For a long time, conservation and nature protection aspects have dominated the discussion about landscape development. In the last few years, this discussion has been superseded by new and more comprehensive approaches guided by the idea of sustainable development.
Although landscape has become a key research subject, there is still a wide range of heterogeneous definitions and approaches towards the landscape issue at the European level. In October 2000, the Council of Europe adopted the European Landscape Convention. This convention aims at achieving "a greater unity between the Member States" for the purpose of "a balanced and harmonious relationship between social needs, economic activity and the environment". (Council of Europe, 2000.)
The overall project objective is to investigate the interrelation between regional development and cultural (i.e. man made) landscape change. In a future orientated approach, the team will propose improvements and adjustments to policies on EU and national level. The proposals are based on this new understanding in order to meet future requirements and to manage a balanced change in the Alps and other European landscapes and regions. The project also aims at combining a top down and a bottom up approach by co-operating with local actors in six to ten selected pilot regions, as well as with governmental bodies concerned on EU and national levels. The project will be carried out in close inter- and trans-disciplinary co-operation between the research team, local actors in the pilot regions selected and European Union and national governmental bodies concerned. The results will be transferred to other European regions through a permanent process of experience exchange.
At the end of the project, the team members developed 13 policy recommendations:
1. Future sustainable development of the Alps requires a better balance economic regional development and landscape concerns.
2. Awareness raising measures should disseminate a comprehensive concept of the alpine cultural landscape.
3. Future perspectives are required for successfully balancing economic, landscape and environmental issues. Public policies need to be better adapted to future trends.
4. The complex and small-scale spatial pattern of alpine development demands for a better territorial adaptation of policy instruments.
5. Public policies should contribute to a spatially balanced development within the Alps.
6. In the prosperous alpine areas, the policy action should focus on dealing with phenomena of growth, on reducing pressure of development on the landscapes and on managing land-use conflicts.
7. In order to maintain alpine settlements and the alpine cultural landscape, public policies should help to maintain the agricultural cultivation and search innovative ways to strengthen the alpine agriculture.
8. Alpine tourism needs new strategies for facing the challenges of the future.
9. For the sustainable development of alpine regions it is necessary to strengthen bottom-up approaches and participation.
10. Landscape is a key element of regional identity.
11. With regard to regional development, managing changes seems to be one of the key challenges of the future.
12. Research on rural areas demands for transdisciplinary approaches and for the participation of regional stakeholders.
13. The predominantly conservative concepts of cultural landscape need some modifications.
CAP AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Scientist responsible for the project
Mr KURT PUCHINGER
Austria - AT
Phone: +43 1 544 0780
Fax: +43 1 548 4956
||REGIONAL CONSULTING ZT GMBH
||01 September 2001
||2 165 562 €
|Total EC contribution
||1 146 425 €