Peripheries act as fringes, interfaces between different geographical realities and landscape configurations. They are not only the unforeseen and undesired result of a centre that is growing and needs to expand, with no regard to where or how. The periphery is more than just the perimeter of a centre; it is also, and above all, a threshold between different territorial (and sometimes mental) realities, with increasing prominence. Too often, peripheries are untidy, unfinished landscapes with negative connotations for the town of which they form part. As the European Landscape Convention states, this has repercussions on social well-being, since quality of life is directly linked to the quality of the landscape. To understand the logic and the idiosyncrasy of peripheries requires a great variety of gazes, from art to literature, from music to cinema, from photography to architecture, from geography to sociology, from town planning to ecology. To act in the periphery, we need a substantial change in the space and time scale to which we are accustomed, and we need to understand that its social and symbolic (and even landscape) yardsticks are different. The gaze towards the town from the periphery is unusual, but enormously suggestive, because it offers us guidelines for interpreting contemporaneity that are difficult to perceive from the centre. From the interdisciplinary perspective and the openness to new ideas that have characterised the activity of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia since its beginnings, on this occasion we intend to place ourselves, in collaboration with the RECEP-ENELC and the Institut de Cultura de la Ciutat d'Olot, at the very heart of the periphery, and these hybrid fringes that act as thresholds will serve us to put forward new forms of intervention and management, new landscape yardsticks, and new alternative readings to the usual hegemonic ones.
Catalan, Spanish and Italian (no simultaneous translation).