Posts Tagged ‘tájidentitás’

International call for landscape renewal ideas to foster landscape identity

05:16 PM

JÁKLI Eszter, MANDEL Mónika

(From previous issue No.41)

The role of the landscape is getting more and more important in today’s culturally homogenized world, since – opposing the globalization – it guards our site-specific natural and cultural heritage and the traces of the human activity, in this way also defines our individual and communal identity.

The attachment to the landscape is the base of our psychological development, and an elemental part of each culture and each person’s life. It plays and important role in shaping the landscape character as well, as “besides the landscape, it is defined by the historically developed landscape structure, together with the emotions and traditions attached to it.”

There are different levels of landscape identity. The most subjective is individual landscape identity, which is based on the attachment to some elements of our own environment. Communal landscape identity might be interrelated to a wider area – in this case the community identifies itself with the landscape. Regional and national identity is mostly defined by the common history and the similar natural environment. Besides this, European identity can be mentioned as well. The same landscape identity – at any level – is an important tool in community building and cohesion.

Beyond these, strong landscape identity helps the development of settlements and regions. This correspondence was recognized by the European Union as well: it is stated in the European Landscape Convention that “the landscape contributes to the formation of local cultures and that it is a basic component of the European natural and cultural heritage, contributing to human well-being and consolidation of the European identity.”

With this end in view, it can be understood that strengthening the community’s attachment to the landscape, and its identity is of the utmost importance of renewing, revitalizing a landscape, as both the natural-cultural and the social-economical renewal can only be achieved by actively involving the local community attached to the landscape by real emotions.

Method and description of the project

We demonstrate the possibilities of fostering landscape identity based on the conclusions of an international landscape call for ideas titled Recovering Landscape and Place Výškovice- Wischkowitz, which was organized as part of the program of European Cultural Capital Pilsen 2015 and evolved to a project with different stages. We had succeeded to enter the 2nd round of the competition.

The aim of the project was to gather ideas about renewing the landscape of Sudetenland, based on the model of an abandoned community of Výškovice.

The former centre of Výškovice

The former centre of Výškovice
(photo: Mandel Mónika)

The goal was to recover and to reinterpret the landscape of the present day. The applicants were asked to search for and find the connection with the identity of the place, with the inhabitants and the Genius Loci, as well as resolving the profound historical problems behind the landscape. The authors of the 5 proposals considered to be the most interesting were invited to the one week long workshop organized in July 2014. The workshop was supervised by both local and international experts. During the time spent outside in the area and at local events we had the chance to get acquainted with the life of the local community as well.