Each can, thus, be identified. Specificity is partly conditioned by levels of formalization and institutionalization. Across time and space, territory, authority, and rights have been assembled into distinct formations within which they have had variable levels of performance. Further, the types of instruments and capabilities through which each gets constituted vary, as do the sites where each is in turn embedded—private or public, law or custom, metropolitan or colonial, national or supranational, and so on.
Using these three foundational components as analytic pathways into the two distinct formations that concern me in the larger project --the national and the global-- helps avoid the endogeneity trap that so affects the globalization literature. Scholars have generally looked at these two complex formations in toto, and compared them to establish their differences. This is not where I start. Rather than comparing what are posited as two wholes—the national and the global—I disaggregate each into these three foundational components territory, authority, and rights.
They are my starting point. I dislodge them from their particular historically constructed encasements—in this case, the national and the global—and examine their constitution and institutional location in these different historical formations, and their possible shifting across institutional domains. I develop some of this empirically in the next section, but a quick example would be the shift of what were once components of public authority into a growing array of forms of private authority.
One thesis that arises out of this type of analysis is that particular national capabilities are dislodged from their national institutional encasement and become consitutive of, rather than being destroyed or sidelined by globalization. This type of approach produces an analytics that can be used by others to examine different countries today in the context of globalization or different types of assemblages across time and space. In the modern state, TAR evolve into what we now can recognize as a centripetal scaling where one scale, the national, aggregates most of what there is to be had in terms of TAR.
Though never absolutely, each of the three components is constituted overhwelmingly as a national domain and, further, exclusively so. Where in the past most territories were subject to multiple systems of rule, the national sovereign gains exclusive authority over a given territory and at the same time this territory is constructed as coterminous with that authority, in principle ensuring a similar dynamic in other nation-states.
This in turn gives the sovereign the possibility of functioning as the exclusive grantor of rights. Territory is perhaps the most critical capability for the formation of the nation-state, while today we see ascend a variety of assemblages for which it is not; thus for the global regulators authority is more critical than territory.
Globalization can be seen as destabilizing this particular scalar assemblage. What scholars have noticed is the fact that the nation-state has lost some of its exclusive territorial authority to new global institutions. What they have failed to examine in depth is the specific, often specialized rearrangements inside the highly formalized and institutionalized national state apparatus aimed at instituting the authority of global institutions.
This shift that is not simply a question of policymaking —it is about making a novel type of institutional space inside the state. In overlooking such rearrangements it is also easy to overlook the extent to which critical components of the global are structured inside the national producing what I refer to as a partial, and often highly specialized, denationalizing of what historically was constructed as national. Thus today particular elements of TAR are becoming reassembled into novel global configurations.
Therewith, their mutual interactions and interdependencies are altered as are their institutional encasements. These shifts take place both within the nation-state, for example, shifts from public to private, and through shifts to the inter- and supra-national and global levels. What was bundled up and experienced as a unitary condition the national assemblage of TAR now increasingly reveals itself to be a set of distinct elements, with variable capacities for becoming denationalized. For instance, we might say that particular components of authority and of rights are evincing a greater capacity to partial denationalization than territory; geographic boundaries have changed far less except in cases such as the disintegration of the Soviet Union than authority i.
It points to possibly sharp divergence between the organizing logics of the earlier international and current global phases; these are often seen as analogous to the current global phase, but I argue this understanding may be based on a confusion of analytical levels. In earlier periods, including Bretton Woods, that imperial logic was geared toward building national states, typically through imperial geographies; in today's phase, it is geared toward setting up global systems inside national states and national economies, an dinthat sense, at least partly denationalizing what had historically been constructed as national.
This denationalizing can take multiple concrete forms: to mention two critical ones, global cities and specific policies and institutions within the state itself. Next I develop some of these issues empirically by focusing on emergent articulations of territory, authority, and rights that unsettle what has been the dominant articulation, that characterizing the modern state. I will use the concept of territoriality, usually used to designate the partiuclar articulation of TAR in the modern state.
Here I denaturalize the term and use it to capture a far broader range of such articulations. These four types of instances unsettle national state territoriality —the territory of the national is a critical dimension in play in all four. There are other emergent assemblages I examine in the larger project, A first type of territoriality can be found in the development of new jurisdictional geographies.
Among the more formalized instances are a variety of national legal actions which notwithstanding their transnational geographies can today be launched from national courts. The critical articulation is between the national as in national court, national law and a global geography, outside the terms of traditional international law or treaty law. A good example are the lawsuits launched by the Washington-based Center for Constitutional Rights in a national court against nine multinational corporations, both American and foreign, for abuses of workers' rights in their offshore industrial operations, using as the national legal instrumet the Alien Torts Claims Act.
In other words, this is a global three-sited jurisdiction, with several locations in at least two of those sites —the locations of the headquarters both the US and other countries , the locations of the offshore factories several countries , and the court in Washington. Even if these lawsuits do not quite achieve their full goal, they signal it is possible to use the national judiciary for suing US and foreign firms for questionable practices in their operations outside their home countries.
Thus, besides the much noted new courts and instruments e. Another instance is the U. This is yet another instance of a territoriality that is both national and non-national. Finally, diverse jurisdictional geographies can also be used to manipulate temporal dimensions. Reinserting a conflict in the national legal system may ensure a slower progression than in the private jurisdiction of international commercial arbitration Sassen ch 5. A second type of specialized assemblage that is contributing to a novel type of territoriality is the work of national states across the globe to construct a standardized global space for the operations of firms and markets.
What this means is that components of legal frameworks for rights and guarantees, and more generally the rule of law, largely developed in the process of national state formation, can now strengthen non-national organizing logics. As these components become part of new types of transnational systems they alter the valence of rather than destroy, as is often argued older national state capabilities. Where the rule of law once built the strength of the national state and national corporations, key components of that rule of law are now contributing to the partial, often highly specialized, denationalizing of particular national state orders.
For instance, corporate actors operating globally have pushed hard for the development of new types of formal instruments, notably intellectual property rights and standardized accounting principles. But they need not only the the support, but also the actual work of each individual state where they operate to develop and implement such instruments in the specific context of each country. In their aggregate this and other emergent orderings contribute to produce an operational space that is partly embedded in particular components of national legal systems which have been subjected to specialized denationalizations chapters 4 and 5 ; thereby these orderings become capabilities of an organizing logic that is not quite part of the national state even as that logic installs itself in that state.
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Further, in so doing, they often go against the interests of national capital. This is a very different way of representing economic globalization than the common notion of the withdrawal of the state at the hands of the global system. Indeed, to a large extent it is the executive branch of government that is getting aligned with global corporate capital and ensuring this work gets done. A third type of specialized assemblage can be detected in the formation of a global network of financial centers. We can conceive of financial centers that are part of global financial markets as constituting a distinct kind of territoriality, simultaneously pulled in by the larger electronic networks and functioning as localized micro-infrastructures for those networks.
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These financial centers inhabit national territories, but they cannot be seen as simply national in the historical sense of the term, nor can they be reduced to the administrative unit encompassing the actual terrain e. In their aggregate they house significant components of the global, partly electronic market for capital. As localities they are denationalized in specific and partial ways.
In this sense they can be seen as constituting the elements of a novel type of multi-sited territoriality, one that diverges sharply from the territoriality of the historic nation-state. A fourth type of assemblage can be found in the global networks of local activists and, more generally, in the concrete and often place-specific social infrastructure of global civil society.
Global civil society is enabled by global digital networks and the associated imaginaries. But this does not preclude that localized actors, organizations, and causes are key building blocks of global civil society as it is shaping up today. The localized involvements of activists are critical no matter how universal and planetary the aims of the various struggles—in their aggregate these localized involvements are constitutive. Global electronic networks actually push the possibility of this local-global dynamic further.
Elsewhere I have examined chapter 7 the possibility for even resource-poor and immobile individuals or organizations to become part of a type of horizontal globality centered on diverse localities.
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When supplied with the key capabilities of the new technologies—decentralized access, interconnectivity, and simultaneity of transactions—localized, immobilized individuals and organizations can be part of a global public space, one that is partly a subjective condition, but only partly because it is rooted in the concrete struggles of localities.
In principle we can posit that those who are immobile might be more likely to experience their globality through this abstract space than individuals and organizations that have the resources and the options to travel across the globe. Sometimes these globalities can assume complex forms, as is the case with first-nation people demanding direct representation in international fora, bypassing national state authority—a longstanding cause that has been significantly enabled by global electronic networking.
Other times they are more elementary, as is the case with various Forest Watch activists in rain forests around the world. One common pattern is the formation of triangular cross-border jurisdictions for political action which once would have been confined to the national. Local activists often use global campaigns and international organizations to secure rights and guarantees from their national states; they now have the option to incorporate a non-national or global site in their national struggles. These instances point to the emergence of a particular type of territoriality in the context of the imbrications of digital and nondigital conditions.
This territoriality partly inhabits specific subnational spaces and partly gets constituted as a variety of somewhat specialized or partial global publics. While the third and fourth types of territoriality might seem similar, they are actually not. The subnational spaces of these localized actors have not been denationalized as have the financial centers discussed earlier. The global publics that get constituted are barely institutionalized and mostly informal, unlike the global capital market, which is a highly institutionalized space both through national and international law, and through private governance systems.
In their informality, however, these global publics can be seen as spaces for empowerment of the resource-poor or of not very powerful actors. In this sense the subjectivities that are emerging through these global publics constitute capabilities for new organizing logics. Although these four types of emergent assemblages that function as territorialities are diverse, they all share certain features. First, they are not exclusively national or global but are assemblages of elements of each. Second, in this assembling they bring together what are often different spatio-temporal orders, that is, different velocities and different scopes.
The resolution of these encounters can become the occasion for playing out conflicts that cannot easily be played out in other spaces. Fourth, novel types of actors, initially often informal political or economic actors, can emerge in the processes through which these assemblages are constituted. These novel actors tend to be able to access cross-border domains once exclusive to older established actors, notably national states.
Finally, in the juxtaposition of the different temporal orders that come together in these novel territorialities, an existing capability can get redeployed to a domain with a different organizing logic. These emergent assemblages begin to unbundle the traditional territoriality of the national, historically constructed overwhelmingly as a national unitary spatio-temporal domain. This raises questions about the future of crucial frameworks through which modern societies, economies, and polities under the rule of law have operated: the social contract of liberal states, social democracy as we have come to understand it, modern citizenship, and the formal mechanisms that render certain claims legitimate and others illegitimate in liberal democracies.
The future of these and other familiar frameworks is rendered dubious by the unbundling, even if very partial, of the basic organizational and normative architectures through which we have operated, especially over the last century. These architectures have held together complex interdependencies between rights and obligations, power and the law, wealth and poverty, allegiance and exit. The multiplication of partial, specialized, and applied normative orders produces distinct normative challenges in the context of a still prevalent world of nation-states.
Just to mention one instance, I would induce from these trends that normative orders such as religions reassume greater importance where they had until recently been confined to distinct specialized spheres by the secular normative orders of states. I would posit that this is not, as is commonly argued, a fallback on older cultures. On the contrary, it is a systemic outcome of cutting-edge developments —not pre-modern but a new type of modernity that is a kind of default sphere arising out of the partial unbundling of what had been dominant and centripetal normative orders into multiple particularized segmentations.
The ascendance of religion is but one outcome, albeit a highly visible one that arouses deep passions. But there are others, and their numbers are growing even as they are rarely as visible as religion. Other recent books are the 3rd. The Global City came out in a new fully updated edition in Her books are translated into sixteen languages. She serves on several editorial boards and is an advisor to several international bodies. Norton Questi assemblaggi intersecano il sistema binario del nazionale contro il globale, hanno sede nelle impostazioni istituzionali e territoriali nazionali, e si estendono al globo in quelle che sono in larga misura geografie trans-locali che connettono spazi subnazionali multipli.
La proliferazione di questi sistemi non rappresenta la fine degli Stati nazionali, ma inizia a disassemblare frammenti del concetto di nazionale. Se visti con gli occhi dello Stato nazionale, questi assemblaggi assomigliano a geografie rudimentali. Dare importanza a questa moltiplicazione di assemblaggi parziali contrasta con molta della letteratura sulla globalizzazione.
La loro apparizione e la loro proliferazione portano diverse conseguenze significative anche se si tratta di uno sviluppo parziale e non omnicomprensivo. This is proven by the fact that several regional plans are having a very hard time applying basic rules and regulations to the practicality of the planning at a local level.
In order to better explain the above mentioned points, we are going to present the case of the Sardinian Regional Landscape Plan SRLP in which several critical issues arise and converge as they stem from the uncertainty of the rules and are consequently accompanied by seriously negative outcomes. Introduction Landscape planning is the result of a complex and coordinated effort. To preside over the management of the Landscape we have, on the one hand, the advanced and exclusive vision elaborated by the constitutional legislator, and on the other a reductionist perspective of the Landscape in the sense that this is perceived and therefore treated Italian Association of Geography Teachers.
If the European Convention for the Landscape itself demands art. At present the landscape planning discipline is facing a rethinking of its models due to the inadequacy of its founding standpoints and some ideologically manufactured claims based in turn on a specious conception of identity. In order to better explain the above mentioned points, we are going to present the case of the Sardinian Regional Landscape Plan.
Such as private actors, powerful notables, civil society, local politicians. SRLP 2 in which several critical issues arise and converge as they stem from the uncertainty of the rules and are consequently accompanied by seriously negative outcomes. The Sardinian Regional Landscape Plan is a convincing one on many levels, such as for instance the study of the classification of the cultural invariances 3, and its contribution to prevent cases of pillaging of the coastal landscape, but it has critical cultural limits and methodological flaws directly related to the irresolution of the laws Figure 1.
One of these flaws is the lack of a strategic vision and coordination among the many authorities presiding over the territory, which confers a substantial limit to the protection and the guarantee of the Landscape interpreted as a common good. Another one is the interpretation of what constitutes the real identity of the common good which is highly debatable and controversial in itself. An additional concern is the partiality used to evaluate the regional territory: the plan only considers the coastal border which is just a part of the Landscape, therefore ruling out a very important component of the territory.
Such disparity is detrimental for the Landscape as a common good because it generates conflicts, inequalities in the assigned value of the estates, and decreases the sense of belonging to the larger community. We are therefore convinced that the planning of the territory needs unequivocal rules, clear limits in the range of the possible interpretations of the norms and more responsibility on behalf of the legislators to apply restrictions instead of implementing them in an overweening unlimited fashion as too often happens today.
The invariants have not varied in the long term though cycles of territorialisation Magnaghi, , p. Historical Sardinian Regions. Source: Elaboration on Autonomous Region of Sardinia website. The latter are assigned the unenviable task of updating their planning tools,. Some municipalities attempted to attribute a feature of invariance to the rules of Landscape creation, but they have been unsuccessful, because the reading frame of the relative methodology is uncertain and incoherent.
The net result has been that practically no Municipality managed to complete the updating process that has been furtherly complicated by the Strategic Environmental Assessment SEA In the new Regional Council inaugurated a season of revision of the Plan, but made the above mentioned errors, although it reduced the number of the invariances the fewer the invariances, the fewer the problems. This means that the plan was changed again, calling into question its previous structure, but it was still far from presenting accepted and clearly stated unequivocal rules. The rules of the realization of the regional plan were also updated and the Municipalities had to reconcile them with the reality of their territories.
As a matter of fact the dreaded simplification ended up with a weakening of the desired certainties because of the lack of coordination with the Mibact, despite a nonbinding agreement. In the change in the national political scenario erased the Plan that had only been implemented in , making the matter even more complicated. The plan, enhanced in with the updated Mosaic of the cultural and territorial assets, became effective once again when the regional government, with resolution No.
The measure followed D. Sardinian Regional Landscape Plan: the crucial issue of Sardinian Identity The Sardinian Regional Landscape Plan, the first to be approved among all the Italian regions, is founded on the theme of Sardinian identity, the complex of criteria that shapes the safeguard and the possible re-adaptation of the landscape. The idea of Identity, a polysemous word used by the European Landscape Convention ELC 4 must be interpreted as a relational structure, as a field strength where the tensions between naturalistic and human factors confront each other yielding an unstable and temporary balance that sometimes may endure the hardships of time.
The concept of identity is not a static one, does not merely point to the past, and is not a synonym of tradition: identity is continuously shaped by the confrontation with the current times; it combines preservation with innovation, safeguard with restoration and care of the territory. From this standpoint, the aesthetic standard, particularly relevant in Italy, and the ecologic-scientific standard leads to a comprehensive view of the Landscape as a hive for the Communities ref 2 5, carved according to the history and the culture of the local communities that inhabit the territories, altering them through the ages, sculpting their features in them, seeing themselves in them.
ELC , General criteria art. The Author, in particular, focuses on: the theme of the recollection and the inventory of the locations Norberg-Schulz, , the cultural identity of the territory Cervellati, , the structural invariants, cornerstones of the identity of the territory that last in the long term Magnaghi, The Landscape can represent, and it definitely does in Sardinia, the Island identity with such intensity that blends with the foundation and the main component of the very cultural identity of the local communities.
Among the factors that brought about a substantial change in the relationship between the communities and their territories and irreversibly altered the distinctiveness of the land, we have to consider the utilization of the coastal borders for tourism, the decrease in competitiveness of agriculture and sheep farming which led to the abandoning of the inner lands, the expansion of the urban areas and the desertion of the small villages Magnaghi, These factors defaced the peculiarity of the land, the memory of the past, the sense of direction and of self-recognition of the people Norberg-Schulz The Landscape planning, along with the political management of the territory and its sustainable development has to start from a careful analysis of the shared identity that must always be protected, enriched and constantly re-examined6.
Planning means finding the signs of the past in the land, and recognizing the milestones that define the territory and allow one to be oriented; it means re-discovering the identity traits that the people during history have not consciously changed but rather piled up in the diachronic sedimentation process of their living space. How then can we recognize the locations, the specificities, the prominent traits that are really the expression of that cultural identity the 6.
The features of the Identity: the old. It is not clear what the writer of the SRLP means by matrix center.
This term cannot be found in the ancient city planning discipline documents8; rather these texts mention a primordial nucleus that can be defined as a preexistent and permanent physical shape9 that has also a symbolic value and coincides with the foundation pole10 of a certain territory. It is the city of classic foundation that, even in Sardinia, played an important role at the source of the urban settlements to be distinguished from settlements that do not show urban features and acquires a meaning which goes beyond the mere distribution of functions.
This opinion is now shared by the majority of the scholars of ancient urban planning, historic topography and history of the city and makes it possible to better clarify the issue of the ancient city that otherwise would be left to the disarray of the most diverse theories. This is particularly true because the definition of matrix center needs to be immediately associated to a body of strongly binding, qualitative and quantitative rules of preservations, safeguard and tutelage of the 8.
The matrix center of Cagliari. Two aspects appear misleading: the first is that the old town centers need to be recognized on the basis of an alleged ancient foundation; the second is that the centers need to be identified, 7. In this scenario, the prompt of a more careful evaluation of the concept of old town center becomes more urgent and not specious, even inevitable, especially when it must be related to the larger horizon of the natural landscape, therefore overcoming its own boundaries The study of such combination of spaces evokes the discipline of the so called visual points, which should be regarded in the most impartial and serene way especially given the restrictions they are exposed to.
Starting from the cultural background that is anchored to the concept of identity, the SRLP introduced a new method of research that seems particularly significant. The way the Plan chose to present and discuss the historic cultural landscape theme is an excellent opportunity to make the case of its featuring elements, the so called identity assets. Moreover, Regional Law No. The types of identity assets acknowledged by the SRLP are the following:. It is important to emphasize that the Code of the cultural and territorial assets put both cultural and landscape assets in the same category.
Nevertheless, this categorization is strongly limited by the unavailability of objective criteria used to define it. The identity assets are not clearly recognizable other than through the listing of categories and typologies of artifacts found in the territory. As a consequence, the determination of the restrictions the study of the territory refers to could turn out to be incorrect due to a clear methodological defect in the form and substance13, since, as we said, it anchors the collective action to value judgements not previously codified and shared.
Technical rules for the implementation of the SRLP. We have to consider also the identification of alleged identity values in the territorial artifacts and the so called spontaneous identity customs that can be found locally These concepts are at the very foundation of the notion of identity and allow us to shape the shared features of the different communities in a super-individual quest that still manages to express the will of the collective thought.
In this scenario we need to frame the classical anthropologic studies from Bateson to Mauss16, mostly intended to identify the shared traits of the social habits in human population. As Cassano states, we have to be wondering about what is happening to the common goods17, whichever the legitimation process they underwent to may be, and above all whether or not the planning of the future welfare which at the end of the day should be the main focus of the landscape planning is compatible with the utilization of the intrinsic richness of the territory or rather entails a loss of pertinence due to the extremisms of some environmental policies.
We therefore need to clarify what the RPP means with identity asset, since the Code of the cultural and territorial assets only mentions the typologies of the assets. How the so called identity assets are included in the general category of the common assets classified by the Code will likely be controversial, as it affects the future preservation and restrictions to be tangibly applied to the immanent peculiarities of the territory-landscape.
This issue stems from the delay between the elaboration of a proposal of restrictions and the application extension of the same restrictions by the Government, the Sardinian Government in this case, which represents the last useful intervention in terms of tutelage of the assets themselves. The temporal deferral of the implementation of the restrictions is an objective risk for the assets and the territory, because it elicits the expansion of the planning phase and causes discrepancies among the expectations of the Plan, the actual opportunities of the territorial development, and the impossibility to make programmed and competitive choices at a European level.
Thus the definition of identity resource is a very critical topic of discussion concerning the Sardinian SRLP. It has been launched to safeguard those Sardinian identity assets that are identified as such and to lead to their unconditional legal protection. What is the value of the Identity asset? In the SRLP, the identity asset can be assimilated to the concept of cultural asset and represents a new motif of the territorial section that is associated with bases on its uniqueness and its assigned value. The Plan does not clearly explain how it came up with this attribution of value though, and while it creates the need to pinpoint objective parameters particularly pertinent and relevant, it also entails the risk of causing an excessive containment of an immaterial good.
Nevertheless it is worthwhile discussing the concept of identity asset and its so called identity matrix particularly because they can be a tool for useful future considerations. One of the principles the cultural asset is based on is its public utility, interpreted as historic and cultural relevance of public pertinence, regardless of its legal status. This concept involves the discipline of jurisprudence because it implies the notion of legatum at patriam, namely the legal principle according to which everything located in a public place falls within the conditio of res populi romani.
This means that a public good is such when it has a public utility Barbati, Cammelli and Sciullo , p. Initially it is the public utility that establishes the asset in the institutions and the customs memory19 therefore becoming first individual memory, then collective memory and finally historic memory. The memory plays a fundamental role in the transformation of the landscape into a human artifact territorializzazione , because it has the power to safeguard the unchanging values of a venue even when that is transformed by later models of civilization The long lasting cognitive and material settlings are the basis for the definition of the concept of structural invariance Magnaghi, The invariances must be retraced into operational forms, saved cum-serbare, keep beside oneself and protected curatio, take care , not turned into a museum museum, place dedicated to the Muses , but rather transformed into new economic opportunities.
In order to accomplish this plan it is necessary to build a range of values that in turn can be used to apply the necessary restrictions that regulate the usage of the territory. However the methodology adopted by the SRLP for the acknowledgment of the identity assets does not allow the drawing of a series of unchanging values perceived as such by the local populations.
It is not quite clear which values the communities have to acknowledge and rely upon and not leave to the arbitrary or subjective discernment of the individual. It is impossible to define the structure of an identity asset, because it is hard to decipher the perception of the sense of belonging. This is a mental representation consisting in a mixture of sensitivity and memory and not necessarily attributable to a purely physical or intellectual category.
However to secure an identity asset it is still necessary to identify it with certainty and to describe its qualifications. Every other As observed by Vernant, We could then equate the identity assets to the monumental and territorial assets, thereby granting them the same criteria of measurement used for the monumental, historic-cultural and landscape assets. The new definition of identity landscape and identity historic cultural assets would allow a better balance among the assets to protect, without falling into likely and subjective manipulations that interfere with an opportune and shared attribution of value.
The N. It is not clear why it was deemed necessary to extend additional restrictions to artifacts that by definition were already granted in toto or partial tutelage. Another criticism could be directed to the section of the SRLP that establishes an excessive number of restrictions on an excessive number of identity assets identified on the basis of supposed common Sardinian typologies.
This perspective is questionable also because it leads to a standardization of the contributions the ancient cultures gave to the regional territory, a sort of homologation of the cultural landscape of Sardinia whose preservation is wholly entrusted to the category of the identity asset. This approach crushes the freedom the communities should have to re-interpret these categories and re-adapt them to their current cultural profile. On the contrary we should give our regulations a more competitive potential: from creating passive restrictions for the identity goods to offering them a positive, affirmative meaning in the broader context of a dialogue among safeguard, promotion and administration of the territory.
Sardinia introduced the tool of the project for the Landscape: the project drew a new scenario where the identity good regains possession of its real meaning, namely of an entity the community highly values and enjoys and at the same time considers susceptible to transformation and an opportunity for economic growth. These issues are complex and sometimes obscure even to the legislator or the scholar of urban planning. The most important unclear subjects are: -. This uncertainty brings about the inefficiency of the local plans because it freezes the actions of all the players involved.
The example of the SRLP demonstrates that, in the absence of clear rules, having a structured picture of the territorial assets does not necessarily protect the landscape and the historic common goods. After all, the Plan itself emphasizes the importance of the clarity of the law to raise the level of tutelage of the assets Simplicity and clarity increase the level of protection, pp.
Unpopular conclusions We think that the content of the SRLP as pertaining to the meaning and the importance of the landscape identity goods needs to be properly revised with the final goal of the assimilation of the identity asset to the cultural asset and to the landscape itself. However we are convinced that the safeguard of the common goods cannot be focused on individual or collective interests that disregard codified criteria and models that the scientific community agrees upon and transmits to the local community.
This last passage is a very heterogeneous one depending on how through history the concept of identity is conveyed. Therefore the attribution of the meaning must necessarily include the representation of the identity of the land in its recognizable physical shapes such as artifacts, but also scenarios with all their complexity. This representation can be achieved just by applying the already existing rules without inflating the complex regulations of realization listed in the RLP.
In essence we wish for a direct referral to the Landscape and Cultural Heritage Code and to the idealistic classification of the assets22, given an obvious problem of scientific definitions that cannot be reduced to a mere appropriation rule. If we accept that the landscape planning also includes the urban planning, particularly when it comes to the realization of the plan Urbani and Civitarese, ; Cabiddu, , p. The concept of public interest is in fact pivotal in the discussion on nature and the goals of the urban planning discipline, particularly when it comes to the redefinition of its contents The reference is to the work of Croce.
Regarding this theme very interesting Campbell and Marshall, , and also Minervini, , p. Thus, if on the one hand the relationship among all the many urban managing tools seems clearer, on the other it is not clear how the local institutions will have to conform their regulations to the directives of the regional government. Words such as the statute of the locations or the territorial invariances are doomed to be ignored, although present in the description of the Plan. The issue of the rules, regulations and directives aimed to establish behavioral codes for all the key players interacting in the land and crucial to save or alter the landscape, is a very sensitive one and has become a platform of confrontation among different experiences and professional expertise.
Nevertheless, the necessity and the convenience for all the interlocutors involved to find a common denominator and avoid conflicts stemming from the often contradictory rules, are evident and obvious. To this aim it could be useful to remember that the Norm and the Rule philosophically overlap, whereas the real difference can be drawn only between Directive and Norm.
The former is the proposition literally containing the order, the rule; the latter the Norm is the result of the interpretation of the rule, a hermeneutical act. From an ambiguously written rule many different and sometimes contradictory norms can be paradoxically drawn. In our case of the landscape-theme we are frustrated to discover that the rules sometimes fill the gaps of the State legislations, where the fundamental principles for the promotion of the landscape goods are not yet solidified. The net result is that our territory is split in half: on the one hand we have the landscape assets, regulated according to an obsolete legislation that is not leading towards a sustainable advancement of the territory, and on.
Indeed the regional definitions confirm that the landscape can only be developed if it is protected at the same time. This means that any development plan presumes a safeguard plan which includes the recognition of the asset to be protected. Moreover, besides the recognition we have to dictate the possible usage of the land, what is restricted and what is allowed.
Nevertheless, in the areas that do not belong to the category of the landscape goods, the constraining power of the local administrations is naturally more limited because the urban planning discipline they are subject to needs to be updated with a renewed energy but especially with the study and the approval of a new state law more suitable for the government of the territory.
Argan G. I caratteri originali, Turin, Einaudi, Barbati C. Bonesio L. Cabiddu M. Campbell H. Casini L. Cassano F. Perdere tempo, guadagnare tempo, Milan, Il Mulino, Cervellati P. Clementi A. Convenzione europea e innovazioni di metodo, Rome, Meltemi, De Biasi R. Irti N. Problemi di geodiritto, Bari, Laterza, Lupi M. Metodi e tecniche, Alinea, Florence, Minervini P.
Norberg-Schulz C. Paesaggio, ambiente, architettura, Milan, Electa, Schiavone A. Schmidt C. Tiragallo F. Treu M. Urbani P. Organizzazione e rapporti, Turin, Giappicchelli, Vernant J. Memoria, mito e politica, Milan, Raffaello Cortina Editore, Reflections and perspectives from a case study in Northeastern Italy Benedetta Castiglionia a. Which ways out? It focuses on the distance that exists today among the different approaches used to address the issue of landscape and the different ideas connected to the landscape concept. The results of research activity in a case study in North-eastern Italy confirmed the co-existence of these two opposite concepts in the relationships local people build with their place of life.
Perceived landscape values and opinions of laypeople can be referred to the problematic practices and approaches that have intensely changed the landscape in that area and used to interpret them. Introduction This paper focuses on the distance that exists today among the different approaches used to address the issue of landscape and the different ideas connected to the landscape concept. The results of research activity in a case study, carried on with two surveys of the values that people attribute to the place where they live and the idea of the landscape that emerges, confirmed the co-existence of these two opposite concepts.
At the same time, these results on landscape values and opinions can be referred to practices and approaches that have changed and continue to change the landscape in the area and used to interpret them. The considerations here reported combine reflections deriving from scientific literature and debate and field research, but also from some consulting activities held in public administrations and participation to the events related to the implementation of the European Landscape Convention and field research. We aim to highlight, albeit in a schematic and partly challenging way, the various dimensions of landscape complex structure.
This seems particularly necessary in order to clarify some basic misunderstandings that affect the current debate on landscape, in the transversal and mutual relations between the academic world, the institutional one and civil society. These misunderstandings give rise to critical consequences in contemporary landscapes and management practices. The different dimensions that compose the structure of landscape and that emerge from analyses of the literature, official documents and narratives and discourses can be metaphorically compared to the different wavelengths of light emitted by a prism and broken down into its respective components.
Each of these dimensions can be described as a tension between opposites: in fact, landscape itself has been described as tension Wilie, Here, we consider a model Figure 1 built on six dimensions structure, depth, width, change, actors and exploitation , similar to six different wavelengths of light out of the prism. These dimensions are described by six couples of opposite conditions that is by six tensions between opposite ends Castiglioni, When analyzing a text or a discourse on landscape by searching for approaches and attitudes that explicitly or implicitly drive the discourse itself we could be able to situate it in the model on a specific level between the two opposite conditions for each of these dimensions.
In other words, this model may help in recognizing which idea about landscape underlies each of the discourses, texts, narratives on landscape, and therefore to understand the explicit or implicit evaluation criteria that Italian Association of Geography Teachers. On the other hand, they can consider the driving forces and processes or the social, economic and political factors involved, such as the presence of agricultural firms, financial support for agricultural activities or general agricultural policies connected with grass-cutting activities.
Such miscommunication can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts, with norms, plans and projects not underpinned by a common agreement on their objectives. In addition, landscape management practices at all scales may not be intrinsically coherent. To address this problem, an effort of stating landscape meanings explicitly is needed.
Institutional landscapes and everyday. We focus now on two specific dimensions of landscape concept among the six presented in Figure 1: the spatial dimension, which refers to the width of the area conceived as landscape, and the social dimension, which refers to the actors involved. In the Italian case, where an old tradition of landscape top-down policies ruled by expert visions takes into consideration almost exclusively those areas that are considered exceptional, these two dimensions seem to need a wider clarification, as the oppositions that lie in them they often origin deep misunderstandings.
The spatial dimension represented by the horizontal line in Figure 2 concerns the portion of space that we consider suitable when talking about landscape: does it refer to the entire area, as claimed, for example, in art. The model proposed in par. Similarly, considering the social dimension represented by the vertical line in Figure 2 , the question is: Should landscape be considered only in the way experts deal with it, through the.
In other words: Whose landscape is this? Taking into account these two dimensions, two concepts of landscape can be outlined, provocatively in opposition. These two concepts, despite the distance between them, coexist as driving forces of land-management practices and material transformations of the local landscapes. Transformations of these landscape exceptionalities have to be authorised through special administrative procedures. In such a landscape, the course of history seems to be stopped. The changing dimension is denied, like a framed painting or a souvenir postcard of places to visit.
In reality, these criteria are not always explicit stated: they are taken for granted. This logic removes the ordinary citizen from playing an active role towards landscapes, as far as it is the sole responsibility of institutions or experts. They are not required to take care of the landscapes, just to respect norms directed to safeguard. They delegate it to the experts and to the administrative power.
The level of personal involvement is generally very low. Actually, the position of people as insiders, as part of the landscape itself, is problematic, as it does not allow, or rather makes it difficult, the awareness and the explicitation of the values assigned in everyday places, by all people. The criteria that are applied depend on. The role of customs Olwig, , in the practices that the inhabitants undertake is implied, not only of norms; they potentially lead to significant changes. The question of the European. The second one is explicitly considered in art.
It emerges in a few lines of the preamble and in some other passages in the text. Therefore, they remain open to a shared generic evaluation, according to the global criteria identified above. This implicit compresence of opposite concepts does not help in identifying clearly the directions of landscape policies. On the other hand, the Convention seems to include in itself the direction and the recommendations for bridging the gap between the two opposite concepts. This measure is intended to disseminate this broad idea of landscape, in which pluralities of values and the question of transformation have to be considered.
Any attempt at interpreting such changes has made difficult as the traditional categories of town and countryside seem to have lost their meaning and been replaced by something difficult to be defined. In this process, the reasons of development and improvement in economic results seem to have completely overborne any other reasons, including them of preserving historical features of the rural landscape, like Palladian villas.
Different scholars criticize this landscape change, from diverse points of view, such as those of environmental problems Belloni, and loss of heritage and soil consumption Tempesta, , or denouncing existential discomfort Vallerani and Varotto, However, what relationship is there between the local inhabitants and the Veneto landscape as it appears today? Drawing on the issues raised by the European Landscape Convention, especially those related to ordinary landscapes and to the role of people perceptions, these questions have formed the basis of our research.
We conducted two surveys, the first in , the second ten years later in The village started expanding in the s. In the period , it underwent very rapid development, with new residential areas constructed on the northeast side of the main road. In the last ten years, the urbani-.
The first survey involved — among other analyses of the spatial context — fifteen semistructured in depth interviews with local people encountered on the main streets of the village. The second one included — in addition to twelve interviews — also questionnaires distributed to the parents of children attending the local primary school almost one hundred of questionnaires collected; see Castiglioni and Ferrario, for more information on methodology and results of the first survey, Castiglioni et al.
Selecting, among wider questions, the ones mostly related to the aims of the present paper, this field research helped in understanding on the one hand the different meanings and values people assign to their surroundings and how they interact with them, and — on the other hand — to what extent laypeople consider the notion of landscape pertinent when referring to where they live. In the place where they lived, the people did not recognise anything that they called landscape. However, those surveyed did not feel disorientation or discomfort due to the fast change and formal disorder of their neighbourhood.
On the contrary, they had a strong place attachment. Moreover, they sometimes used expressions like usefulness when describing the nicest places in their surroundings. It suggests that they more used to assign functional values to their place of life than aesthetical ones.
In general, people seem to be more inclined to use social criteria than aesthetic ones when building relations with their surroundings. As an example, the inhabitants of Vigorovea said that one of the nicest places was the area behind the church because this was a meeting place for the community. Indeed, the so-called baraccon is located there. The baraccon is a sort of large temporary shack, which was recently built, without any aesthetic considerations. It hosts many activities other than religious ones, in which people of all ages are actively involved Figure 3.
These different results do not clarify this topic. Rather, they call into question both the opinion is it as widespread as it appeared? To some extent, these answers contradicting the previous ones, confirm the ambiguities of the issue of landscape ideas and the difficulties in dealing with them. The results of the surveys provided evidence for the distance between the two different approaches to landscape concept presented in the first part of this paper. A low level of awareness emerges of the different values people assign to places, according to the different criteria.
To a certain degree, the inhabitants act following mainly functional needs or affective and social ones , without paying attention to other aspects, like aesthetic, environmental or historical ones. Conclusions: awareness raising and. Landscape values and landscape change notably constitute the cornerstone of this process.
In this perspective, everyone can learn to recognize the parts that make up the landscape itself and the values necessarily plural which are included in its dynamism. This should happen in all places, both those exceptional — where the values set by the experts must become the common and shared heritage — and those of daily life, where the value dimensions related to practices have to find ways for explicitness and dignity. Highlighting the unexpressed value placed on the everyday landscape seems to represent a way to close the distance between the two approaches.
The opportunity to meet, share glances and express different values offers a more democratic approach to spatial questions. The Author acknowledges also Alessia De Nardi, Chiara Quaglia and Chrysafina Geronta University of Padua that joined the research group for the implementation of the second survey here reported. The Author thanks the headmaster and the teachers of the primary school of Vigorovea, the parents of the schoolchildren and the inhabitants who cooperated with this research. Belloni G. Berque A.
Reflections and proposals for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention, Strasbourg, Council of Europe Publishing, , pp. Cosgrove D. Derioz P. Duncan J. Ferrario V. Il paesaggio nei piani territoriali, Milan, Franco Angeli, , pp. Gambino R. Guisepelli E. Joliveau, T. Lelli L. Papotti D. Prieur M. Quaglia C. Tempesta T. Vallerani F. Geografie smarrite e racconti del disagio in Veneto, Portogruaro, Nuova Dimensione, Wylie J. Abstract The paper focuses on the relationship between human culture and the agricultural landscape. However, nowadays some changes are taking place.
The paper also stresses the role that agriculture exercises in favor of the landscape particularly in a country like Italy. Introduction The subject of the present essay is not the influence of agriculture on the lie of the land. A topic of this sort could hardly be discussed in general terms, especially by a scholar of philosophy. The landscape transformations brought about by agriculture, particularly in countries home to ancient civilisations such as European countries, are so extensive, widereaching and firmly entrenched that illustrating them requires painstaking investigation and indepth competences.
Storia del paesaggio agrario italiano, landscape and agriculture are a close-knit pair, given the extent to which agriculture has contributed to shaping, organising and transforming our landscape throughout the centuries. The topic I will be exploring, then, is a narrower one, which concerns not the alterations made to the actual landscape but those which have taken place in our own attitude towards nature and the landscape.
I will outline a twofold movement which has occurred at two very different moments. I will. The Love for Cultivated Landscape in Antiquity Broadly speaking — and leaving aside certain antecedents which I will be considering — it was only over the course of the 18 th century that wild, inhospitable and hostile nature came to be appreciated. Over the last two centuries, however, this idea of the wilderness has become the dominant paradigm for natural beauty as a whole.
The kind of landscapes to be admired have been identified with those less affected by human intervention, for instance mountain or marine landscapes: in other words, the kind of landscapes that seem most distant from the domesticated agricultural landscape. Only in recent times — over the last couple of decades, I would say — have we witnessed a reverse movement, a rediscovery of the value of the cultivated countryside even from the point of view of the landscape, so as to restore its centrality in relation to our perception of natural beauty in general.
It would not be far from the truth to argue, then, that while it took us two millennia to develop a love for the wilderness, we have only been following the inverse path for a few years. Antiquity — meaning Greek and Roman Antiquity — harboured suspicion and repulsion towards the wilderness, whilst being aware of its charm. Certainly, the issue of the perception of the landscape in Antiquity might be discussed at length, since many different opinions have been expressed on the matter, starting from J.
Ritter and A. Carchia and M. Venturi Ferriolo 1. Certainly, the ancient world possessed a keen sense of space and of what we may describe as the feeling of nature, as witnessed by the always clearly perceived 1. Still, it is just as certain that the men of Antiquity detected natural beauty in nature as a whole or, conversely, in individual natural beings for example, in the human body , rather than in a specific, concrete aspect of nature, as seems bound to be the case when we speak of landscape sensitivity. What is highly revealing, in this respect, is the almost complete lack of individualising representations of places either in art or in literature and poetry.
What are most commonly found in these fields are stereotypical depictions of abstract places, such as rural environments in Theocritean poetry but also, albeit not as distinctly, in Latin poetry and the representation of ideal landscapes in Hellenistic and Roman painting.
Now, if we keep to the level of stereotyped descriptions, it is possible to identify an underlying opposition between the locus amoenus, on the one hand, and the locus horridus on the other. This amounts to a contrast between an environment favourable to human life, and often shaped by man, and an environment hostile to life — an inhospitable environment.
A pleasant environment may take the form of a verdant meadow strewn with flowers, rich in running water and offering travellers the cool shelter of shady trees. An example would be the spot on the shores of the Ilisos where Socrates and Phaedrus meet in the Platonic dialogue named after the latter. No doubt, the locus amoenus is not always a cultivated place. However, it is an idyllic rural and bucolic setting inhabited by shepherds, if not farmers. In this respect, the saltus is not the silva, a threatening wood or forest perceived as 2 A very useful outline of the topic is provided by Bonesio's recent essay Il contributo della letteratura latina alla comprensione moderna del paesaggio, For the Romans the best vantage point for the observation of nature was provided by the country villa, the rural dwelling of wealthy citizens.
Here in every corner corn is tightly packed, and many a crock is fragrant of ancient autumns. Representations of open natural spaces are rare in the Middle Ages.
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What are relatively common, instead, especially from the 12 th century onwards, are depictions of agricultural labour, particularly with the so-called cycles of the months. In these representations natural space is often reduced to a minimum and almost allegorised through the inclusion of an ear of wheat or vine shoot, as in the sculptural calendar adorning the so-called Porta della Pescheria of Modena Cathedral.
Moving closer to the modern age, however, and directing our gaze to Northern Europe, we can almost catch a glimpse of some landscapes. To be sure, what stands in the foreground are agricultural tools, a sheep pen and women huddling around a fireplace, whereas the stark forest on the right is shown in relation to the woodcutter who is collecting wood for the fire. Besides, in other cases the background only consists in a single building and its walls, as in the depiction of springtime haymaking and ploughing. An antecedent of the modern view of the landscape may be found in Pliny the Younger's description of the environs of a country villa at Tifernum Tiberinum.
In the writing of agricultural theorists from Varro to Columella, considerations regarding the fertility of the soil and high yield of agricultural estates go hand in hand with an acknowledgement of their beauty as an added value, so to speak: when having to choose between two equally productive estates, one should opt for the most beautiful one, since utilitas and voluptas must not be separated — most importantly, they should never be set in contrast. In Italy, the most famous — and almost unparalleled — instance of the representation of a Italian Association of Geography Teachers.
Here too we find a broad view of a hilly landscape. A procession of knights makes its way through the walls of Siena, as a country dweller moves in their direction, driving a dark-bristled pig, and other farmers carry produce into the city on mules. In the foreground, reapers are scything hay, while other men are busy harvesting wheat.
In the distance, rows of vines already dot the hills. The co-presence of agricultural tasks typical of different seasons clearly betrays the allegorical character of the scene which, after all, does not illustrate any identifiable stretch of the Siena,l countryside. Although the town is undoubtedly Siena, the surroundings of the town are not exactly described: there is no description of the real places.
What we have, then, is not genuine landscape painting: at the earliest, this only emerged in the West two centuries later, in relation to experiences of a different sort, not primarily related to the representation of the cultivated countryside. Petrarch ascends the mountain against the advice of a shepherd, who warns him that only thorns and stones, sweat and toil await him.
The emphasis is on the wild and inhospitable nature of the place, a high mountain that offers nothing agreeable to man3. Petrarch does not provide the only example of the love of the mountains, which is to say of an environment not marked by human labour and indeed hostile to the presence of man.
Meaning of "isogonia" in the Italian dictionary
The Swiss Humanist Konrad Gessner loved the mountains and devoted a short book to the subject, De montium admiratione. Similarly, painted landscapes often feature, if not high mountains, at any rate a glimpse of semi-wild nature. Things are rather different in the case of the common man: for many centuries still, travellers and writers continued to show appreciation only of nature that had been made productive by man. The kind of landscape that elicited admiration and was contemplated with most pleasure was the cultivated plane, not the inhospitable mountain landscape.
As late as the end of the 18th century, when descending into Italy Goethe had no eyes for the landscape at all until reaching Verona. At the same time, the horror of the wilderness and fear of threatening places endured. A traveller such as John Evelyn, in the late 17th century, saw the Alps as nothing but a rubbish dump in which nature had piled up all the filth and horrors from the plains 4. With regard to these topics, I will refer to R. Bodei's volume Paesaggi sublimi. Gli uomini davanti alla natura selvaggia On the endurance of a view of the landscape centred on the concrete activities which may take place within it, starting from agricultural labour, see Camporesi, Particularly revealing, in this respect, is the curious geological theory developed by Thomas Burnet, the author of Telluris theoria sacra, who posited that the Earth was originally flat but was then corrugated, creating the mountains, as a divine punishment.
What is often mentioned as a first sign of this change is the journey across the Alps made by the Englishman John Dennis in As nature came to be perceived in a new light, the feeling of the sublime in those years passed from the rhetorical domain, to which it had been confined for two thousand years, into the broader aesthetic sphere, becoming a central element of 17 thcentury poetics. The first ascent of Mont Blanc took place towards the end of the century, in , a date which marks the beginning of modern mountaineering.
In particular, it referred to rough, jagged, dark landscapes, by contrast to the smooth, regular and sunlit countryside. As witnessed by Kant, the sublime indicates on the one hand the boundlessness of nature — unreachable mountains and ocean expanses — and, on the other, the power of nature — storms, volcanoes and floods. The picturesque, on the other hand, does not go as far: as theorised by William Gilpin, for instance, it describes an irregular nature, a rugged, jagged land, as opposed to an orderly, flat or only slightly sloping landscape with an uneven contour.
A round and gently sloping hill or a flowery meadow will be regarded as beautiful; a moor dotted with clusters of trees and streaked with gorges and ravines will be perceived as picturesque. The cultivated countryside, then, might still be considered beautiful, but not picturesque or sublime. A neat counterpart to this change of taste may be found in the history of the garden. However, the most decisive break with the paradigm of beautiful cultivated nature was made by the picturesque garden, the English garden.
Significantly known as the landscape garden, this was designed in such a way as to Italian Association of Geography Teachers. The gardens surrounding villas and castles, or the country mansions of English aristocrats, were not conceived as agricultural estates — unlike French and Italian gardens, which in a way stood as an intensification or magnification of agricultural processes — but were rather intended to be perceived, as far as possible, as a disorderly and spontaneous nature.
What we find here is no longer the serene nature favoured by the Classical landscape painting of Poussin, Lorrain or indeed — well into the 18th century — Hackert; rather, it is a violent, inhospitable nature. The gap thus created between the kind of landscape to be admired, painted and described, and cultivated farmland was destined to remain open for almost two centuries.
In fact, judging from the works of some contemporary environmental artists fond of hiking and dizzying heights, we might say that the gap remains open to this day. There are many reasons for this. This tendency obviously runs against the perception of the agricultural landscape as an aesthetically pleasing one, since by definition it is a wellarranged landscape, shaped by everyday, common practices. If only landscapes of outstanding beauty are regarded as worthy of consideration, then what will be privileged will invariably be landscapes foreign to common transactions, landscapes of the sort we can only find by moving away not just from the city but also from the countryside — for example, by attaining great heights or venturing into dangerous areas.
Unsurprisingly, Roberto Longhi, who was distrustful of natural beauty, ironically remarked that for tourist guides beauty is only to be found above 1, metres. A second reason is probably to be sought in the endurance of an opposition as conventional as it is entrenched in common perception: the opposition between the useful and the beautiful. Although everyday experience teaches us that the two values, usefulness and beauty, do not necessarily stand in mutual contrast, and that an object, such as a building, may very well serve a specific function while at the same time constituting an artwork, with regard to the landscape the prejudiced assumption is still that only a landscape serving no utilitarian end can be beautiful — a landscaped not designed for human well-being, an unproductive one.
A third reason, which in a way is the counterpart of the second one, emerges from the observation that usually people who live and work within a given landscape, exploiting it for their own purposes, have no eyes for its beauty. Yet when speaking with local farmers, he found it impossible to elicit the faintest hint of wonder or admiration from them.
That space was the space of their everyday labour, not a magnificent setting for it. Farmers, at any rate traditional farmers, do not appreciate — and never have appreciated — the landscape. Indeed, the latter was usually only discovered and valued by Italian Association of Geography Teachers. The love of the landscape went hand in hand with the spread of an urban culture: paradoxically, it was city living that nourished the love of the countryside.
In the case of the European landscape, and the Italian one in particular, what has partially balanced these considerations, even in the past, is the awareness of the historical and cultural character of the landscape, and hence of the role played by agricultural labour with respect to its transformation and conformation although only rarely have people grasped the full consequences of these circumstances. Elsewhere, even these scruples were missing.
Let us think, for instance, of the extent to which the national conscience of the United States has been shaped by the myth of the wilderness, by the identification of the national spirit with the natural and wild roots of the environment in which it developed. While the protection of nature emerged in Europe as the protection of natural beauty, in North America it took the form of the conservation of the pristine environment, of nature yet untouched by human labour.
The first large natural parks were established in America in the latter half of the 19th century: nature, in a way, replaced history as a communal bond. Hence, it represented a nature utterly different from history — not the kind of nature that encompasses human labour, but the kind that rules it out or, at any rate, makes it impossible on account of its own boundless might and vastness. This is the nature of the big parks of Yellowstone and Yosemite. Curiously enough, even European national parks, including Italian ones, were initially based on this prominent environmentalist motivation, as they were established to protect high mountain areas in territories scarcely affected by human activity, if at all, and in which agricultural transformations were limited or at any rate reduced to a minimum.
Even landscape laws have long borne witness to this marginalisation of the cultivated landscape. Yet even the far more recent, and equally praiseworthy, Galasso law of operates within a context in which no trace of the agrarian landscape is apparently to be found. One might say that conservation begins where agriculture ends. The Return to the Aesthetic Appreciation of Cultivated Land In recent decades — that is, over the last twenty-five years at most — things have taken a different turn.
Farmland is no longer perceived as something opposed to the landscape from an aesthetic perspective: beauty is no longer exclusively sought in areas where we can harbour the illusion that no visible traces are left by mankind. Of course, I am not referring to an awareness of the fact that our landscape is a cultural landscape and hence a cultivated one, as landscape theoreticians have always maintained.
What I am referring to is the new widespread perception of the countryside, including farmland, as a landscape. Here too, we can easily identify some of the reasons behind this change. First of all, we come across two reasons that, at face value, may seem antithetical to one another and hence irreconcilable, but which upon closer scrutiny prove to be far from incompatible.
The first of these two reasons may be described as the relinquishing of the privilege formerly assigned Italian Association of Geography Teachers. Not just current theories but also current views of the landscape increasingly tend to assign value even to landscapes other than extraordinary ones — places of exceptional beauty. What is increasingly taking root is the belief that the landscape consists in a network, a seamless web, as opposed to the sporadic emergence of beauties as extraordinary as they are mutually unrelated.
A typical example of this new way of perceiving the landscape is the underlying idea of the European Landscape Convention. The ELC tends to consider the landscape as being coextensive with the local territory, in such a way that by its own right it incorporates both the agricultural landscape and the wilderness. The Convention, moreover, explicitly recognises that any stretch of a given territory carries an aesthetic identity, thereby acknowledging the existence not just of excellent landscapes but also of common or degraded ones. Ultimately, this is something we experience in our everyday life: we realise that a landscape conveys an aesthetic experience not just when we are elated at the sight of landscapes of outstanding beauty and harmony, but also when we are saddened at the sight of spoiled, disfigured and desolate landscapes in which we would never want to live.
The presence of different degrees of value within the landscape is reflected by the multiplicity of possible courses of action identified by the ELC: from the conservation of landscapes of exceptional significance and beauty to the management of common landscapes to the reclamation of degraded ones. The second reason, which apparently stands in contrast to the one just illustrated, is the fact that farmland has become a rare asset.
In developed countries — and here too Italy regrettably features high up on the list — there is less and less farmland. The number of cultivated plots of land is constantly dwindling. Contrary to what people often believe or write, this drop is not only due to over-development, which is to say to the construction of new houses, roads, sports centres or other projects: in quantitative terms, the main factor is the extension of woodland, which has increased considerably in recent decades. From an environmentalist perspective, this might seem like a positive development; yet it worth bearing in mind that these woods are often left to themselves, whereas forests too require management and human labour, if we wish to avoid dangerous phenomena such as the spread of summer fires, poor water control and so on.
Ultimately, the dwindling of agricultural land is due not so much to over-building, as to the depopulation of the countryside and the abandonment of marginal areas, especially mountain ones. This is a well-established pattern by now: after the peak in cultivated land reached around the mid20th century, the number of agricultural plots of land has steadily decreased.
These data concerning farmland should further be combined with those pertaining to the number of agricultural workers, which is also progressively diminishing, as Italy approaches the bottom figures typical of highly developed countries. The number of people working in the agricultural sector dropped from 4. The consequences of this decline are not always adequately taken into account: whereas two generations ago most families still had a close connection with the countryside for instance, by having a father or mother with a rural background , today almost the whole of the population has no direct connection with the world of farming, which has therefore become an elusive one for most people.
Perceptual factors too contribute to this assimilation of the agricultural landscape to the unproductive one conventionally associated with aesthetic experiences. Silence and solitude, which are defining features of our standard view of the landscape, by now are also associated with the cultivated countryside — at any rate, with the extensive one in which the agricultural labour is concentrated in a few days per hectare, with a small number of farmhands.
Agriculture increasingly appears to be a crucial way of safeguarding the landscape. No matter how widespread the mistrust towards agriculture and methods of cultivation entailing the use of chemicals, one indisputable fact remains: agriculture, in all its forms, is the only artificial use of the soil that is also reversible.