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Linking Public Participation and

Landscape Planning
the Experience of the Landscape Observatory of AMI (Italy)
at a sub-regional scale
Claudia Cassatella
Dept. of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning
Politecnico di Torino
claudia.cassatella@polito.it

“Active” Participation according to ELC
SOCIAL PERCEPTION
POPULAR ASPIRATIONS
To validate KNOWLEDGE
& ASSESSMENT
To establish and monitor
OBJECTIVES
General public, local and
regional authorities, and
stakeholders
WHO?
Italian Republic, Code of Cultural
Heritage and Landscape
(Legislative Decree n. 42/2004 – and
subsequent modifications and integrations):

• a National L. Observatory
• Regional L. Observatories in each
region
• Regional Landscape Plans
• Identification, assessment, objectives
and planning measures of Landscape
«areas» (ambiti)

 The regional scale is crucial
Landscape Observatories in Italy
Regional L.O. in Italy
Institutional (established by law)
Other nature (projects, studies)
Landscape Observatories in Italy
Local L.O. in Piedmont Region
Landscape Observatory of AMI
(The Morainic Hills of Ivrea)
Local Landscape Observatories
Established as NGOs
(associations of citizens)

An increasing number in Italy

A great variety of activities, mostly
awareness raising
BUT
community-based, local scale
limited capacity to interact with
institutions with regard to landscape
policies and planning
NO «active participation»
Landscape Observatories in Europe
A tool for democracy
CM/Rec(2008)3, Appendix 1
10. Observatories, centres or
institutes

“The choice of the composition
of observatories is a matter for
the administrative bodies
concerned but should allow for
collaboration between
scientists, professionals and
technicians from the public
authorities and the public.”
A research-action in Piedmont Region
objectives
• To define and to test a method for participative
processes, according to ELC CM Rec 2008/3
• to make reference to a large scale, according to the
needs of landscape planning process
• to identify landscape social values and popular
aspirations, focusing on the future
• to include representatives of varied social groups
(general public, local and regional authorities, and
stakeholders)
The area. The Morainic Hills of Ivrea

The geographical area is quite
coincident with a Landscape Area
of the Regional Landscape Plan
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51 Municipalities
91.000 abitants
490 kmq
The societal “climate” and the local L. O.
• The past: industry,
electronics & innovation
(Olivetti company)
• The present situation:
Socio-economic crisis,
abandonment, searching
for a new identity
• Young farmers, back to the
inherited land

• Cultural associations,
volounteering, «cool»
climate
• Self-reflective society

The Landscape
Observatory of AMI
(The Morainic Hills of
Ivrea) is an association
of private citizens

social groups’ mapping
• Private/public nature
• Territorial level of their field of
action
• Main relationship with/interests
for landscape
• Insiders/ outsiders/ «care-takers»


«Actors’ participation target»
in AMI area: degree of envolvement
at the beginning of the participation
process
The participants in the focus groups
• Public officials in local
municipalities
• Public officials in county and
regional bodies



• Farmers
• Workers in trade, tourism,
services sector
• Landscape Users (for recreation)
• Local associations with interest for
environment
• Local associations with interest for
cultural and sporting outdoor
activities
• Inhabitants – local origins
• Inhabitants – for choice
• Inhabitants in the external area

methodology and activities
• 1, definition of issues of interest for
landscape policies
• 2, web surveys, in order to test the
issues’ social relevance and to
identify new topics
• 3, mapping actors and stakeholders
• 4, focus groups: social values and
aspirations
• 5, final focus group: discussion on
landscape public policies (in part.
regional plan), and local initiatives
• 6, (forthcoming) landscape Forum:
celebration! +dissemination
Focus groups, phase II – aspirations
the topics
Discussing the results of the
previous meetings,
comparing with the assessment
and the objectives of the
Regional Landscape Plan
A. Identity, values and
problems;
A. Dynamics, prospects;
B. Objectives
[+Planning measures]



Participation in policies & planning
a challenge
How can we stimulate people in such
a way that they can imagine the
future of their landscape? A
landscape that is not in front of
their eyes, and that could be
different from the past’s heritage



Aspirations > Objectives > Measures

how can people comprehend the
effects of landscape policies
and plans?
how can people deal with
strategies and plans at the
regional scale (or, wider then
local)?
Focus groups, phase I – social values
the topics
Schedule of the discussion
A. Values and problems
Imageability, sense of place; positive
and negative factors; boundaries

B. Dynamics
Changes; tendencies; reasons why

C. key landscape functions for the
future of the area
Preferences, and public debate

D. Role of the L. Observatory
List of suggested landscape
functions:
• Ecological f., conservation of
nature
• Agricultural production
• Conservation and enhancement
of cultural heritage
• Education
• Recreation, tourism, leisure and
sport (and related economic f.)
• «Abitare» (settlements & services
for inhabitants)
• Other: …

Focus groups, Phase I- social values
the results
• Nature is the most important
factor for landscape identity
(much more then cultural
heritage);
• Economy is the most important
concern for the future; conditions
to remain to live here
• Sustainable agriculture and
tourism are the preferred
objectives
• Awareness raising & Networking
are the proposed strategies
Focus groups, phase II – aspirations
the results
People agree with the assessment
and the objectives of the RLP, BUT:
• They have different priorities;
• They can distinguish landscape
from territory, but they focus on
territorial strategies
• They are not confident in «top-
down» initiatives, and do prefer to
be personally engaged in a
horizontal network
• They are confident in the role of
the Landscape Observatory



“I believed to be the champion of a
change from individual, but now it
seems to me that a large-scale vision
is needed”

“We need faith, we need to know
our landscape and make it be known
by other people”

Conclusions. Landscape and Participation
an appropriate procedure for participation can:
• identify landscape characters at large-scale according to
people perceptions, so contributing to the technical process
of landscape planning;
• identify relevant issues and objectives for regional policies
(spatial, rural, landscape policies);
• give an important role to Landscape Observatories, as
intermediate actors between institutions and citizens;
• stimulate new activities and initiatives in the local arena,
linking people on the basis of interest and aspirations for their
landscape.

A research-action in Piedmont Region
credits
Politecnico di Torino-DIST
Osservatorio del paesaggio dell’Anfiteatro
Morenico di Ivrea

2013-2014
Research group:
Claudia Cassatella,
Alfredo Mela,
Raffaele Germano,
Bianca Seardo

Graphics and photos by R. Germano
References
• Council of Europe, European Landscape Convention, 2000
• Recommendation CM/Rec(2008)3 of the Committee of Ministers to member states
on the guidelines for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention
• Italian Republic, Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape (n. 42/2004 – and subsequent modifications and integrations)

• Cassatella C. (editor) 2009, Landscape to be, Marsilio, Venice
• Gambino R., Cassatella C., Devecchi M., Larcher F., 2013. Networking European Landscape Observatories: the Florence
Charter, 13th Council of Europe Meeting of the Workshops for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention
(2-3 october 2013, Cetijnie, Montenegro)
http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/Landscape/ReunionAteliers/cetinje/speech/Italy-Gambino.pdf
• Mela A., Ciaffi D., 2006. Urbanistica partecipata, Carocci, Roma
• Gambino R., Cassatella C., Devecchi M., Larcher F. (editors) 2013. Issue Landscape Observatories in Europe from the ELC
Recommendations to Local Initiatives. Firenze, 27-28th June 2013. Quaderni di Careggi, Vol. V
http://www.uniscape.eu/allegati/Quaderni%20di%20Careggi-%20Fifth%20issue-%20Landscape%20Observatories.pdf
• Germano R. 2014. Evolving landscape: paesaggio, percezione e partecipazione: un metodo di ricerca-azione con
l’Osservatorio del paesaggio per l’anfiteatro morenico di Ivrea; M.Sc Thesis, Politecnico di Torino; Tutor C. Cassatella ; co-
tutors A. Mela, B.M. Seardo. http://opac.biblio.polito.it:80/F/?func=direct&doc_number=000353625&local_base=TESW

• Landscape Observatory of AMI, website: http://www.osservatoriopaesaggioami.it/
• Piedmont’s Landscape Observatories Network, website
http://www.osservatoriodelpaesaggio.org/Coordinamento%20Osservatori%20del%20paesaggio.htm