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LIVEABLE LANDSCAPES: a Key Value for Sustainable Territorial Development (LIVELAND)

The development of the territorial cohesion policies in EU has become a very powerful tool for the implementation of European political guidelines. And with regional policies in EU increasingly focused on harmonious territorial development towards sustainability, highly inspired by the European Landscape Convention (ELC, 2003), the elaboration of landscape plans and calling for its integration within spatial planning has become a potential asset in regional development towards sustainability.

Within this context the landscape has become a key territorial value where analyses and assessments could become important elements which – as noted in the call – "could enrich and improve integrated spatial planning and urbanism in different ways, and be seen and used as an asset for economic development". But with the European Union characterised by varying, historically developed governing and planning systems in in relation to both landscape and spatial planning, the process of reaching such a goal is not a simple task. The differences in land use decision processes due to different patterns of legal, constitutional and administrative frameworks have obvious impacts on the concept of landscape and practices in relation to landscape management and planning. And as emphasized in the call: the relation between territorial development strategies and landscape planning is a political priority still uncovered by ESPON. But through the current ESPON call, an opportunity to integrate the landscape into the analysis of territorial development in Europe appears.

The proposed project focuses on policy making for liveable landscapes. In particular it aims to explore practices of landscape planning and of regional territorial strategies that focus on landscape. By means of policy analysis and exchanging experience, among landscape planners and policy advisers, comparisons are drawn on the content, methodologies, processes and procedures of policy making for landscape. The identification of successful approaches in combining landscape management and socio-economic development will constitute a basis of this comparison, and recommendations are made on 'planning for liveable landscapes' in the form of guidelines and policy recommendations. The project seeks also to identify ways in which ESPON data could be used to reinforce the integration of landscape and spatial planning and to provide new evidence for future ESPON landscape targeted research.