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The European Landscape Convention: Embodiment of Landscape as Cultural Heritage? (2007)

Author(s): Roe M

    Abstract: The thesis of this paper is that the European Landscape Convention has set out a much more holistic understanding of landscape than was previously the case within Europe. The Convention embodies thinking that is beginning to be reflected in the work of governments, environmental agencies and a wide range of interested parties within the landscape field in Europe. Landscapes are not necessarily classifiable as being either ‘natural’ or ‘cultural’ because all landscapes within Europe are to some extent or another impacted by humans. The term ‘cultural landscape’ could therefore be seen as redundant, since all the landscapes of Europe can also be described as ‘cultural’ to some extent. However the issue of labelling or classification is really much more complex. Different individuals, organisations and cultures often develop values according to the extent of human intervention or associations that may have built up over time. The European Landscape Convention helpfully does not value any one landscape above another, indeed it recognises that local and degraded landscapes are as likely to be of importance to the communities – or cultures - who inhabit them or the people who visit them as those which are commonly found to be labelled as globally important. The Convention is revolutionary in the way it has put ‘ordinary’ as well as ‘special’ landscapes onto government agendas throughout Europe.

      • Journal: Journal of Chinese Landscape Architecture
      • Volume: 23/149
      • Issue: 11
      • Pages: 10-15
      • Publisher: Zhongguo Fengjing Yuanlin Xuehua
      • Publication type: Article
      • Bibliographic status: Published

        Keywords: Landscape Architecture; the European Landscape Convention; Cultural Landscapes; Future Landscapes


        Maggie Roe
        Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture