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Introduction: Rural Development and Landscape Planning—Key Concepts and Issues at Stake

By Carlo Rega


Landscape preservation and development of rural areas are two fundamental European Union's policy objectives towards sustainable development, as defined, respectively, by the European Landscape Convention and the Rural Development Policy, the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Agriculture has been shaping the landscape for millennia in Europe and with more than 47 % of EU territory devoted to it, the predominant form of landscape is indeed the rural one. Whilst the deep interlinks between rural development and landscape policies/planning are evident, these two domains have developed, both as research fields and policy sectors, largely independently. Traditionally, rural development policies have featured a sectoral approach, conceiving agriculture as an economic activity, without properly considering its territorial dimension; similarly, landscape and territorial planning have not paid adequate attention to the specific needs of agriculture and farmers in designing preservation measures. The challenges Europe faces in the 21st century towards the objective of sustainable development urge for a deeper integration of these two domains. This is particularly true after the adoption, in December 2013, of the CAP reform package comprising the new regulations on the Rural Development Policy for the programming period 2014-2020. This introductive chapter provides an overview of the key concepts and issues addressed in the text: the role of agriculture in shaping the landscape; the ecosystem service conceptual framework; the concept of landscape itself and rurality; the meaning of rural development and multifunctionality in agriculture and rural areas. Subsequently, a synopsis of the following chapters is presente

Publisher: Springer
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1007/978-3-319-05759-0_1
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