Agrarian landscapes without farmers
Director, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche
In territorial planning, agricultural areas are often seen as blank spaces, empty and free, susceptible to new construction projects and infrastructures. This trend is framed within a continuous, entropic growth process which has only accelerated exponentially since the end of the Second World War, with no end in sight.
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Presentation of the Landscape Catalogue dedicated to Alt Pirineu and Aran held in a Sort and Seu d'Urgell
On December 15th, two public presentations were held in Sort and Seu d'Urgell (Lleida) to present the new Landscape Catalogues dedicated to Alt Pirineu and Aran (IDAPA). These presentations were organised by the Catalan Government's Department of Territorial Policy and Sustainability and the Landscape Observatory for local town halls, institutions and entities. The presentations served to inform about the goals of the Catalogues and the results achieved thus far. After the Government of Catalonia's Department of Territorial Policy and Sustainability approves the new Catalogue, the full version will be available on the website.
The Landscape Observatory hosted a 'learning camp' conference
Furthering knowledge about the landscape concept was the primary objective of the conference held on December 20th in Olot (Girona) for teaching professionals from around the country. The Landscape Observatory hosted this conference and presented teachers with the various resources that the Landscape Catalogues and the City, Territory, Landscape project materials have available. The latter educational project was recently recognised by the European Council. This initiative is jointly promoted by the Government of Catalonia's Department of Education and the Landscape Observatory. These camps d'aprenentatge, CdA ("learning camps") translate into a series educational services provided by the Department of Education to teachers and schools, giving them the possibility of carrying out projects to study and experiment on 18 unique settings in Catalonia. In this respect, the task of "reading" the landscape is a fundamental element of this activity. As such, the conference aims to provide teachers with new theoretical and computer tools, but also real experience in the field.
130 people participated in the seminar on landscape cartography held in Tortosa
Approximately 130 landscape cartography professionals took part on September 29th and 30th in the international seminar entitled "Challenges in mapping the landscape: territorial dynamics and intangible values" held in Tortosa (Tarragona). The seminar was organised by the Landscape Observatory in collaboration with the Baix Ebre and Montsià Counties' Agro-Environmental Services Consortium (CODE) and Tortosa Town Hall. Throughout the seminar, speakers and participants debated on the best technological and imaging innovations to obtain maps for their use in territorial and industrial planning as well as to raise awareness about landscapes. The results from this seminar will be published by the Landscape Observatory in 2012 as part of its collection "Plecs de Paisatge".
New photo gallery on the Observatory's website
The Landscape Observatory's website now includes an image gallery which features all the photos appearing on our homepage. They represent a selection of photos from some of the leading photographers in Catalonia. Currently, photos by Jordi Bernadó and Rafael López-Monné are available. The list of photographers is expected to increase in the future.
Roger Serrat-Calvó wins the Beca Olot-Fotografia grant, dedicated to landscapes
The Beca Olot-Fotografia grant, organised by the Cultural Institute of the City of Olot and the Association Olot-Fotografia, with support from the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and the Girona Provincial Council, was dedicated this year to landscapes. The 4,500-euro grant was awarded to Roger Serrat-Calvó to carry out his project entitled, Leisure time. The aim of this project is to use photography as a means to reflect on areas used for leisure activities and the related landscapes as well as on the attitudes and behaviour society adopts during concrete periods in these particular spaces. The grant was a success in terms of participation, with 86 projects presented. The jury consisted of Manel Esclusa (photographer), Pere Sala (Technical Coordinator, Landscape Observatory of Catalonia) and David Santaeulària (Head of Olot's Contemporary Creation Area).
The Landscape Observatory collaborates with the conference, Escultures transitables in Banyoles
The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia collaborated with the conference Escultures Transitables ("Passable sculptures") held on December 16th in Banyoles (Girona). The initiative is organised by El Puntal, Laboratori de les Arts, Lluís Vilà Showroom, Aspecte Paisatge and Bonart Cultural. Its aim is to further explore the relationship between art, landscape and the territory. In fact, the objective is to transcend strict artistic limits to see landscape in all its entirety and transversal nature. Activities began with a guided visit of the "Escultures transitables" exhibit by Martirià Figueras and Lluís Vilà, origin of the initiative. The fundamental aim is to reflect on the concept of public sculptures, architecture and landscape, taking as a reference the restoration of the Croscal volcano in Garrotxa, which received the FAD award in 1994. The main consisted of a roundtable discussion entitled, Art, paisatge, intervenció ("Art, landscape, intervention") moderated by Joan Nogué, Director of the Landscape Observatory. Other participants included: Pep Admetlla, sculptor; Martirià Figueras, landscape architect; Josep Fuses, architect; and Lluís Sabadell, artist and curator.
Granollers, a laboratory for the application of landscape quality objectives at the local level
Granollers (Barcelona) has become a laboratory at the local level for the application of the landscape quality objectives. After a workshop organised in this area as part of the Master in Landscape Management for Land Use and Environmental Planning offered by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), three other initiatives were held this past November: the presentation of the local initiative, El Plan de Paisaje de Granollers. El paisaje como estrategia para el desarrollo sostenible ("Granollers landscape plan. Landscape as a strategy for sustainable development") at the 5th CONAMA Local Congress; the Smart City Expo World Congress; Granollers will be the subject of the study, Els objectius de qualitat paisatgística per l'escala local. Un instrument de foment del desenvolupament comunitari a través del paisatge ("Landscape quality objectives for the local level. A tool to foment the community's development through landscapes.") by Míriam Valdelvira, winner of the 7th Premi Josep Maria Rueda awards. The latter are organised by the Barcelona Provincial Council's Social Welfare Area and are granted every two years at the national level, serving to recognise and reward intervention and research projects related to community action initiatives.
Andorra ratifies the European Landscape Convention
The Andorran government's Council of Ministers approved the ratification of the European Landscape Convention on November 16th. The signing of this Convention, the prior step required before its ratification, was approved on October 6th, 2010. On March 23rd, 2011, the Principality's ambassador and permanent representative before the Council of Europe proceeded with its signature in Strasbourg. Ratification by the Andorran Government is the first step in the process which culminates with the ratification by the General Council and the Co-Princes of Andorra. The European Landscape Convention was adopted in Florence in October, 2000. Since then, 39 European countries have signed it, and 36 have ratified it, including Spain. Worth remembering is the fact that the Catalan Parliament adhered to the Convention in December, 2000.
Unescocat presents a methodology to inventory intangible cultural heritage
The UNESCO Centre of Catalonia, Unescocat, has developed a methodology to inventory Montseny mountain range's (Barcelona) intangible heritage. This methodology includes preparing a list of all the traditions, customs, knowledge, techniques, festivals, etc., which make up Montseny's cultural intangible heritage and identify those which may contribute to sustainably develop the area. The initiative aims to contribute to preserve this heritage, promote the area's sustainable economic development, strengthen social cohesion and ties to the territory and become a model to prepare similar inventories around the world.
The Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche has dedicated five years to identifying places of value for the population
The Italian foundation, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, dedicated to landscape knowledge, management and planning, has been working on its Luoghi di Valore for five years. Inspired by the European Landscape Convention principles, the initiative aims to understand the bonds people in a community have to their landscapes and, at the same time, raise awareness, regardless of people's social and cultural origins and daily needs, encouraging them to become involved in preserving and managing those landscapes. The initiative includes a yearly call amongst the people in Treviso Province to describe the places in the province they consider to be valuable, providing photos and descriptions detailing why they feel it is important. The idea is not only to identify pretty landscapes but, rather, those which are important for the population because of their symbolic and emotional importance. The material sent is then included in a public exhibit, and various informative sessions and debates are organised. In the five editions help up to now, the initiative has sparked great interest as is demonstrated by the number of participants responding to the calls, the number of visitors at the exhibits and participation in the related sessions.
Art in favour of preserving and restoring the environment
On October 20th, a sculptural project by the Japanese artist, Kan Masuda, was inaugurated in Parc de la Serra de Collserola (Barcelona), using roots from different trees found in the park. The strong wind storms in January 2009 and heavy snowfalls in March 2010 severely affected more than 200,000 trees in the park. Many were uprooted, exposing their roots. The park's state after these storms stunned the prestigious sculptor who began working with the roots to create the project entitled Mensaje del bosque: voz de raíz ("Message from the forest: the voice of roots"). The artist's aim is for his wooden sculptures to serve as a warning bell about the need to preserve the environment and create closer connections with nature. This initiative is an example of the role art can play in raising awareness about the need to preserve the environmental value and landscape of a place.
Periodic update of the Atlas de Paysages methodology
France has promoted its Atlas de Paysages for fifteen years as a tool to classify landscapes in that country, adopting the European Landscape Convention principles as promoted by the European Council and orienting public policies. Catalan Landscape Catalogues represent a similar instrument, though with some minor differences. Atlases are created for almost the whole of France and have to be reviewed every ten years. The French Ministry of the Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, responsible for the production of the atlases, has expressed its with to publish again their methodology. During the last meeting to this end held on December 8th, the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia was invited to present its procedures in defining the landscape quality objectives in its Catalogues, fomenting the exchange of experiences and methodologies.
4th Argentine Landscape Network meeting
The 4th Argentine Landscape Network meeting was held from November 2nd to 5th, 2011, in the city of Rosario (Argentina), with participation from all network members around the country. The aim of this meeting was to summarise the different actors' problems and solutions in peripheral urban areas. The network is a space for landscape professionals and scholars to meet and share their knowledge. It is organised by nodes, with different Argentine cities participating in the network. In the city of Mendoza, the Observatorio Mendocino del Paisaje (Landscape Observatory of Mendoza) was recently created to prepare three landscape catalogues on three areas in the province. The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia has been collaborating with the Argentine network for two years and participated in this 4th meeting, offering a presentation entitled "Periferias urbanas: perspectivas desde el Observatorio del Paisaje de Cataluña" (Urban peripheries: perspectives from the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia).
2011 IFLA Americas regional conference
On October 27th to 29th the IFLA Americas regional conference held its regional conference in Punta del Este (Uruguay), attracting more than 200 scholars, professionals and students from around the world. The subject of debate was emerging landscapes, representing a great opportunity to find out about the work being carried out in different fields and different countries. Conference contents can be consulted here. The Landscape Observatory participated in the conference with a presentation entitled "Identifying emerging landscapes. The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia's experience."
The Foro Estatal de Custodia del Territorio ('State Forum for Territorial Custody') launched
On November 3rd, the inauguration of the Foro Estatal de Custodia del Territorio, FECT ("State Forum for Territorial Custody") was held at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPN). The forum's aim is to motivate and coordinate its member networks and entities which work at the national level to consolidate the care for the territory. Currently, FECT consists of 14 founding organisations, 7 territorial custodial networks, 3 custodial entities and 4 organisations which support the initiative. FECT has already been working for 5 years as an informal group, contributing to the spread of territorial custody, promoting conservation and the active management of natural resources, as well as their responsible and sustainable use, and raising awareness about custodial strategies and sustainable management of the territory.
Landscape Fragmentation in Europe
European Environemental Agency report that investigates the degree of landscape fragmentation in 28 countries in Europe at three levels.
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
El jardín de la metrópoli
Batlle, Enric. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2011. ISBN: 978-84-2522009-8.
"The metropolis' garden" represents a new model for open urban spaces which can lead to a new stratum of metropolitan reality: a new open space which reflects a modern spirit, ensuring sustainability without renouncing its formalisation.
Paisajes y patrimonio cultural en Andalucía: tiempo, usos e imágenes
Fernández-Baca, Román (coord.). Sevilla: Consejería de Cultura, 2010. (PH Cuadernos; 26). ISBN 978-84-9959-023-3.
Andalusia as a territory has been highly anthropised, and its landscape has been defined over centuries of history. From a cultural perspective, one of this book's priorities is to address landscape's cultural values, vindicating that sufficient attention be paid to the place's memory and time in territorial intervention processes.
Le paysage en Bretagne. Enjeux et défis
Le Du-Blayo, Laurence. Plomelin: Éditions Palantines, 2007. ISBN: 978-2-911434-80-8.
This book examines if there is such a thing as a Breton landscape, its characteristics, how it has changed and how it is expected to evolve. It updates Brittany's general image and opens new lines of research for the next decades.
Perejaume. Barcelona: Edicions 62, 2011. ISBN: 978-84-297-6849-7.
This collection of poems is divided into eight sections dedicated to nature, language, landscape art and writing. The poems are full of unique and intense reflections on the territory and a geology which folds and unfolds, as well as the author's experience with nature and living from art.
La frontera del agua: el paisaje costero del Uruguay
Sommaruga, Rosana (coord.); et al. Montevideo: Universidad de la República; Ministerio de Vivienda Ordenamiento Territorial y Medio Ambiente; Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo; Junta de Andalucía, 2010. ISBN: 978-9974-0-0631-7.
The product of a research and dissemination project undertaken by Universidad de la República, the aim of this work is to offer a specific landscape perspective while also calling for other disciplines to provide their interpretations of this unitary and infinite coastal landscape and its conception as a collective and cultural construction.
Crisis y territorio. Aportaciones y conclusiones del VI Congreso Internacional de Ordenación del Territorio
Pamplona, octubre de 2010. Madrid: Asociación Interprofesional de Ordenación del Territorio FUNDICOT. ISBN: 978-84-695-0795-7.
This digital book is the result of the 6th International Congress on Spatial Planning organised by Fundicot. Said book can be consulted here.
Publications can be found in the documentation centre of the Landscape Observatory.
LANDSCAPE IN THE PRESS
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