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Title: Rural areas, land planning and heritage evaluation: some educational proposals
Authors: de Mascarenhas, José Manuel
Themudo Barata, Filipe
Capelo, Sofia
Maharjan, Monalisa
Keywords: heritage evaluation
rural areas
Issue Date: 2014
Citation: José Manuel de Mascarenhas, Filipe Themudo Barata, Sofia Capelo and Monalisa Maharjan, Rural areas, land planning and heritage evaluation: some educational proposals, Katmandu, Nepal, September 2014.
Abstract: Rural areas are frequently neglected in development politics and processes. This problem has become especially important in peri-urban zones affecting a large amount of people in what concerns mainly basic resources as well as livelihoods, pattern of life, heritage and culture, and identity. Only with land planning it is possible to condition the rural areas deterioration and preserve heritage values that are a resource with a real economic potential, although they are usually seen as a burden by communities. In rural areas, landscapes can be an important heritage asset. As stated by David Lowenthal (1993), landscape ‘subsumes three vital concepts: nature as fundamental heritage in its own right; environment as the setting of human action and sense of place as awareness of local difference and appreciation of ancestral roots’. UNESCO defines ‘cultural landscape´ as an illustration of the evolution of human society and settlement over time, under the influence of the physical constraints and/or opportunities presented by their natural environment and of successive social, economic and cultural forces, both external and internal. Several types of values can be conferred to the cultural landscapes. Being the heritage value one of these types, the most valuated cultural landscapes can be designated as ‘heritage landscapes’. The main aim of this paper regards a methodology to evaluate the heritage quality of a landscape. This evaluation is a useful process in land planning since policy makers, officers and experts dealing with heritage, often have no formation nor training about protection strategies and appraisal of values. Faced with this dangerous gap, public officers should be trained in these heritage skills but also rural stakeholders should be able of identifying heritage values related to development. The per-equation that summarizes the connection between heritage evaluation and Education for Rural Transformation (ERT) goes as follows: Heritage Evaluation of Landscape is important for Sustainable Landscape Planning; in the other hand Sustainable Landscape Planning is important for Sustainable Land Planning; finally, Sustainable Land Planning is important for Socio-economic Sustainable Development of Rural Areas. This is the main reason why heritage evaluation of landscape is linked with land planning and socio-economic development of rural areas within a sustainability scope. Then education programs aiming at heritage evaluation of rural areas have a direct impact on ERT. Such links should be considered and deepened in ERT: to identify the emerging needs of rural areas in education, no matter the learning levels - from public in general to university - should allow the improvement of the ERT theoretical bases. Nobody (experts and common people) should be kept outside of this learning process. Besides this general ERT process, it is important to stress that in university curricula, a Land Planning educational program should exist and focus on the organization of the planning processes as well as on the theoretical and practical knowledge needed for planning. Consequently, the program deals with planning theory and methodology, knowledge about landscape, for instance water and cultural heritage, and rests on the social and natural sciences. To illustrate what has been referred, two quite diversified heritage landscapes will be considered, since they result from interactions between communities and natural systems always different from a place to another. These case-studies are contrasting Portuguese cultural landscapes, by their nature and spatial character: a traditional vineyard terraced area and an integrated agro-forestry-pastoral system, the so-called ‘montado’. Actually, both these landscape types can be found in other regions of Europe and even continents. Pointing out valuation criteria is a difficult but essential task, because they always imply a reflexion on the advantages of their application, leading to a theoretical coherence and a tool effectiveness in land planning. That is why a worthwhile working methodology to estimate the heritage value of landscapes is shown. Nowadays, it is clear that in a training and formation context, land use definition as well as land planning theoretical and methodological approaches are essential when any type of heritage is dealt with. Seminars on heritage landscape and even cultural heritage are main issues in a modern and accurate formation structure, as recommended by UNESCO documents. Besides, PhD and Master programs, in their working activities, should provide students with short term seminars because they must be able to deal with the evaluation of heritage structures and know what kind of policies should be organized regarding the cultural heritage protection and monitoring, whether it concerns tangible, intangible or landscape heritage values. This paper is intended mainly to contribute to the training of high technicians entitled to intervene in rural areas transformation processes. But some specific education should also be provided to people without specific skills and to youngsters with no formal formation; the small agriculture working market and the recovery of traditional know how (stressing biological and healthy cuisine) point an interesting possibility.
Type: lecture
Appears in Collections:CIDEHUS - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Internacionais
PAO - Comunicações - Em Congressos Científicos Internacionais

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