What is landscape?

PETRARCA versteht unter "Landschaft" den Ausdruck der durch den Menschen erlebten Ganzheit des Umweltzusammenhangs. Landschaft ist Bild des über Jahrhunderte verlaufenen Prozesses der Kulturentwicklung im Austausch zwischen den Menschen und ihrer natürlichen Umwelt.

Die Landschaft

In agreement with the Council of Europe's Landscape Convention (1) the European Academy for the Culture of Landscape views landscape as a whole in which the natural and cultural components are united in a characteristic atmosphere. This includes the experience of the beauty and distinctiveness (2) of European landscapes whose identity is revealed as soon as their history is viewed as a biography connected to the human being.(3)

Landscape is nature perceived by human beings through their senses. The way in which a person thinks about landscape influences how they perceive it and hence how they change it. The development of a landscape is a reflection of the development in consciousness of its inhabitants. Landscape is a process between mankind and nature. The diversity of European landscapes arising from this represents the wealth of variety in natural conditions and shows how differently the relationship of man and nature has developed.

Landscape covers a broad range from natural landscapes, rivers and lakes, woods and gardens, highly productive areas used for agriculture, forestry and horticulture, through village and park landscapes to densely populated towns with their industrial and commercial zones and traffic areas and transport routes.

The European Academy PETRARCA is concerned with rural areas in particular. Urban and industrial landscapes are included in its aims, being the living space for over 80% of the population.