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23rd Session of PECSRL - The Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape


23rd Session of PECSRL - The Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape

Terça-feira, 6 de Novembro de 2007

Conference objectives & themes:

The 23rd Session of PECSRL will be a new opportunity for exchange and interaction among European and other scholars and practitioners interested in landscape and development research and planning, with the following objectives:

    * To provide insights on historical, current and prospective linkages between changing landscapes and natural, economic, cultural and other identity features of places and regions;
    * To bring forward new ideas about the landscape related identities as local and regional development assets and resources in the era of globalized economy and culture;
    * To assess the role of historical geography and landscape history as platforms of landscape research and management in European contexts and their transcontinental perspectives;
    * To strengthen landscape perspective as a constitutive element of sustainable development, and to promote international cooperation in landscape and development research.

Theme A:

Landscapes treasure past, frame current and affect future environmental, socioeconomic and cultural change. As custodians of the time-space interface and of the sense of place, landscapes also encourage our territorially steered memories, emotions, perceptions and knowledge, as well as our interests, decisions and actions. In this context, landscapes are the media through which the existing and emerging identity features of places and regions are generated, recorded, assumed and claimed. In short, landscapes are constitutive elements and factors of changing territorial identities.

Theme B:

The (re)affirmation of natural, economic, cultural or other territorial identity features has gained strategic importance in the era of globalized economy and culture. This applies equally to those places and regions that already benefit from favourable, attractive (or even “globally competitive”) identities based on sustainable growth and development, and to lagging, mostly peripheral, rural areas that suffer from environmental degradation due to land-use conflicts and/or from weak economy and fading cultural authenticity due to overexposure to globalized goods, services and ideas, or to their indiscriminate adoption. Symptomatically, regardless of the developmental experience, natural and cultural landscapes have been increasingly regarded and treated as important development resources: landscape preservation and (re)qualification have become synonymous, implicitly and explicitly, to the strengthening of existing and the creation of new favourable territorial identity features, both material and immaterial, as well as with the removal of negative ones, aimed at promoting economic and cultural emancipation and sustainable socioeconomic development of places and regions.

Theme C:

The historical development of European cultural landscapes has traditionally been the main focus of the work of PECSRL members. During the last decade, however, PECSRL has developed into a real multidisciplinary network of scholars and practitioners dealing with cultural landscapes, including geographers, landscape ecologists, landscape architects and social scientists. This new development has opened up a variety of new perspectives on the European landscape and has stimulated the debate between the various disciplines and perspectives. The other side of the coin is, however, that individual disciplines should rethink and reformulate their own role and agenda for the future. This is certainly the case for the fields of historical geography and landscape history. What should be their role in the future, scientifically as well as practical, individually as well as from the interdisciplinary perspective?

Theme D:

Sustainable development policies, plans and projects should be based on assessments of changing natural and cultural landscapes, and this is why the scope and importance of landscape research - theoretical and applied, top-down and, especially, participatory - can be reinforced and expanded. Their trans-disciplinary character enables landscape studies to provide comprehensive insights and sound advice on the design, implementation and assessment of developmental goals and interventions that imply the (re/de)generation of natural, economic, cultural and other territorial identity features. Landscape research is, in fact, an increasingly attractive platform of knowledge on the complex linkages between time-space interface, local-global nexus and development.


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