Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
judge it through an assessment related to beauty, or perhaps functionality, or
We immediately dispel any misunderstanding. Neither beauty nor func-
tionality or rationality can be considered as discriminating factors. We are
not evaluating the quality of the landscape, rather if a given territory can be
considered a landscape and consequently if it was made by the local commu-
nity, i.e. if it was metabolized. The European Landscape Convention (ELC)
is very clear on this point (Article 1(a), definitions): “ Landscape means an
area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and
interaction of natural and/or human factors .” It then adds (Article 2, scope):
Subject to the provisions contained in Article 15, this Convention applies
to the entire territory of the Parties and covers natural, rural, urban and
peri-urban areas. It includes land, inland water, and marine areas. It
concerns landscapes that might be considered outstanding as well as
everyday or degraded landscapes . 2
The resolving element is therefore the perception on behalf of the popu-
lation . A rather slippery argument is entered into. This perception assumes
the awareness of a place, which will then be the basis for the local project
resulting from a real “ local participating democracy ” [2]. The local project
is a cultural act, an opportunity for social communication, emergency, dia-
logue, and the encounter/conflict of interests and different expectations. The
territory is certainly the favored place for any integration effort. But it can-
not in any way be considered an incoherent sum of single technical/adminis-
trative acts or programs and timely, self-referential projects that characterize
the current lack of a comprehensive, consciously shared plan for the struc-
ture of the city [3]. The extemporaneous desires of an individual that decides
to “make a home” in a certain way and in a certain place, uncritically iden-
tified and sometimes ignobly supported by a consenting administration, can-
not be confused with the collective conscious perception of places , which
assumes cultivation, critical reflection , dialogic comparison, and strategic
On the other hand, if territorial choices do not manage to represent a wide
range of institutions, interested subjects, and components of civil society, it
is difficult to have the awareness and perception of a place on behalf of the
community. In this case, there is no metabolism of the changes and a land-
scape is not produced. As Paolo Castelnovi notes in this volume, the same
perception of landscape that the ELC approves, intended as an attribute of
the population, is exposed to a basic contradiction. Within the definition of
mediation by a designer, who instead chooses and operates critically. See, in particular: Caniggia
G, Maffei GL (1979) Composizione architettonica e tipologia edilizia. Lettura dell'edilizia di
base. Marsilio Editore, Venice.
2 Council of Europe, European Landscape Convention, Art. 2
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