General proposals to national public authorities for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention

Landscape Dimensions - Reflections and proposals for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention

Annalisa Calcagno Maniglio, April 2017

Annalisa Calcagno Maniglio, architect and landscape architect, professor emeritus of landscape architecture and representative of Italy at the 2nd Conference of the Contracting and Signatory States to the European Landscape Convention in Strasbourg in November 2002, has written a comprehensive analysis of landscape and education as part of the « Dimensions of the Landscape » study commissioned by the Council of Europe.

It is therefore necessary for school pupils, the citizens of tomorrow, to develop the knowledge necessary to learn how to preserve this resource and to understand the best ways to help manage the landscape and preserve this heritage for present and future generations. Knowledge of the landscape should be introduced at all levels of school education to prepare students to understand that the landscape is not just the visual aspect of a place but a territorial entity where many natural and human factors interact. The landscape should therefore be studied in its complexity through the evolutionary processes that change it. The European Landscape Convention makes school education one of the important specific tools to be implemented by the different states. It clearly states that « each Party undertakes to promote school and university teaching which addresses, in the relevant disciplines, the values attached to landscape and issues relating to its protection, management and planning ». The educational method must be based, first and foremost, on direct observation and active participation in research and discovery of the landscape around pupils, encouraging all possible school outings to help them understand, through direct observation, that the landscape is much more than just nature. In primary and secondary schools, different methods of approaching the landscape should be used, depending on the age and maturity of the pupils. With primary school children, the sensory approach will be used mainly, involving not only sight but also all the other senses; the visual dimension will be used for a first knowledge of the landscape: this personal perception of familiar places and landscapes helps to observe the variety of forms, materials, colours, uses, as well as the multiple activities that take place there. In order to communicate the notions useful for the education of primary school children, it is advisable to put pupils in direct contact with the landscape through careful and guided observation or to use audiovisual material, images and documentaries. Other forms of perception are then used. In secondary schools, a new method of knowledge should be used, a first analysis of the particularities of landscapes and the diversity of their elements. It would be necessary to introduce students to landscapes that are different from the places they are familiar with, and to have them visit landscapes characterised by various relationships between man and nature. In this way, it will be possible to begin to implement interdisciplinary activities of knowledge and analysis of the landscape, which can be extended thanks to the contribution of several disciplines taught during the year.


To go further


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