A-31/18 Preserving cultural landscapes: A cultural sustainability perspective

High-value agri-cultural landscapes across Europe are important for the local economy, maintaining biodiversity and preserving cultural heritage. However, studies indicate that the family farming cultures maintaining these landscapes are dying out and, consequently, the landscapes themselves are increasingly under threat. This chapter contends that the lack of focus of landscape policies on cultural sustainability plays a major role in this decline. An analysis of survey results from the Lake District National Park (United Kingdom) suggests that reductions in sheep stocking rates (promoting environmental sustainability) affect community size and social interaction; health and safety regulations (promoting social sustainability) restrict early childhood socialisation and identity development; use of contractors for traditional buildings (preserving traditional structures) limits the extent to which the landscape and culture become consubstantial; restrictions on building a second farm house (preserving tourism value) conflicts with changing aspirations of the next generation; and the influx of new cultural beliefs as the economic prosperity of the area increases conflict with traditional values and expectations. The result is a major cultural shift. To preserve important cultural landscapes as ‘living’ landscapes, therefore, the implications of policies for cultural sustainability also need to be considered. I Birkeland, I., Burton, R.J.F., Para, C., og Siivonen, K. (red.) Cultural Sustainability and the Nature-Culture Interface: Livelihoods, policies, and methodologies, 137-151. London: Taylor & Francis

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