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Ecoscape: Introduction

This section of Planum marks the beginning of a collaboration with the Dipartimento Ambiente Reti Territorio, DART, (Department for the Environment, Network and Territory) of the "G. d'Annunzio" University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy. The objective of our contribution to Planum is to reflect upon the European landscape as a means of promoting new forms of sustainable development.

We are on the eve of extending the European Union borders to countries in the Balkans and Mediterranean area. It therefore surely follows that the issue of landscape is to gain even further importance, as it will be subject to and associated with Community policies on integration in the Development Scheme of European Space (SSSE, Postdam 1999). Transport, services and energy infrastructure networks in this new internal annexe will have to be developed. The territories crossed by these networks will inevitably run risks and European landscapes may be compromised. It is fundamental to safeguard these areas as much as possible as they represent an invaluable resource for the European community. Policies for the development of infrastructures and the protection and upgrading of the environment must take the latter into serious consideration. Via its contribution to the pages of this website DART proposes to demonstrate, to all those who are involved in some way with this work sector, that the conventional limitations imposed by national policies on the issue must be overcome and integrated within the broader context of the Community, so that a more "correct" use is made of the landscape. A "new attitude to landscape and culture of the landscape" must develop. It must seek to identify, protect and upgrade territories that are subject to development processes, that is processes that will inevitably give a new guise to European infrastructure corridors.

The contributions to these pages will not come only from the academic staff of DART, but also from other local and international experts in the field who are renowned for their innovation in this field.

The sections to the left contain regular features of Ecoscape: videointerviews with experts in the field; book reviews; links to other relevant sites and forums.