Landscape provides a global frame within which heritage can be understood, cherished and protected, and which offers new ways to befit from the social, economic and environmental values of heritage. Its perspective can be both local and universal, both personal and collective; it embraces both tangible and intangible heritage and connects with digital and virtual heritage. Using landscape as guide and a framework can be a way to help ‘overcome the fragmentation of initiatives deriving by diverse and sometimes potentially conflicting approaches’ and ‘the multiplicity and geographical dispersion of bodies and institutions’ that is recognised by the JPI on Cultural Heritage.
CHeriScape, and its five conferences, and their results, will explore the overlapping territories of two Council of Europe conventions, the European Landscape Convention (Florence, 2000) and the Faro Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage to Society (Faro, 2005), in particular though landscape as a tool to develop the vision of the Faro Convention. It will also follow the call of the ESF/COST Science Policy Briefing, ‘Landscape in a Changing World’, to use the idea of landscape as a field of integrative interdisciplinary action for ‘Bridging Divides, Integrating Disciplines and Serving Society’.
The network will uncover the connections between landscape and heritage in both research and policy. The strong relational and integrating character of Landscape offers a multi-facetted perspective, including a vital and dynamic spatial or territorial framework, a long-term chronological, through-time framework and perhaps most importantly, a perceptual, experiential and shared social framework. We will explore how far the lens of landscape allows heritage to provide solutions in the face of significant environmental and social change, rather than being seen as a problem or obstacle, as it is sometimes claimed to be.
What CHeriScape hopes to achieve by allying heritage to an inter-disciplinary landscape perspective:
I. A strengthening of the vital and far-reaching role that heritage plays in social and economic matters;
II. Better awareness amongst of European research and policy community about the ability of landscape as heritage to help address major challenges involving land, land use, and community aspirations and needs;
III. Reduced fragmentation within the heritage sector and thus a stronger contribution to high-level as well as local policy;
IV. A practical research agenda to understand and capitalise on landscape’s iterative and reciprocal relationship with cultural heritage and with social, economic and environmental ‘futures’;
V. Strategic and forward-looking responses to threats to cultural heritage and to key societal challenges;
VI. Better connections between the general public and environmental and land-based policy-making, and thus a realisation of the the vision of the Faro Convention;
Our main tools for achieving this will be the five CHeriScape conferences