Working lines

Working lines

The Observatory's main working lines are structured in the following twelve points :

1. 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. 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. On the other hand, quality local production is closely linked to quality landscapes.

2. The introduction of landscape in planning and sectoral policies We face the challenge of definitively transferring landscape to territorial planning, and from territorial to local scale; and for landscape to have a much greater impact on other sectoral policies (tourism, agriculture, infrastructures), where it still has little presence today.

3. Memory and future of the landscape: activating the heritage The time has come to review the management of heritage in contemporary landscapes, to investigate how heritage landscapes can combine their productive value with cultural and tourist value, and to overcome the vision still in force today of heritage - both natural and cultural - as a mere inventory of elements. Indeed, today it is the landscape itself that generates cultural heritage, and this can also have an application as an economic development value.

4. Landscape and health Quality, well-ordered and well-managed landscapes have a positive impact on the physical and mental health of the population, especially the most disadvantaged sectors. It is therefore important to work for landscapes that generate well-being.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Landscape, employment and entrepreneurship 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.