Slow Food and Living Landscapes
President, Slow Food Empordà
A month ago, at the beginning of June 2012, my good friend, Georgina Regàs, responsible for bravely keeping the Museu de la Confitura (Jam Museum) moving forward and also an avid bird-watcher and admirer, turned the Presidency of Slow Food Empordà over to me with support from the organisation's General Assembly.
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The Catalan Government's Department of Territory and Sustainability has initially approved the Landscape Catalogue dedicated to Alt Pirineu and Aran
The Catalan Government's official gazette, Diari Oficial de la Generalitat de Catalunya (DOGC), announced this past May 29th that the two-month period to inform the public about the Landscape Catalogue dedicated to Alt Pirineu and Aran had begun. The document, prepared by the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia, has already received initial approval. The Observatory's series of landscape catalogues are described in the Catalan Law on Landscape as a means to inventory and analyse all the landscape values throughout the Autonomous Community and to propose landscape quality objectives which territorial planning and other related policies have to bear in mind.
The Chemical Business Association of Tarragona collaborates on the publication of the Landscape Catalogue dedicated to Camp de Tarragona
On May 9th, Lluís Recoder, the Catalan Government's Minister of Territory and Sustainability, and Joan Pedrerol, President of the Chemical Business Association of Tarragona (AEQT), signed a collaborative agreement to publish the Landscape Catalogue dedicated to Camp de Tarragona. Representatives of the Landscape Observatory were also present at this event. According to the agreement, the AEQT will contribute 40,000 euros to design the catalogue and print one thousand copies. The Department of Territory and Sustainability through the Landscape Observatory will be responsible for preparing the texts (based on the approved Landscape Catalogue) and designing the collection in which it is included.
The Landscape Observatory participated in the Global Cat Conference
The Landscape Observatory took part in the second Global Cat Conference dedicated to the territorial conditions required for Catalonia's internationalisation. Specifically, Joan Nogué, Director of the Landscape Observatory, offered a presentation as part of the debate on alternative developmental and territorial models. The Conference was organised by the Catalan Government's Department of Territory and Sustainability in collaboration with Fundació CatalunyaCaixa and held in the auditorium in Gaudí's famous La Pedrera building in Barcelona. More than 100 people attended this event. Joan Nogué participated in the debate along with Miquel Rafa (Director of Territory and the Environment for Fundació CatalunyaCaixa), Ramon Garriga (Director of the Energy Park, Diagonal-Besòs Campus), and Isidre Gavín (Director General of CIMALSA). In his presentation entitled "Country. Landscape. Future. Producing a quality environment," Nogué underscored the key role landscape plays in Catalonia's future and in its competitiveness.
The Vice President of Flanders interested in the Landscape Observatory's work
Geert Bourgeois, Vice President of Flanders and Minister of Public Administrations and Tourism, wanted to learn first-hand about the Landscape Observatory's work. He was accompanied by a delegation from the Flemish Government in a meeting held in Barcelona on May 22nd. Observatory directors informed them in-depth about each of the activities the Observatory carries out. This meeting was held within the framework of the Vice President's official two-day visit to Catalonia in which he also met with Catalan Vice President, Joana Ortega, and other members of the local government.
The Portuguese Government visits the Landscape Observatory
Last March, Maria José Festas, Head of the Portuguese Government's General Directorate for Territorial Planning and Urban Development, visited the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia to learn first-hand about the work carried out by this institution and to study the possibility of creating a similar organisation in Portugal. Currently, Maria José Festas also serves as Chair of the Council of Europe's Conference for the European Landscape Convention.
The Observatory website includes a gallery of Aleix Plademunt's photos
The Landscape Observatory's website recently added a gallery featuring images by well-known photographer, Aleix Plademunt. His photos reveal Catalan landscapes which bear certain similarities with other landscapes around the world, despite the geographic distance separating them. "They talk about our relationship with the landscape but, at the same time, about us," explained the photographer. The gallery dedicated to Plademunt is accompanied by others featuring work by Jordi Bernadó and Rafael López-Monné.
Wikipedra now has over 7,000 entries
The Wikipedra project is dedicated to dry-stone architecture and fomented by the Landscape Observatory with support from Fundació CatalunyaCaixa and active participation by the group, Drac Verd de Sitges, which is dedicated to preserving dry-stone buildings. The project was launched more than a year ago with the aim of serving as a meeting point for admirers and scholars of dry-stone architecture while contributing to inform about this heritage. In this brief period of time, more than 70 collaborators have registered over 7,000 entries in Wikipedra. The website includes information on dry-stone buildings in 204 Catalan municipalities in 27 counties and 68 different landscapes. Thousands of users consult the website on a monthly basis. Wikipedra is complemented by the Landscape Observatory's 2008 dossier, Dry stone Landscapes.
Registration now open for the 'landscape Master's programmes' at UAB and UIC
Registration is now open for Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona's Master's in Landscape and Heritage Intervention and Management and Universitat Internacional de Catalunya's Master's in Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes. The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia collaborates with both programmes on educational projects of shared interest, exchanges knowledge with them, offers internships to students from both programmes, and informs the general public about the activities of both institutions.
7th European Landscape Biennial
The 7th European Landscape Biennial is scheduled to be held on September 27th-29th at the Petit Palau del Palau de la Música in Barcelona. With numerous conferences, presentations and roundtable discussions, this edition of the Biennial aims to revise existing formats, formulas, concepts and objectives in the landscape field as well as encourage debates on what landscapes should be like today and in the future.
Award for the Turó de la Rovira renovation project
The Turó de la Rovira landscape renovation project in Barcelona received the ex aequo 2012 European Prize for Urban Public Space. The architectural firms, Jansana, de la Villa, de Paauw Arquitectes and AAUP-Jordi Romero i Associats, designed this project sponsored by the Agència de Promoció del Carmel i Entorns S. A. The project set out to recuperate a space in which the remains of anti-aircraft gun batteries used during the Spanish Civil War and the remnants of a shantytown demolished before the 1992 Olympic Games coexisted. This space was successfully turned into a 360º lookout point which, at the same time, also serves as a historical interpretation centre. The jury valued the delicate and elegant restoration of this space which had been completely abandoned for more than twenty years.
The Balearic Islands launches its Photographic Landscape Observatory
The audiovisual, mass media and illustrations research group at the Universitat de les Illes Balears Department of Historical Sciences and Art Theory has launched the Balearic Island Photographic Landscape Observatory. The aim of this project is to analyse the development of a touristic image through photos. Its website consists of three main sections: comparative photographs (old images side by side new ones), re-photography (featuring the systematic documentation of different locations), and a photo-archive with historic images.
Methodological guidelines to prepare landscape studies in Valencia
The Government of Valencia's Ministry of Infrastructure, Territory and Environment has published a series of methodological guidelines entitled Guía metodológica. Estudio de paisaje. Studying landscapes is a means to foment and improve the quality of the land and serves as a tool to orient future urban and territorial developments. In addition, these guidelines establish the criteria to use when zoning land as unsuitable for development and to catalogue and preserve the structural elements which best define a given landscape's character. These guidelines also foresee a set process to prepare landscape studies and their application in territorial action plans and projects. It also describes processes for stakeholders and those with territorial planning and management responsibilities and how to teach and inform about landscapes.
Prior study for the Landscape Catalogue dedicated to Ibiza (Eivissa)
The Landscape Catalogue dedicated to Ibiza includes a prior document detailing citizen participation in the project, a list of all the landscape agents involved and a part of the general study on the landscape in question. The Ibiza Island Council's Department of Territory is in charge of coordinating and revising the work and ensuring that this initial document serves as the starting point for the preparation of the definitive catalogue.
11th Council of Europe Meeting of Workshops for the Implementation of the European Landscape Convention
The 11th Council of Europe Meeting of Workshops for the Implementation of the European Landscape Convention was held this past June 3rd-5th in Carbonia (Italy), with more than 160 participants. On this occasion, the Meeting focused on the projects selected by each country for the first two Council of Europe Landscape Award editions. For this reason, Eduard Rosell, Deputy Director General for Territorial Planning and Landscape in the Government of Catalonia's Department of Territory and Sustainability, and Pere Sala, Coordinator of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia, presented the educational project entitled, "City, Territory, Landscape" which received special mention in the second edition of these awards. Pere Sala also took advantage of his presentation to describe the Observatory's future strategy known as CATPAISATGE2020.
Labelliser les paysages ruraux
Feature from issue no. 16 of Perspective magazine by the French research center CIRAD, on the importance of recognizing the value of environmental services in rural landscapes.
Paisajes de Tenerife. Recursos didácticos
This website offers educational material prepared by the Government of Tenerife's Roads and Landscape Area, material aimed primarily at secondary school students. The aim of this initiative is to contribute to inform students and raise their appreciation for and involve them in the conservation and improvement of the island's landscapes.
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
The diversity of sacred lands in Europe
Mallarach, Josep-Maria; Papayannis, Thymio; Väisänen, Rauno (coords.). Gland: IUCN, 2012. ISBN: 978-2-8317-1423-3.
This book includes the series of presentations offered as part of the third Delos Initiative Workshop and describes the diversity of natural sacred places found in protected areas within Europe. These hallowed lands all have spiritual and intangible values associated to them which the modern world often attempts to conceal.
Paisajes y palabras
Estévez, Xerardo. Santiago de Compostela: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Consorcio de Santiago, 2012. ISBN: 978-84-9887-845-5.
This publication offers a selection of articles on urban and landscape planning published by Xerardo Estévez, an architect and former Mayor of Santiago de Compostela. These articles were originally published in El País and La Voz de Galicia newspapers from October 1999 to the end of May 2011. The 145 articles included make up a single discourse characterised by the author's positive attitude, an attempt to put forward proposals and a very solid stream of thought.
El paisaje en el conjunto arqueológico dólmenes de Antequera
Patrimonio Histórico, 2011. (PH cuadernos; 28). ISBN: 978-84-9959-098-1.
This publication addresses the implications the European Landscape Convention has for megalithic monuments, in general, and the Antequera dolmens, in particular. The authors' reflections start with two general concepts related to the European Landscape Convention, namely, landscape traits and resources.
Regeneración de territorios intermedios. Repensar Encamp. 2 LAU Laboratori Àrea d'Urbanisme
Barcelona: Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura ESARQ (UIC), 2011. ISBN: 978-84-938493-8-2.
The articles included in this publication aim to provide a series of alternative methodological foundations which are sensitive to local identities and culture. With this objective, the articles analyse the new elements which make up contemporary city-territories (in terms of mobility, urban systems and free spaces). They also explore other topics currently the subject of debate, such as the regeneration of these city-territories (in terms of culture and participation) and the methodology needed to bring this regeneration about.
Il consumo dei suoli agricoli e la perdita di identità dei paesaggi della Sardegna
Tramontin, Antonio. Regione Autonoma della Sardegna, Direzione Generale della Pianificazione Territoriale e Vigilanza Edilizia, 2011. ISBN: 978-88-903492-7-0.
This publication begins with a description of Sardinian landscapes and continues highlighting the threats faced by rural areas on this Mediterranean island, in particular, spread out urbanisation projects and the resulting loss of identity. Lastly, the book puts forward several proposals for the regional government to adopt protective measures.
Sciences du paysage: entre théories et pratiques
Donadieu, Pierre. Paris: Lavoisier, 2012. ISBN: 978-2-7430-1405-6.
In this book Donadieu analyses landscapes from different points of view: architecture, urban planning, geography, ecology, history and politics, amongst others. The author bases his discussions on the theoretical and practical knowledge which is relevant for the formation of landscapes, that is, the knowledge which helps to explain why and how the landscape concept we use affects how we see and construct the world.
Carrot city: creating places for urban agriculture
Gorgolewski, Mark; Komisar, June; Nasr, Joe. New York: Monacelli Press, 2011.
This book describes more than forty innovative projects underway around the world. All of them have been designed with the objective of creating quality, local agricultural spaces in cities to reintegrate agriculture as a structural and strategic element. The book is the result of an initiative called Carrot City.
Publications can be found in the documentation centre of the Landscape Observatory.
LANDSCAPE IN THE PRESS
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