Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
Environmental and Landscape Quality
The winds of urban renewal blowing throughout Europe are signaling the
overcoming of rigidity, determinism, and the traditional hierarchical structure
of planning processes at different governmental levels. Conversely, the themes
of subsidiarity, sharing, and cooperation assume ever more relevance and cen-
trality and, as a consequence, increase the interest in a strategic approach and
in evaluation processes [1]. These two new requests hold a central role in the
modification of physical space, are finely intertwined, and support each other
with reciprocal pressure.
Evaluation Processes
Within the evaluation system, the redefinition of two domains is revolutioniz-
ing the overall system of processes: environmental quality and landscape
quality . In Europe, there are evident contradictions in defining these two areas
of intervention for at least two reasons:
At different governmental levels the environment is linked to EU direc-
tives and the landscape is dealt with by the Council of Europe , and an
internal imbalance permeates these two issue centers that produce, respec-
tively, implementation modalities and political orientations.
In the evaluation systems used in Europe up to now, which are based on an
ancient legacy that is slow to die, the landscape component is understood
exclusively from the aesthetic and perceptive point of view and is even
described as an internal component of the environmental domain. This has
occurred also in consideration of the fact that the first forms of quality
evaluation were produced exclusively for the environmental area, and it is
only in the last decade that the Council of Europe has tried to stimulate
assessment regarding the landscape through the European Landscape
Convention (ELC).
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