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74. July-Septembre 22
Quarterly Newsletter of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia

When she woke up, the garden was still there

José Tito Rojo
Botanist, garden and landscape researcher

The Landscape Observatory of Catalonia has organised a seminar to reflect on historical gardens. That sentence might seem purely descriptive but for me, it has the value of a manifesto; more than a desirable novelty, it seems to me to be the sign of a trend shift.

Those of us who devote ourselves professionally to this unusual subject, historical gardens, had been contemplating the gradual decline in interest for these cultural products years, after a brief surge back in the 1980s and '90s. Paradoxically, this was happening at the same time as interest in the landscape was experiencing unequivocal growth. We use the term "interest" to group a varied series of phenomena which included citizen concern, studies and legislation, the creation of research centres or teaching positions in university faculties. [+]
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The Penedès Landscape Catalogue has been delivered to the Ministry of the Vice-presidency, Digital Policies and Territory
On 30 June, the Landscape Observatory delivered the El Penedès Landscape Catalogue to the Generalitat's Directorate-General for Territorial and Urban Planning. The catalogue marks the culmination of several years' work, carried out in constant interaction with the Partial Territorial Plan for El Penedès developed by the Directorate-General. During the coming months, the Ministry of the Vice-presidency, Digital Policies and Territory will give initial approval of the Catalogue and submit it for public consultation as prior steps for final approval.
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Wikipedra wins a European Heritage Award / Europa Nostra Award
The European Commission and Europa Nostra recently announced the winners of the 2022 European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, funded by the EU's Creative Europe programme. This year, Europe's leading heritage awards have been given to 30 exemplary projects from 18 countries in five categories. One of the winning projects was Wikipedra, coordinated by the Landscape Observatory, in the Citizen Engagement & Awareness-raising category. The Observatory believes that this award gives added recognition and standing to the enormous task undertaken by organisations and volunteers around the country and to the dry stone experts who make Wikipedra possible. Voting will be open for the Public Choice Award from 11 August to 11 September, so we urge you to help promote this project!
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The International Seminar 'Ruinas y descampados' will be held in Morille on 27 to 29 September
Organised by the University of Santiago de Compostela (Deparq project) with input from the Landscape Observatory, the seminar will focus on landscapes neglected and ruined by the fury of progress. The debate will include abandoned factories and mines, decaying ports, villages drowned by reservoirs, housing developments that have stood empty or forests planted and then forgotten. The aim of the event is to show the life and art that grows on the fringes of the dream of progress. As well as bringing together some of Europe's leading thinkers and specialists on Landscape Theory and Practice, the lectures will be accompanied by complementary activities, such as discussion panels or a series of short films, among others. The programme and registration can be consulted here.
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Videos of the seminar 'Revisiting historical gardens. The past in the present', now available
On 16 and 17 June, Espai Cràter brought together some 80 national and international experts to reflect on the role of heritage gardens in response to new social and cultural demands. Historical gardens play a major role in the contemporary debate on landscape quality and its management. Beyond the gardens recognised in the official catalogues, in Catalonia there are many more with important heritage values, often with little to no protection. The seminar sought to deepen knowledge of their values and encourage their conservation and promotion, while generating new conceptual and instrumental frameworks to facilitate their adaptation to modern society. The seminar was organised by the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia with the support of the Catalan Ministry of Culture and the collaboration of Olot Town Council. You can view the seminar videos here.
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UNISCAPE invites the Observatory to debate on the relationship between landscape and wind power
As part of the debate currently taking place in Europe on the energy transition and the role played in it by European landscapes, the UNISCAPE network organised a new series of online "Where Disciplines Meet" debates on 9 May in which it invited the Landscape Observatory to comment on the document "Paisatge i energia. Orientacions per a una adequada implantació” commissioned by the former Ministry of Territory and Sustainability. The document was presented by three of its five co-authors: landscape architects Daniela Colafranceschi (University of Reggio Calabria) and Fabio Manfredi (University of Genoa), and the Observatory's director, Pere Sala.
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'Landscape management, intervention and recovery at local level' course sessions now on the Observatory website
Links to the recordings of all six sessions of the online landscape course given in April and May are now available on the website. Designed by the Observatory in conjunction with Lleida Provincial Council's Economic Development Board, the course received support from the Ministry of the Vice-presidency, Digital Policies and Territory and was implemented within the framework of the AFEDAP 2022 Grouped Ongoing Training Plan, developed by the Catalan Association of Municipalities and Lleida Provincial Council.
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The landscapes of Democratic Memory
The Catalan Ministry of Justice's Directorate-General for Democratic Memory and the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia have embarked upon a line of cooperation to explore the link between democratic memory policies and landscape policies, within the framework of the new Law on Democratic Memory currently being drafted by the Ministry. The promotion of democratic memory landscapes is currently a ground-breaking trend in Europe, particularly as regards the design of landscape policies associated with innovative territorial and heritage strategies. The objective is to establish the conceptual and methodological bases for developing the future Map of Democratic Memory Landscapes in Catalonia.
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Definition of landscape quality objectives from a social viewpoint
On 12 and 13 May, the Trans-Frontier Regional Cooperation Seminar "Toward a quality landscape: For whom? How?" was held in the Breton city of Rennes, organised by the Environmental Observatory of Brittany and the University of Rennes, with the support of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Council of Europe. The objective was to engage in debate on methods and conceptual frameworks that might help understand the perceptions of landscape held by a territory's citizens. Pere Sala, the Landscape Observatory's director, was invited to explain how citizens' perception has been integrated in the landscape quality goals of the El Penedès Landscape Catalogue and in the new National Landscape Strategy of Andorra being developed by the Government of Andorra, with the collaboration of the Observatory.
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Walking Art and Relational Geographies International Encounters
From 5 to 9 July, Girona, Olot and Vic brought together anthropologists, historians, urban planners, architects, sociologists, health professionals and political scientists who were interested in walking as a starting point for a non-aggressive appropriation of the landscape, territorial knowledge, community creation, etc., viewed through the prism of artistic creation. With lectures and communications to cover the theoretical and scientific aspects, the Encounters also included a creative side in the form of workshops, performances and creative walks. They were organised by the Nau Côclea Contemporary Art Centre with the support of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia, the University of Girona's Chair of Geography and Territorial Thinking, the Bòlit Contemporary Art Centre of Girona, Olot Cultura, Fundació Hospital d’Olot, University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia, Deriva Mussol, Festival Sismògraf, Casino de Vic, ACVIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, walk·listen·create & Made of Walking (Belgium) and Interartive.org.
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The Council of Europe's 6th International Landscape Day, 20 October 2022
This year, the International Landscape Day will be dedicated to health and the global importance of landscape as an essential component of the human environment. As stated in the European Landscape Convention, landscape quality and diversity play an important role in people's physical and mental health. In the Convention, attention is focused on the territory, without distinguishing between urban, periurban, rural and natural environments, or between environments that could be considered outstanding, everyday or degraded.
Caminar entre crisis. Significats de caminar en un món en transformació

This text of Rafael López-Monné is based on the paper of the same name, presented at the International meeting “Walking Art and Relational Geographies”, on 7 July 2022 in Olot, with the support of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia.

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Centre de ressources régional des paysages d'Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Arxiu d'Imatges El Penedès Landscape Catalogue
Joan Soler i GironèsObservatori del Paisatge de CatalunyaJoan Soler i Gironès
Joan Soler i GironèsObservatori del Paisatge de CatalunyaObservatori del Paisatge de Catalunya
Joan Soler i GironèsJoan Soler i GironèsJoan Soler i Gironès
Landscape policies! Strategies, action plans and policy documents for landscape quality
Council of Europe, 2021. Available here.

The publication contains the proceedings of the 25th Congress for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention, organised by the Council of Europe. The goal of this edition was to present public policy experiences related to landscape strategies, action plans and documents for landscape quality, and the integration of the landscape in territorial and urban planning, environmental, cultural, economic, agricultural and social policies, among others.
Paisatges productius com a infraestructura econòmica del territori
Francesc Muñoz, 2022. Barcelona: Diputació de Barcelona. Disponible aquí. here.

The study seeks to answer one essential question: Can the landscape become a new infrastructure for local development? It is intended for use by local organisations as a simple guide to activating their landscape. Thus, it identifies the values of each of the 43 landscapes of the province of Barcelona and explores the potential for locating in these landscapes the full diversity of the province's local economies.
Actividades educativas sobre el paisaje para escuelas de primaria. Folleto pedagógico
Council of Europe, 2021. Available here.

This workbook written for primary school teachers seeks to awaken pupils' curiosity and interest in the landscape, inviting them to reflect on what they understand by landscape and view it in its environmental, social, cultural and economic dimensions.
Bells boscos vells
Pep Sau i Agrupació Naturalista i Ecologista de la Garrotxa . Olot: ANEGX, 2022. 978-84-09-37516-5.

This book is a tribute to the extraordinary value of the ancient and mature forests that still remain in Catalonia (reduced in size, rare and threatened). Illustrated with photographs by Pep Sau and accompanied by a selection of poems.
La voix des habitants d'occitanie. Dire mes paysages
DREAL Occitanie; Cabinet & Communication; Didier Le Boulbard, 2021. Available here.

The book contains the comments received anonymously through the online survey performed by the Regional Directorate for Environment, Development and Housing of Occitania with the goal of asking the region's inhabitants to express their feelings about landscapes and share their values
Guía de buenas prácticas en materia de paisaje. Desarrollos residenciales 1950-1975
Cátedra Unesco. Paisajes Culturales y Patrimoni. Bilbao: Universidad del País Vasco, 2022. ISBN: 978-84-1319-378-6. Available here.

The guide has been designed as a flexible, non-binding and eminently practical tool to help public authorities and technical teams address the different urban regeneration, revitalisation, restoration and remediation actions, mainly required by the residential developments undertaken between the 1950s and the 1980s in the Spanish Basque Country.
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