Since 2005, the Landscape Observatory has focused its efforts on identifying and cataloguing the landscapes of Catalonia, setting up the instruments envisaged in the Landscape Law, and helping to position our country among the European leaders in landscape policies. Now that these lines are consolidated, the Observatory is embarking on a new approach, for which it has designed a roadmap called CATPAISATGE 2020.
Under the slogan "Country, Landscape, Future", the new strategy places the emphasis on issues such as internationalisation, local and entrepreneurial development, and highlighting new landscapes, and on the importance of values, research, and communication. CATPAISATGE 2020 is structured into ten lines of research:
1. Internationalisation from singularity
Internationalisation has always been one of the mainstays of the work carried out by the Landscape Observatory. Now, the policy is to develop this approach as a way to endow Catalonia with an international profile. It must be borne in mind, however, that this will only succeed by focusing on the singular nature of a country that contains some of the greatest landscape diversity in Europe. It cannot be overlooked that landscapes that maintain, reinforce, and develop their identity and personality are more likely to prosper in the end than either urban or rural landscapes that have lost these qualities.
2. Living and producing in quality surroundings
The quality of the landscape is a symbol of the maturity and cultural level of any country. In this sense, quality landscapes contribute to the international profile of the country and facilitate the competitiveness of its territories, for example, by attracting skilled labour and innovative companies. On the other hand, quality local production is closely linked to quality landscapes.
3. Landscape, creativity and strategic sectors
The quality and singularity of the landscape have a positive impact on sectors such as cinema, advertising, fashion, gastronomy, design and so on, but at the same time, they are part of the more successful development strategies for tourism and agriculture. Quality tourism is known to shun spoiled or mediocre landscapes.
4. Landscape and the local world
There is a growing consensus that landscapes - especially landscapes with strong personalities - contribute to local development not only from the economic perspective but also in terms of self-esteem, identity, and quality of life.
5. The creation of new benchmark landscapes
Catalonia has many benchmark landscapes, landscapes imbued with strong symbolic significance. Many of these landscapes, moreover , gained their iconic status decades or even centuries ago. They have reached us today in reasonably good condition and it is now incumbent upon us to preserve both their cultural and identity value. However, in a context of increasing trivialisation of many ordinary landscapes, we must make an effort to create new benchmark landscapes, without overlooking their time-honoured counterparts. Using good design and projects , we should be able to convert ordinary, anodyne landscapes into places of reference with which the local population can identify and establish a dialogue.
6. Landscape, values and community
Awareness of the diversity of landscapes, visual enjoyment of our surroundings, and respect and sensitivity to the natural or heritage dimensions are all values that reinforce the social fabric and dignify the community.
7. Landscape, employment and entrepreneurship
The landscape generates economic opportunities and becomes an agent for creating employment in sectors linked to the territory, and to agriculture, education, and the environment. This is also true of emerging creative fields in their relationship with the landscape, such as cinema, advertising, fashion, and gastronomy, among others.
8. Climate change, energy and landscape
Landscape is a first-class indicator for understanding the effects of climate change, imagining future scenarios, and designing adaptation strategies, while at the same time combating this change, above all by means of widespread use of renewable energies.
9. Research and innovation as growing values
Landscape research is a growing value that provides a comprehensive response to some of the new global challenges. It also reinforces the potential for entrepreneurship and the creation of employment in various sectors.
10. Education and communication
Landscape education is not sufficient: we must also know how to communicate the value of landscape education. Communication is a crucial aspect of contemporary societies and therefore we must make good use of the enormous communicative value of the landscape, a true bearer of messages easily recognised by the population.
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