Landscape Catalogues

What the Landscape Catalogues are

The Act 8/2005 of 8th June for the protection, management and planning of the landscape in Catalonia creates the Landscape Catalogue as a new instrument for the introduction of landscape objectives into spatial planning and sectoral policies in Catalonia, and in this way adopts the principles and action strategies established in the European Landscape Convention promoted by the Council of Europe. In other words, the landscape catalogues are the tools which enable us to find out what our landscape is like and what values it has, the factors which explain why we have a certain type of landscape and not another, how our landscape evolves with regard to the current financial, social and environmental dynamics and, finally, they define what type of landscape we want and how we can achieve it.. The landscape catalogues, therefore, supply information of great interest on all the Catalan landscapes and in this way contribute to the definition and application of a new landscape policy in Catalonia. The methodology for the elaboration of the landscape catalogues is published in book form and can be consulted here:

The Landscape Catalogues are conceived normatively as useful tools for the planning and management of the landscape from the spatial planning perspective. This is why their territorial reach corresponds to each of the regions of application of the Partial Territorial Plans. The Landscape Observatory prepared eight landscape catalogues in the period between June 2005 and June 2022:


Catalogues Start Delivery to Ministry of Land Public information by Ministry of Land Approval by Ministry of Land
Camp de Tarragona 2005 31 d’octubre de 2006 30 de juliol de 2008 19 de maig de 2010
Terres de Lleida 2005 31 d'octubre de 2006 27 de novembre de 2007 5 d'agost de 2008
Alt Pirineu i Aran 2006 29 de juliol de 2011 15 de maig de 2012 3 d'abril de 2013
Comarques Gironines 2006 26 de febrer de 2010 6 de setembre de 2010 23 de novembre de 2010
Terres de l’Ebre 2006 23 de juliol de 2009 9 de novembre de 2009 16 de juliol de 2010
Regió Metropolitana de Barcelona 2007 29 de desembre de 2011 10 d'abril de 2014 11 de desembre de 2014
Comarques Centrals 2008 1 de setembre de 2015 19 de gener de 2016 29 de juliol de 2016
Penedès 2018 30 de juny de 2022 - -

The catalogues follow the process of integrating landscape directives into planning according to the Act 8/2005 of the Landscape of Catalonia:

taula english.png

Territorial functions of the catalogues

The landscape catalogues must orientate the integration of landscape into town and spatial planning instruments in Catalonia at different scales, from partial land use plans to urban planning, including land master plans and urban territorial plans.

Usefulness of partial land use plans

As proposed by the Landscape Act, the classification and characterisation of landscapes, and the quality objectives associated with each of them, will be incorporated with a regulatory character, as landscape regulations, directives and recommendations, into the seven partial territorial plans prepared by the Ministry of Land and Sustainability and into the land master plans that the Ministry considers appropriate, after public consultation.

Usefulness of urban planning

It is these partial territorial plans and, depending on each case, also the land master plans, which determine in which cases the landscape directives will be of direct application, of obligatory incorporation into the modification and revision of urban planning, or when they constitute only recommendations for urban planning and for other plans or programmes of a sectoral nature affecting the landscape. From the perspective of urban planning, also, the landscape catalogues are conceived as very useful tools for urban planning specialists and for representatives of local urban planning committees, as they provide directives and recommendations with regard to landscape which are very useful in the development of certain projects.

Usefulness for the Territorial Urban Planning Commissions

The Territorial Urban Planning Commissions of the Catalan Ministry of Territory and Sustainability issue reports in the environmental impact assessment procedure, resolve planning files, grant authorisations for works on undeveloped land, draw up detailed studies, urban development projects and management instruments, and reports on the authorisation of temporary uses and works. For the representatives of the Territorial Planning Commissions, the Landscape Catalogues are a very useful tool, as they provide guidelines and recommendations on the landscape, which can help to determine the suitability or otherwise of some of the projects on which they have to draw up reports.

Other functions

In addition to their uses in spatial planning, the landscape catalogues also have the following functions:

  • To create solid base for the definition of specific landscape strategies for certain parts of Catalonia. In this sense they become a reference point in the process of making the landscape charters [note], which have to take into account what has been established in the landscape catalogues that affect that area.
  • To act as a basic reference document for sensitisation campaigns on the diversity of landscape in Catalonia and its environmental, cultural and aesthetic values, and for the inclusion of landscape at different educational levels in Catalonia.
  • To be useful in the process of defining of sectoral policies and strategies, such as, for example: policies for the conservation of nature (policy for natural areas, ecological connectors, Catalan strategy for the use and sustainable management of biodiversity, etc), agrarian policies with regard to sustainability, policies for rural development and policies for tourist promotion associated with the landscape.
  • To act as starting point documents for the definition of regional or local strategies aimed at the sustainable development of the territory (Local Agenda 21, etc.).
  • To provide landscape quality objectives information on the landscape necessary for the processes of strategic environmental evaluation of policies, plans and programmes, and for landscape impact studies established by the Town Planning Act.
  • To act as a reference document for the development and application of the Fund for the protection, management and planning of the landscape, a financial instrument of the Government of Catalonia created by the Landscape Act with the purpose of being assigned to activities which will improve the landscape.

Participació pública

The Landscape Catalogues include public consultation as a tool for the involvement and co-responsibility of society in landscape management and planning. Their importance also lies in the fact that it is through participatory processes that the more tangible, identity-based and intangible factors of the landscape can be identified, factors that are difficult to identify based solely on the work of specialised experts. The book Paisatge i participació ciutadana describes the participation instruments used in the preparation of the Catalan Landscape Catalogues, makes an evaluation and identifies the key aspects to be taken into account when carrying out a participatory process of this nature.