can be defined as a philosophy, strategy or set of techniques associated with the people who take care of the land. In all its forms, stewardship is a potent concept for encouraging civil society and local organizations to play an active role in the conservation and direct management of the landscape and its natural and cultural values via different forms of agreement and entente with the owners and managers (farmers, shepherds, foresters, etc.) of these landscapes and values.
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Programme of the International Seminar Challenges in Mapping the Landscape: Territorial Dynamics and Intangible Values
Landscape mapping is opening up new horizons with real future challenges throughout Europe. Drawing up the catalogues of the Catalan landscape involved a tremendous amount of innovation and imagination to inventory, interpret and map out the elements, values and dynamics of the landscape, and to represent landscape quality goals on a map, without many models to follow. How do you map intangible values related to the landscape? Can values that correspond to one's sensorial (not merely visual) and emotional perception of a specific landscape be represented or symbolized? How do you represent the changing and extremely rapid dynamics of the urban peripheries? How do you use maps to identify and explain the new landscape identities that are emerging in certain territories? How can you map the aspirations of a group of people for a specific landscape? These and other questions have led the Landscape Observatory to organize the International Seminar Challenges of Landscape Mapping: Spatial Dynamics and Intangible Values, which will be held on 29 and 30 September in Tortosa. The seminar received support from the Consortium of Agro-Environmental Services of Baix Ebre and Montsià Counties (CODE) and the Tortosa City Council, and the programme is available here.
White Paper on the Landscape of the Basque Country
In April, the Department of the Environment, Territorial Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Basque Country started the public-information period of the preliminary white paper on the landscape of the Basque Country. The white paper adapts Basque law to international terminology in terms of landscape, as defined by the European Landscape Convention (to which the Basque Autonomous Community formally adhered in 2009), which aims to recognize the diversity of landscapes as a resource and common heritage of general interest from an environmental, cultural, social, historical and economic-development perspective. The white paper consists of three chapters. The first chapter establishes the object of the law by referring to the integration of the landscape in land-use and urban-planning policies, and in industry policies that affect it. The second chapter creates landscape catalogues, landscape guidelines, landscape action plans and landscape-integration studies as instruments for protecting, managing and organizing the landscape. The third chapter includes the creation of the Basque Landscape Observatory as an organization to provide support for and cooperate with the authorities in matters relating to drafting, applying and managing landscape policies. The white paper is currently in the phase of issuing responses to comments received by the government.
2011 Thinking the Landscape Research Grants
The Beulas Foundation, through the Centre for Art and Nature (CDAN), has issued its second call for grant applications for the Thinking the Landscape research project, with the aim of promoting theoretical studies on the landscape. The grants are aimed at researchers in the European Union and Latin America who are interested in all aspects of landscape (artistic, historical, geographic, aesthetic, patrimonial, economic, territorial, etc.). The deadline for submitting applications is 3 October 2011. For more information, click here.
New 'Vallesos' Magazine Joins Other Outreach Magazines on Landscape Heritage of Catalonia
In recent years, there has been a proliferation of outreach magazines that have become a written testimony to the cultural, natural and ethnological heritage of different parts of Catalonia; these magazines use written documents and individual experiences to provide a thoughtful treatment of different topics related to the local landscape heritage with a necessary look at the past and from a profound sense of belonging. The latest of these magazines to appear is Vallesos. Gent, terra i patrimoni. Published by Gent i Terra, the magazine was founded to become a tool for knowledge, dissemination, conservation and claiming rights to spaces in La Plana del Vallès, Sant Llorenç de Munt, La Serra de l'Obac, Els Cingles de Bertí, Gallifa and El Baix Montseny. The new magazine now joins others that are already well-established around Catalonia. Gavarres, which was founded in June 2002, was one of the first of its kind. Its publisher, Editorial Gavarres, also currently publishes Cadí-Pedraforca, Les Garrotxes and Alberes.
Conclusions of 3rd Congress of Art, the Wine-Growing Landscape and Wine Tourism
Subirats and Vilafranca del Penedès hosted the 3rd Congress of Art, the Wine-Growing Landscape and Wine Tourism on 2 and 3 June, respectively. The aim was to create spaces for reflection and for sharing different experiences related to the landscape, art and wine tourism. The Observatory was also present at the congress in the inaugural address given by Joan Nogué, director of the Catalan Landscape Observatory. The papers and conclusions of the congress are now available online.
Results of the Third Edition of the Changing Landscapes International Workshop
Between 3 and 15 June 2011, the Greek city of Volos hosted the third edition of the international workshop Changing Landscapes. Mediterranean Sensitive Areas Design. The workshop was organized by the Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria and directed by Daniela Colafranceschi, a professor in the university's Faculty of Architecture. For 12 days, 140 participants (including students and professors) from 14 architecture and landscaping schools around the world (but especially from Europe) debated and shared a wide range of ideas, strategies, policies, solutions and intervention methodologies from a contemporary perspective, in order to bring quality and a sense of place to five landscapes of the Volos region, including different sections of its seafront and riverfront, industrial facilities, and the island of Trikeri. The areas studied can be seen here and the results of the workshop can be seen here. In this third edition, Changing Landscapes has consolidated its position as a leading event in landscape research, design and intervention in degraded Mediterranean areas, while applying the principles of the European Landscape Convention.
Tramuntana Mountain Range in Majorca Declared World Heritage Site
UNESCO declared the Tramuntana Mountain Range in Majorca a World Heritage site on 27 June in the cultural landscape category. The World Heritage committee of the international body recognized the unique landscape of this Majorcan mountain range, formed over centuries by the presence of different generations and cultures and by the balance between society and nature. Notable features include terraces for olive groves and vineyards, irrigation channels that use hydraulic systems to create vegetable-growing areas, and dry-stone elements. The Council of Majorca began the process to obtain this declaration in 2008. Alongside the institutional procedures, 40,000 signatures were obtained in support of the initiative and several educational outreach projects were carried out in primary and secondary schools to highlight the importance of protecting and conserving the Tramuntana mountain range and having it declared a World Heritage site (http://whc.unesco.org/).
Assessing the UK's natural environment and ecosystem services
The UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK NEA) has published its Synthesis of the Key Findings, reporting on its analysis of the UK's natural environment in terms of the benefits it provides to society and continuing economic prosperity. The report is an independent and peer-reviewed assessment of the state and value of the UK's natural environment and ecosystem services, identifying the drivers of change observed in the natural environment and the services it has provided over the last 60 years, and what may drive change in the future. It includes an investigation into the monetary and non-monetary value to the economy, society and individuals from various ecosystem services, including how some of these may change in future. The UK NEA has used new approaches to estimate the value of the natural world by taking account of the economic, health and social benefits we get from nature. The report shows that the tendency to focus only on the market value of resources we can use and sell, such as timber, crops and fisheries, has led to the decline of some ecosystems and habitats through pollution, over-exploitation, and land conversion. It strengthens the arguments for protecting and enhancing the environment and will be used by the government to direct policy in future.
YUL-MTL: Moving Landscapes International Ideas Competition
The Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design at University of Montreal (CPEUM) has been commissioned by the Québec Ministry of Transport to coordinate an international urban design ideas competition for the gateway corridor linking Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to its downtown area (MTL) along Autoroute 20, and underlying collaborative planning process bringing together the main public and private actors responsible for this territory. The 17 km gateway corridor, which is mostly made up of transport infrastructures and brownfields, is witnessing a large number of development infrastructural projects, thus offering considerable urban innovation potential. The International Ideas Competition wants to seize this re-qualification opportunity to propose planning options to structure a coherent vision aiming at creating an expressive gateway based on Montreal's identity as a UNESCO City of Design, a designation of which Montreal is celebrating the 5th anniversary in 2011. The proposals should revolve along three work streams: An evolving and emblematic landscape project for the metropolitan area; A scenographic composition of the corridor experiences; A collaborative approach to sustainable urban development. To attain this goal, contestants should reflect on design elements as much for the corridor as for the adjacent areas. The resulting vision will offer coherent guidelines for the different interventions to come by ensuring a better-balanced interaction between transport infrastructures and the adjacent living environments. More information here.
2011 FAD Award for Thought and Criticism
The jury of the 2011 edition of the FAD Award for Thought and Criticism has recognized the publishing careers of Fundació Caixa d'Arquitectes, Editorial Lampreave and Dafne Editora. It also made several mentions, including the Land&ScapeSeries collection of Editorial Gustavo Gili, which is run by the architect Daniela Colafranceschi, and the publication Tormenta e ímpetu (catalogue of the 5th European Biennial of Landscape), published by the executive committee of the European Biennial of Landscape in the framework of the Arquia Temas collection, published by Fundació Caixa d'Arquitectes. In both cases, the jury valued the commitment to broaden and connect the landscape with other disciplines in a critical and rigorous manner. This year, the jury also awarded a special prize to Editorial Gustavo Gili for its continuous work over more than a century publishing and promoting art, design, architecture and culture in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America.
Restoration of Tudela-Culip (Club Med) Area of Cap de Creus Natural Park Wins Counties of Girona Architecture Award
The Restoration of the Tudela-Culip (Club Med) Area of Cap de Creus Natural Park by Martí Franch was one of the works to win a Counties of Girona Architecture Award. At this 14th edition of the awards, the other two winners were the new offices of the Catalan government on the site of the former Santa Caterina Hospital in Girona and the paving of Pujada de Can Barris in Maçanet de Cabrenys. In an attempt to bring architecture closer to society, a new award was created in 2010 that involved professionals from the world of communication and cultural management in the province of Girona by asking them to give their opinion on the selected works and to choose one of them. These professionals used their votes to ensure that the 2011 Jury Prize for Culture was fairly and justly awarded to two works: "Tudela-Culip (Club Med) in Cap de Creus Natural Park" and "Parc de les Aigües and the Urban Development of Les Hortes de Vilabertran, a New Neighbourhood in Figueres".
Landscape Charter of Priorat Enters Phase Three
In June, the Priorat County Council, a sponsor of the county's landscape charter, collected, defined and organized the actions and commitments proposed by organizations in the county for the management, organization and protection of its landscape. A first draft of the management programme has been prepared and is also available on the website; this draft contains the proposals made by the organizations in the county during the workshops. This is not a final document, as it will be modified as new proposals are received. One of the latest achievements of the sponsors of the charter is the opening of a forum for open dialogue on the Priorat Landscape Charter among professionals from different disciplines.
Landscape Museum Takes Shape
The Catalan Landscape Museum, which will be housed in the Olot Hospice building, is beginning to take shape. A full-size (1:1) model of a room of the future facility can be visited until 31 July. This is a pilot programme that brings together the different resources that will be used (audio-visual displays, texts, works, files, video modules, seats, etc.), so that future visitors can get a sense of the museum and contribute their suggestions. Participation is a key element for the sponsors of the Landscape Museum, which will involve renovation of the current Garrotxa County Museum. For this reason, they have set up a website with the aim of providing a space for reflection and information regarding the future centre. All contributions can be sent to an e-mail address (email@example.com). The Landscape Museum, which is under the guidance of the Landscape Observatory, will be a Catalan national museum specializing in the landscape with a highly cross-disciplinary approach.
Dutch Government Donates Books to Landscape Observatory
A few weeks ago, the documentation centre of the Landscape Observatory received a donation from the Dutch government of 26 documents, all related to landscape management and planning. This type of donation helps to enrich the stock of the documentation centre with materials that are otherwise hard to come by due to their source, topic or distribution. The documents were received as part of an exchange of working methodologies and experiences that took place in May between the Landscape Observatory and different government institutions and bodies in the Netherlands.
Observatory Takes Part in Workshop The Collective Construction of Our Landscape (Argentina) by Videoconference
Pere Sala, the coordinator of the Landscape Observatory, took part in the workshop The Collective Construction of our Landscape on 29 April. The workshop was organized by the Nodo Mendoza Association of the Argentina Landscape Network. Participation was by means of videoconference, which could be watched from the 22 offices of the Federal Investment Board (CFI) in Argentina, from Buenos Aires to Salta and San Luis, and, naturally, Mendoza. Sala demonstrated the experience of the Landscape Observatory and the Catalan landscape policies just when the process of starting up the Mendoza Landscape Observatory was getting under way. The project to implement the Mendoza Landscape Observatory, which has received funding from the CFI, aims to create an institution that provides a forum for all the actors that carry out landscape policies in order to perform studies in this field in terms of economic, environmental and social development, raising awareness and education.
Landscape Observatory Receives Award from Royal Foundation of Toledo
On 28 June, the Catalan Landscape Observatory received the prize in the national category at the 15th edition of the Awards of the Royal Foundation of Toledo. The event brought together more than 250 people at the Rojas Theatre in Toledo. The prize was accepted by Joan Nogué, the director of the Landscape Observatory. The jury awarded the prize to the Landscape Observatory for its work in studying, protecting and managing the landscape, and for becoming a leading centre of ideas and action in this area throughout Spain and abroad. The jury's ruling made special mention of Nogué, who, in addition to being the director of the observatory since its creation in 2005, holds the Chair of Human Geography at the University of Girona; the Catalan Department of Territory and Sustainability; and all the institutions and associations that form part of the observatory's consortium for their effort and care in studying the landscape, drafting proposals and raising awareness of the need for it to be organized in the context of sustainable development.
Road infrastructures: trees avenues in the landscape
Document prepared by Chantal Pradines for a commission from the Council of Europe, with emphasis on the landscape value. It collects best practices carried out in several European countries, and proposes recommendations to ensure the sustainability of this heritage.
Projets de paysage
Scientific journal on spatial design and management published by the Topia network. The website provides access to the different newsletters, themed dossiers, studies and research projects it has published.
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
Landscape indicators: assessing and monitoring landscape quality
Cassatella, Claudia; Peano, Attilia (eds.). Dordrecht: Springer, 2011. ISBN: 978-94-007-0365-0.
This book responds to the need to define specific indicators to assess the various factors that determine landscape quality and the effects of landscape policies. The topic is approached by a multidisciplinary team of experts in fields such as landscape ecology, landscape history, landscape perception and land-use planning.
Cultural landscape and heritage paradox
Bloemers, Tom; Kars, Henk; Van der Valk, Arnold; Wijnen, Mies (eds.). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-90-8964-155-7.
This book addresses the paradox between preservation and management of the archaeological-historical landscape. It takes a comprehensive approach to landscapes that is informed by a number of disciplines and establishes links between archaeological-historical heritage and planning, as well as between research and policy.
Paysages et territoires de l'industrie en Europe: héritages et renouveaux
Edelblutte, Simon. París: Ellipses, 2009. ISBN: 978-2-7298-5227-6.
The new context of globalization has involved deindustrialization and this book is about how the industrial landscapes of Europe have changed in the last 40 years. It is divided into two parts: the first is a study of the current inherited landscape and the second speaks about restructuring and transforming old industrial areas.
Retos y perspectivas de la gestión del paisaje de Canarias
Cortina, Albert; Simancas, Moisés. Tenerife: Gobierno de Canarias: Universidad Internacional Menéndez y Pelayo ISBN: 978-84-79475871.
This book is an expanded compilation of the presentations given at the seminar of the same name held in October 2010 in Tenerife to mark the tenth anniversary of the signing of the European Landscape Convention. It reviews the application of the Convention and outlines future challenges based on the experience of the Canary Islands. More information here.
Paesaggi rurali storici. Per un catalogo nazionale
Agnoletti, Mauro (ed.). Bari: Editori Laterza, 2010. ISBN: 978-88-420-9430-2.
This book presents the results of a study that identified and classified 123 Italian landscapes of historical interest. It demonstrates that conservation is an approach to policy planning and implementation, and is not at odds with development.
Publications can be found in the documentation centre of the Landscape Observatory.
LANDSCAPE IN THE PRESS
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