Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
This path has its roots in the historical attention to open spaces (gardens
and parks), with its explicit interpretations of nature regarding the work of
humans and the desire to “ exceed or exalt their beauty, modifying the mor-
phology of places, plant covering, and waterways, in an attempt to also
limit their biological perfection in the light of new scientific knowledge
[10]. In time, one has witnessed the movement from the idea of the land-
scape park, imprinted with the aesthetic search for romantic or natural
inspiration, to the urban park, conceived to increase the quality of life of
citizens through better “environmental hygiene” [11].
From landscape ecology , originally conceived as the interface between
geography and ecology, developed as an interdisciplinary science in sys-
tems ecology. Landscape ecology integrates biophysical and analytical
approaches with humanistic and holistic perspectives through the natural
and social sciences 2 . Contact with the territorial question is lacking, and in
some approaches suffers from a deterministic imposition of processes, as
derived from the first theories by Ian McHarg [12]. Landscape ecology
studies the distribution and the form of the landscape with the goal of
understanding its structures, processes, and meanings. It constitutes an
important reference discipline for many sectors applied to the planning and
environmental fields, analyzing spatial and functional patterns and their
respective changes in time regarding the landscape mosaic to define eco-
logical networks or to study biodiversity . The weakness of this interpre-
tation is seen in the lack of a formal verification of new ecological bal-
ances, considering that acting without a push in the direction of innovation
is not coherent with the ELC, which expressly speaks of the “creation of
new landscapes.” It also lacks fertile interactions with subjective interpre-
tation , collective sentiment, intuitions and images, and the necessary rela-
tionship with social and economic dynamics.
The new perspective of contact between ecology and aesthetics introduces
complex visions capable of going beyond the design of gardens and parks, to
investigate and evaluate the intimate connections of the environment and the
landscape with the physical and spatial organization of the city and the territo-
ry, looking for allies in the urban plan, which should “ exploit local and region-
al characteristics and express the personality of the place and the region ” [13].
2 Different authors that have delved into related themes present this young field with very differ-
ent features. In particular, the interested reader may evaluate the following different approaches:
Naveh Z, Lieberman AS (1984) Landscape ecology. Theory and application. Springer, New York;
Ingegnoli V (1993) Fondamenti di ecologia del paesaggio. Cittàstudi Edizioni, Milan; Pignatti S
(1994) Ecologia del paesaggio. UTET, Turin; Turner MG, Gardner RH (1994) Quantitative meth-
ods in landscape ecology. The analysis and interpretation of landscape heterogeneity. Springer,
New York; Forman RTT (1995) Land mosaic. The ecology of landscapes and regions. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge; Farina A (2001) Ecologia del Paesaggio. UTET, Turin; Finke L
(1993) Introduzione all'ecologia del paesaggio. Franco Angeli, Milan.
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