Director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia
Exactly five years ago I wrote the only piece for the ‘Observer' that I have written in our digital magazine Landscap-e, entitled "Five years!" I have now written the second, five years later, on the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Catalan Landscape Observatory. If back then I felt euphoric with respect to the path taken since that 1 March of 2005, I now feel even more so, and there are many more things to celebrate: 10 years of the Observatory, 10 years of the Law on the Protection, Management and Organisation of the Landscape of Catalonia and 15 years since the approval of the European Landscape Convention, which is our principal benchmark.
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The Landscape and Common Good are the Main Themes of a New Observatory Seminar
The Observatory will be dedicating a new seminar to the subjects of the landscape and common good. The activity will be held on 10 April at the Ateneu Popular de 9 Barris, in Barcelona and will include four talks, in addition to follow-up debates on each topic, with the participation of David Bravo, Marina Garcés, Raül Romeva and Ugo Mattei.
Definitive approval of the Landscape Catalogue for the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona
Last January 15th, the Government of Catalonia definitively approved the Landscape Catalogue for the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona. The sixth of the seven catalogues the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia is preparing. This approval came by means of the Edict dated January 21th on the resolution for the definitive approval of the Catalogue, published in the official gazette, DOGC, number 6793, on January 21th, 2015. Landscape catalogues are an instrument established in the Catalan Landscape Law that are used to provide an inventory of and analyse all the landscape values of the area and which offer proposals with respect to those landscape quality goals that territorial planning and other sector policies need to consider. This is the sixth catalogue that has been approved and the only one still remaining is that of Central Catalonia.
The Observatory has organised a Series of Conferences connnected to the 'Catalonia Cities' Exhibition
The Landscape Observatory, together with the Department of Territory and Sustainability, has organised a series of conferences linked to the "Catalonia Cities" which is open until 26 April in Barcelona's Maritime Museum. The series began on Tuesday 20 January, with a conference by Joan Nogué, the Director of the Observatory, entitled "Country, Landscape, Future", and which included a talk and a debate with Professor Daniela Colafranceschi, the historian Pilar Parcerisas and Albert Serra, film director.
Wikipedranow has over 10,000 dry stone shelters and huts
Wikipedra, the 2.0 Catalan dry stone constructions meeting point has passed the 10,000 mark of registered shelters after over three years of website activity. The initiative, which is coordinated by the Landscape Observatory, has been possible thanks to the work of the DracVerd Group from the town of Sitgesand the participation of up to 120 volunteers from throughout the country. The Bagesand the Alt Camp counties account for the highest number of registered constructions, which account for over 2,300 and 1,700 of them, respectively.
The La Cerdanya Cross-border Landscape Plan has presented its Plans for 2015
The plans for the La Cerdanya Cross-border Landscape Plan were presented on 29 October 2014 in Puigcerdà. The session, which included speeches by mayors from both sides of the border and by members of the general public, served to announce the actions planned for 2015. Noteworthy are the plans to create a document of practical cross-border guidelines, training initiatives and educational seminars, the extension of Wikipedrain the Alta Cerdanya region, the creation of a cross-border landscape map, the development of an informative website, in addition to the identification of observation points in the Cerdanya, on both sides of the frontier.
A Charter from Turin to promote Landscape Observatories in Europe
On 22 and 23 of September, the first of the Uniscape En-Route seminars were held in Turin (Italy), which focused on the role of landscape observatories in Europe, and it was organized by UNISCAPE, CIVILSCAPE, RECEP-ENELC, University of Turin and Politecnico di Torino. The meeting, which was held in the Castellodel Valentino, ended with the signing of a charter-manifesto in favour of the promotion of this type of body throughout the continent. The Charter of Turin states that the Council of Europe has given its support to structures of this type as a useful focal point for the application of the European Landscape Convention. As such, it requests this institution to organise a special conference for the exchange of experiences and best practices that will facilitate the creation of new observatories and that will work in the coordination of their work at a European level.
The Videos of the Seminar on Water, Heritage and Landscape on the Observatory's Website
Last October, experts from Catalonia and Europe visited Manlleu (Osona) and discussed the relationship between water, heritage and the landscape in a seminar organised by the Landscape Observatory. The papers presented over the two-day event are now available in a video format on the Observatory's website. The seminar was divided into three blocks; the first was devoted to landscape, water and planning, the second to river landscapes in art and cinema and the third to the heritage and uses of river landscape.
Seminar Papers on Forest Landscapes are now available
Forest landscapes were the focus of a seminar organised by the Observatory on 17 September in Viladrau (Osona). The papers presented may now be viewed on the Observatory's website in digital format. The seminar ‘Woods, Uses, Views, Landscapes'did not focus on the causes that explain why over half the total area of Catalonia is occupied by forests, but on the concept of the forest as a backdrop. Forests are in fact a hallmark of almost two thirds of Catalonia's 135 landscapes and therefore form part of the daily landscape of thousands of people.
A Visit by a Delegation of the Latin American Landscape Initiative
In late September, a Delegation of the Latin American Landscape Initiative (LALI) visited the offices of the Landscape Observatory in Olot. The meeting took place as part of the participatory agreement between the two organisations, which was signed in 2013. The LALIdelegation was headed by Martha Fajardo, the coordinator of the organisation, and was welcomed by Joan Noguéand Pere Sala, the Director and the Coordinator of the Landscape Observatory, respectively. Both organisations are studying the possibility of jointly organising a congress on productive landscapes, in addition to other initiatives for 2015.
El Lluçanès has promoted a Landscape Charter
The county of El Lluçanèshas backed the drawing up of a landscape charter for this area, which is located between the Osona, El Bagesand El Berguedà counties of Catalonia. The initiative forms part of the territorial development strategy led by the Consortium of El Lluçanès, which is based on the enhancement of the intrinsic values of the area, such as peace and quiet, social cohesion, quality produce, cultural and natural heritage. The El Lluçanès Landscape Charter will be launched with a participatory project that will advance in a parallel and coordinated manner with the initial phases of the technical work.
The Presentation of CARTOCAT: the Website for Antique Geo-referenced Maps of Catalonia
Last November, the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia (ICGC) presentedCartocat, a website featuring antique, geo-referenced maps of Catalonia. The website used IDEC SDI tools to show old maps while seeking to become ‘another step in the connection between the world of cartography and the world of map libraries". It features a sample from the map collection of the Library of Catalonia and the VíctorBalaguerLibrary and from the Map Library of the Catalan Hiking Centre, in addition to a collection of maps from the ICGC Map Library.
The Observatory's Website now includes a Gallery of Images by Martí Gasull
During October, the Landscape Observatory's website incorporated a gallery of images by photographer Martí Gasull. The images feature peri-urban landscapes, which are often decaying, and where evidence of livestock farming, infrastructures, shanty-towns, industries and abandoned constructions predominate. Gasull's gallery is among others, which feature works by Jordi Bas, Carlos AlbaláandIgnasiLópez, Jordi Bernadó, Rafael López-Monné, AleixPlademunt, Jorge YereguiandCarmaCasullá, and have been available on the website for several months.
Five Dry Stone Huts at Mont-roigdel Camp, a Cultural Asset of National Interest
The Official Gazette of the Catalan Government (DOGC) of 30 October included a declaration to categorise the five dry stone huts at Mont-roigdel Camp (in theBaix Camp region) as cultural assets of national interest (BCIN). These constructions form part of the catalogue in the ‘Zone of Ethnological Interest' category, while the protection area surrounding them has also been established. The municipality has a total of 133 huts that have been registered on Wikipedra; the participatory website for dry stone constructions promoted by the Observatory.
Projectes en paisatges culturals
Compilation of works and documentation used in the subject Projectes en Paisatges Culturals (Cultural Landscapes Projects), given by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning ETSAV (Polytechnic University of Catalonia).
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST
50 ensayos de secesión un repertorio de ciudades
Jáuregui, Ignacio. [Madrid]: Ricardo Sánchez Lampreave, 2014. ISBN: 978-84-616-7068-0.
A collection of travel-based articles written by the architect Ignacio Jáureguiin the newspaper Sur de Málaga. The book comprises fifty descriptions of cities, all selected arbitrarily, each one of which is described from a different perspective.
Picó, Maria Josep; Ruiz, Magda (coord.). València: Publicacions de la Universitat de València, 2014. ISBN: 978-84-370-9447-2.
An informative work produced by numerous authors that focuses on the Valencian farming area of ‘L'hortaValenciana' and which revives social and political debate on an area that has gradually been destroyed. In order to help local institutions decide on the type of future required for this agricultural production area, participation is requested via the blog http://veushorta.blogs.uv.es/
Herbello, Fran; Sendón, Manuel. [S.l.]: Centro de Estudos Fotográficos, 2014. ISBN: 84-87882-39-0.
This book photographically documents routes taken in kayaks along the Galician coastline and several of the region's rivers. It offers a unique, poetic view of the landscapes, their plant life and man-made constructions and is accompanied by two introductory texts by Pedro de Llano and Federico López Silvestre.
Landscape and urban design for health and well-being
Souter-Brown, Gayle. London: Routledge, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-415-84351-5.
The author analyses the social, economic and environmental benefits of green areas and the capacity of the landscape to influence health. This publication also offers guidelines on designing healthy urban areas, be they public or private.
Atlas des paysages de Wallonie: L'Ardenne centrale - La Thiérache
Godart, Marie-Françoise (dir.). Namur: Conférence Permanente du Développement Territorial, 2014. ISBN: 978-2-8056-0158-3.
This is the fifth volume of atlases dedicated to the landscapes of Wallonia. This Atlas invites to discovery of the current landscape and offers a reading key to understand the changes and think about their future. Profusely illustrated, it is accessible to a wide audience, from the simply curious citizen or loves his region to policymakers through associative actors.The complete text is available here.
El patrimonio: la construcción del pasado y del futuro
Capel, Horacio. Barcelona: Ediciones Serbal, 2014. ISBN: 978-84-7628-747-7.
The author raises a debate on the current state of heritage protection, taking into account today's economic system and its interests, as well as the organisation of social life.
Energielandschaften gestalten. Leitlinien und Beispiele für Bürgerpartizipation
Gotzmann, Inge (2014). Bonn: Bund Heimat und Umwelt in Deutschland (BHU). ISBN: 978-3-925374-37-1.
Last publication of BHU (Bund Heimat und Umwelt) on the transformation of the energy landscape.The book includes guidelines and examples of how to involve citizen in landscape and energy planning.
Publications can be found in the documentation centre of the Landscape Observatory.
LANDSCAPE IN THE PRESS
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