Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Cultural landscapes caught between public good, private interests and politics

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.00  Humanities  Geography   

Code Science Field
S230  Social sciences  Social geography 

Code Science Field
5.07  Social Sciences  Social and economic geography 
geography, cultural landscape, management, goods, tangible heritage, intangible heritage, countryside, development, decision-making, politics
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  36936  MSc Marco Acri  Social sciences  Researcher  2015 - 2017  18 
2.  24301  PhD David Bole  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  294 
3.  25039  PhD Saša Dobričić  Social sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2017  25 
4.  08467  PhD Matej Gabrovec  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  589 
5.  23948  PhD Primož Gašperič  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  180 
6.  35035  PhD Matjaž Geršič  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  229 
7.  07553  PhD Drago Kladnik  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  1,158 
8.  32206  PhD Jani Kozina  Humanities  Researcher  2016 - 2017  220 
9.  36394  PhD Peter Kumer  Humanities  Junior researcher  2014 - 2017  159 
10.  35034  PhD Lucija Lapuh  Humanities  Junior researcher  2014 - 2015  96 
11.  23513  PhD Janez Nared  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  322 
12.  08294  PhD Drago Perko  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  1,032 
13.  25646  PhD Primož Pipan  Humanities  Researcher  2016 - 2017  318 
14.  29392  PhD Katarina Polajnar Horvat  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  143 
15.  16050  PhD Aleš Smrekar  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  392 
16.  26379  PhD Mateja Šmid Hribar  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  271 
17.  32703  PhD Daniela Alexandra Teixeira da Costa Ribeiro  Humanities  Junior researcher  2014 - 2017  82 
18.  34591  PhD Jernej Tiran  Humanities  Researcher  2014 - 2017  205 
19.  17073  PhD Mimi Urbanc  Humanities  Principal Researcher  2014 - 2017  439 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  59,798 
2.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  13,238 
Landscape is one of the most common concepts in geography and other space sciences, but despite (or perhaps because of) its breadth of meaning it is burdened, or enriched, by several different conceptual starting points, making it complex to manage. The cultural landscape reflects natural environment and human activities, which were and still are carried out in the context of social, economic, technological and political realms, and which comprise tangible and intangible elements. The project proposal focuses on the rural cultural landscape, and on agriculture, which plays a vital role in its formation. The project proceeds from the premise that landscape is a complex unit with three main stakeholders: 1) farmers/land owners, who regard their land as property with economic value and manage it in accordance with marketing conditions and inter/national policies; 2) other citizens, who value its aesthetic, cultural, recreational and ecological characteristics and have expectations from a perception of public goods, and 3) experts and decision-makers, who lead the development and determine the speed and strength of changes as well as the norms regarding what is necessary, desired, or prohibited. These groups of stakeholders are all quite different, but have in common a lack of communication amongst themselves and each of them has an insufficient knowledge of other two groups. Landscape is therefor very likely to be a conflict sphere.   Considering the main challenge, i. e. to exceed conflicts we set the main goal: to secure a sustainable and thoughtful development, which will take into consideration the complex structure, multi-layered role and multi-functionality of the rural landscape, thereby satisfying all stakeholders, whose needs, expectations, demands and numerous processes guide the development, characteristics, functions and services of the landscape. For addressing the goal of the project we have to acquire beneficial and detailed knowledge about the functioning of the landscape, the stakeholders, their influence on the processes, and the challenges connected to the management of the landscape, where knowledge would enable the formation of management strategies. The main objective of the project is to form a model of harmonized and integrated landscape management, inclusive of all the aspects mentioned above. To achieve this objective we need to: 1) place the landscape into the context of public (and other types of) goods, 2) determine differences in the understanding of the structure, development and role of the landscape among stakeholders, 3) determine the stakeholder roles, 4) identify areas of conflict and clashes of interest, 5) determine the impacts of policies on the development of the landscape, and 6) offer possible solutions based on the concept of polycentric governance provided by Ostrom (2010). A better understanding and consideration of the views, expectations, rights and obligations of all those involved will make the formation of a theoretical solution for an improved integrated landscape management possible, ensuring a beneficial development of the landscape.   Numerous broadly-set goals and assignments will be achieved and carried out using different quantitative and qualitative methods, among them 1) an analysis of textual materials, 2) a secondary analysis of existing databases, and 3) field work. Such a broad and ambitious project demands a competent and experienced research group, knowledge of different fields of expertise and the use of different methods. As an integral and eclectic science about space, which studies natural features and social phenomena in their mutual dependence, geography is undoubtedly the suitable choice when dealing with such questions. The project group comprises researchers from different subfields of geography, which makes it possible for it to tackle the complexity, comprehensiveness and difficulty of the proposed goals.
Significance for science
This project was oriented towards an area that was often ignored as a theoretical challenge and more often subjects of very concrete implementation activities both in Slovenia and Europe. Certain aspects have been studied, while the complexity has often been neglected. So the findings helped fill in some gaps in theoretical study of landscape management. Above all the contribution was especially important on the field of cultural landscape services which have been neglected on global as well as on national (Slovenian) level. The project helped open up a new realm of geographic knowledge at the national level, one that overlap with other areas of landscape and spatial management. The findings were disseminated to a broad international audience through publication in recognized Slovenian and international journals. The project findings proceed from new, innovative approaches, and that they: -­ Broaden the horizons in an area of landscape studies; -­ Upgrade the methodology of landscape services assessment; - Make a substantial contribution to understanding the concepts of goods, public goods, common good, natural resources, and common pool resources; - Contribute to increased linkages between methods, methodological and theoretical approaches and stakeholders (general public); ­- Make a major substantive contribution to developing sustainable practices for landscape management; -­ Present landscapes as a polygon for clash of interests and conflicts among stakeholders; ­- Stimulate scholarly dialogue on the landscape management, primarily on methodologies, terminology, and concrete findings in this area; ­- Introduce new methodological models and solutions into geography; ­- Fill gaps in the study of landscape managements and stimulate the need for its complex study.
Significance for the country
Guidelines, recommendations and resolutions for a more comprehensive management of rural landscapes Landscape management model based on guidelines, recommendations and measures is useful directly when dealing with and planning a more efficient management. The results could in the future be employed and upgraded by: ­- protected areas management; ­- agricultural, environmental and cultural policy makers, who influence landscapes with their decisions; -­ local communities, when planning the development of local landscapes; Landscape preservation Results could contribute to landscape preservation. Landscape conservation and preservation is a subject of different legal protection acts. Harmonious and beautiful landscapes help people identify with them better and develop a responsible relationship. Landscapes are the key pillar of regional identity, which is the crucial part of the so­called place marketing. At this point the tourist perspective meets the preservation of landscapes, which in the middle of the modern urbanised world present attractive destinations for many local and foreign visitors, and a contribution to the recognisability of Slovenia. Preservation of landscape and biodiversity In addition to the ownership structure, land- and biodiversity is influenced to the great deal by sustainable farming practices, which have to be carried out at least in a minimal extend. Otherwise, the landscapes are threatened with overgrowth, which leads to a landscape degradation and lose of biotic diversity. Local residents should be aware of this and take appropriate actions. We expect the results influencing the coordinated activities of different policies, which should also contribute to a comprehensive landscape management, thereby preserving the landscape and biodiversity. Empowerment of local communities with participatory management of their landscape and raising awareness We expect that with clearly defined cultural ecosystem services we will be able to encourage individuals into taking an active and responsible part in managing and co­creating the rural landscape. Individuals, especially local residents, will come to realise that they carry a part of the responsibility for the landscape they wish to live in. Incorporating the public into formal and informal procedures of landscape management is crucial, since this is the type of management that truly meets the term sustainable, with the local community facing the concerns and the benefits of the landscape. Dialogue and cooperation among different stakeholders will result in a more coordinated management and in joint activities within the area. This can help to foster social cohesion and solidarity among people. Preservation of natural and cultural heritage Due to a very versatile natural and cultural heritage, the landscape in Slovenia has also become a part of the immovable cultural heritage. From the perspective of natural and cultural heritage preservation, it is very important to keep people aware of the values of the area they reside in, and to keep inappropriate foreign patterns out of their local landscape, and rather maintain activities that coincide with the sustainable spatial development. A true contribution to preserving individual units of the immovable natural and cultural heritage could be seen in a better relationship of various stakeholders towards the landscape, in recognising the obstacles, and in mutual problem solving, when dealing with a comprehensive rural landscape management. Future international cooperation During implementation of the project, we established many contacts within Slovenia (with the scientific, professional and general public) and outside Slovenia with the scientific community. We have started activities that would contribute in the long-term to the visibility of the research group and institutions and to dissemination of knowledge in the field of landscape studies.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, final report
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