Since the origin of the
use of the term ‘landscape’ in a modern sense the cultural dimension has been
the key to understand the relationship between the human beings and the places
of their life, to describe the co-evolution between natural and human processes.
The first part of the paper considers the meaning of ‘cultural landscape’
analyzing the evolution of the international Charters concerning the various
aspects of the landscape preservation and protection which reveal the
progressive extension of the definition of “cultural landscape”: from UNESCO,
Paris, 1972, to ICOMOS, Ename, 2007. In the second part, the characteristics of
the cultural landscapes are considered: integrity, authenticity, rarity,
scarcity, identity, in terms of stratification and historic permanence of land
uses, the most significant historic periods of landscape transformations;
alteration, disappearance of relevant elements and the diffusion of the
multiculturalism. In the third part the weakness of some cultural landscapes
will be considered in which rejection and degradation of the cultural resources
are caused by different reasons (various historic cultural landscapes
vulnerability, socio-economic sustainability lack). With the increase of the
easiness of access to the resources produced in others places conditioned by the
global market many landscapes are destined to disappear while modern landscapes
with new structural and functional characters will grow.
The landscape in Calcinara-Sestri Ponente, west of Genoa is taken as example for the study of a contemporary degraded cultural landscape. Its degradation has been mainly caused by the realization of operations planned by the town planning and by “spontaneous” transformations out of its control with the creation of new “hybrid” landscapes between town and countryside. “All this is part of our culture which claims respect and offers a new and stimulating subject to the landscape. In the future the profession of landscape architect will overcome its present limits... and apply itself to create with mobility of order and beauty.” (Brickerhoff Jackson, 2003).
Keywords: Cognitive processes, vulnerability, globalization, localism, cultural landscape networks.
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