University of Torino and Politecnico of Torino, Italy, 22-23 September 2014
Landscape Observatories, basis of shared landscape strategies
For the European Landscape Convention (ELC), “landscape observatories, centers and institutes” are crucial instruments in the development and implementation of landscape policies1. They form a strong incentive to collect and exchange information, to raise awareness, and to offer a platform for public participation and training in landscape matters, which is relevant at the level of local communities and regions as much as for states.
In 2013, thanks to the European Landscape Networks (UNISCAPE, CIVILSCAPE, RECEP), a first overview on the existing Landscape Observatories was presented in the International Seminar “Landscape Observatories in Europe: from ELC Recommendations to Local Initiatives 2000-2013” (Florence, 27-28th June 2013), which saw the participation of about hundred experts and stakeholders from many different countries.
During the Seminar the UNISCAPE representatives of the Università di Torino and Politecnico di Torino (Italy) were mandated to manage the organisational aspects regarding the establishment of a Network of European Landscape Observatories. Aim is to coordinate future initiatives, exchange experiences and promote scientific research, integrating the activities of the three international networks by gathering universities, civil society and public authorities in support of the ELC.
The Seminar “LANDSCAPE OBSERVATORIES IN EUROPE II” used as a starting point the perspective of the European Landscape Convention: it discussed the main objectives of Landscape Observatories in their role of cultural awareness raising and knowledge transfer, crossing citizens’ participation with professional and academic knowledge. Representatives of Landscape Observatories of varying denotations and levels of institutionalisation were invited to participate, together with other interested stakeholders, to assess how cooperation can enhance their proper foundation and management.
The Seminar followed the sessions:
1. Cultural role, documentation, assessment and monitoring.
2. Landscape as a project: spatial policies, planning, and design.
3. Awareness, participation, education and training.
The Seminar’s 4th, concluding, session discussed the challenges to be tackled and actions to be taken: the identification of further Landscape Centers, Institutes and Observatories, the establishment of a Network of European Landscape Observatories, and a “Landscape Observatories Action Plan”.
The papers and discussions taking place during the seminar are published in:
UNISCAPE En-Route issue n.1
Claudia Cassatella (Ass. Prof., Politecnico di Torino -Italy, UNISCAPE Representative),
Marco Devecchi (Prof., Università di Torino- Italy, UNISCAPE Representative),
Roberto Gambino (Em. Prof.,Politecnico di Torino – Italy, UNISCAPE Executive Board),
Federica Larcher (Ass. Prof., Università di Torino- Italy),
Dirk Gotzmann (CIVILSCAPE Director),
Juan Manuel Palerm (UNISCAPE President, University of Gran Canaria)
Bas Pedroli (UNISCAPE Director, Wageningen University)
Federica Larcher, Università di Torino- Italy