We are the Landscape
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We are the Landscape


DisciplinaProjeto de Arquitetura, Urbanismo e Paisagismo III5 materiais56 seguidores
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Understanding the
European 
Landscape
Convention
This agile and \u2018young\u2019piece of work by Cecilia Berengo and Sara Di Maio,
in collaboration with Riccardo Priore and Damiano Gallà and published
by Giunti, aims to explain the European Landscape Convention to young
people (but also to grown ups). We never reflect enough on the landscape,
whose thousands of definitions aptly represent the vast array of subjects
that the term delineates and identifies. 
What role does man play in the landscape? 
The answer is three fold. Firstly, man has a reflective role when he con-
templates a landscape as a spectator, one with recognisable symbols and
signs which he interprets emotionally, like a work of art, drawing feelings
from it which enrich his own inner life. Secondly, man plays a classifying
role when he gathers the infinite amount of landscape material for scien-
tific purposes (for example geographers, town planners, morphological
geologists, land owners) or practical purposes (for example, to create a
tourist map) and this role is linked to the important cartographic adapta-
tion of the landscape data. Lastly, man plays the role of protagonist when
his action as transforming agent of the earth\u2019s surface enables him to
mould and create new landscapes (positive action) or destroy them (neg-
ative action). This last role requires some deeper reflection. 
The aware citizen is conscious of forming an integrated part of the land-
scape and protects the landscape and oneself to obtain the best devel-
opment possible. What is all of this called? Territorial ethics. And this eth-
ic is best achieved from the early ages.
Gabriella Cundari
President of RECEP-ENELC \u2013European network of local and regional au-
thorities for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention
Text: Cecilia Berengo and Sara Di Maio,
in collaboration with Riccardo Priore and Damiano Gallà
Translation from Italian: Amy Strecker
Editorial project: Giunti Progetti Educativi
Editorial manager: M. Cristina Zannoner
Editorial coordination and text adaptation: Morgana Clinto
Illustrations: Roberto Luciani
Graphic design and layout: Studio Fridom
www.giuntiprogettieducativi.it
© 2008 Giunti Progetti Educativi S.r.l., Florence
First English edition: october 2009
Printed by Giunti Industrie Grafiche S.p.A \u2013 Prato, Italy
This publication is a revised and updated version of the Italian 
publication Intorno a noi. Come capire la Convenzione europea del 
paesaggio by Cecilia Berengo and Sara Di Maio, Tuscany Region \u2013
Directorate General of Territorial and Environmental Policies.
Preface by Riccardo Conti, Councillor of infrastructure and logistics,
transport, town and territorial planning, planning and coordination
of projects for the protection of landscape, Tuscany Region, Italy.
Introduction
WHAT IS LANDSCAPE?
\u201cLandscape\u201d\u2026 sure, we have heard this word
numerous times and we can say that we know
it; but would we know how to answer the ques-
tion: what is a landscape? It seems easy but it is not! And yet
every day we have something to do with it. Landscape is what
we see when we leave the house every morning, when we walk
to school, when we go somewhere by motorbike, by car or by
bus. The journey that we take everyday inevitably comes across
a landscape. But not only that: what do we see when we look
out of our bedroom window? Buildings, roads, trees, gardens,
factories, monuments, sites, cranes, people, cars, bicycles, train
tracks\u2026 Let\u2019s look out and to think about it for a moment: all
this is landscape!
It is enough to stop a minute and observe what is all around
us to see that we are surrounded by landscapes, sometimes
of rare beauty, sometimes degraded or abandoned. Whether
the silent landscape of cultivated fields, a chaotic landscape
of a suburban industrial zone or a congested and noisy one
in the city centre, it is something very complex: nature gave
the primary material, and humans changed it and enriched
it throughout history. It was often man to produce the most
profound changes year after year. A bit like what happens in
your room, which after all is a \u2018mini\u2019 landscape, with furniture,
objects, CDs and DVDs. How many times have you changed
the posters, the photos stuck on the wall or the objects on your
desk? Some, the more sturdy pieces, will be there for longer:
you have probably always had them and have grown partic-
ularly attached to them; others come and go; others will gath-
er again, like visible layers of the time that passes. Just as
for rocks, the way scientists can tell their age by observing the
way in which their elements have moved and changed over
time. In short, the first thing we can say about landscape is:
wherever we fix our gaze \u2013 on the little things of everyday life
or the big scenes of our city, countryside, mountains or coasts
\u2013 our territory always offers us a landscape. A landscape
which sometimes we like, which fascinates us, which some-
times cheers us up, upsets us or worries us; or maybe it does-
n\u2019t tell us anything at all and leaves us indifferent. Attempt-
ing to understand how and why this happens can be the spir-
it with which to begin this little journey. 
AUGGIE: I don\u2019t know. It just came to me. It\u2019s my corner
after all. I mean it\u2019s just one little part of the
world but things take place there too,just like
everywhere else. It\u2019s a record of my little spot.
PAUL (leafing through the album and shaking his
head again): It\u2019s kind of overwhelming.
AUGGIE (still smiling): You\u2019ll never get it if you don\u2019t slow
down, my friend.
PAUL: What do you mean?
AUGGIE: You\u2019re going too fast. You\u2019re hardly even looking
at the pictures.
PAUL: But they\u2019re all the same!
AUGGIE: They\u2019re all the same, but each one is
different from every other one. You\u2019ve
got bright mornings and dark morn-
ings. You\u2019ve got summer light
and autumn light. You\u2019ve
got weekdays and
weekends.You\u2019ve got
people in overcoats
and boots, and
you\u2019ve got people
in T-shirts and
shorts. Sometimes
the same people,
sometimes different
ones. Sometimes the
different ones become the
A LANDSCAPE IN 4000 PHOTOS
We are in New York, in a tobacco shop in the
heart of Brooklyn. Auggie (Harvey Keitel) and
Paul (William Hurt), dejected writers, sit at a
table. Auggie shows Paul a photo album: it contains 4000
photos, taken day after day, each depicting the very corner
facing the tobacco shop. This section of the conversation
between Auggie and Paul ows itself in great part to a scene
in the film Smoke (Wayne Wang, 1995): 
PAUL (perplexed): They are all the same!
AUGGIE (smiling, proud of himself): Exactly. More than
four thousand pictures of the same place: the
corner of Third Street and Seventh Avenue at
eight o\u2019 clock in the morning. Four thousand
straight days in all kinds of weather. That\u2019s why
I can never take a vacation. I\u2019ve got to be there
every morning. Every morning in the same spot
at the same time. 
PAUL (astounded. Turns a page, then another): I\u2019ve
never seen anything like this.
AUGGIE: It\u2019s one of my projects. What you could call my
life\u2019s work.
PAUL (puts down the album and takes another one,
skims through the pages and sees the same
thing. Shakes his head baffled): Amazing (trying
to be polite). I\u2019m not sure I get it though, I mean,
what was it that gave you the idea to do this
project?
same, and the same ones disappear. The earth re-
volves around the sun and everyday the light from
the sun hits the earth at a different angle.
PAUL (raising his eyes from the album and looking at
Auggie): Slow down, eh?
AUGGIE: That\u2019s what I\u2019d recommend. You know how it is.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, time
passes in mini paces.
The photos Auggie took appear all the same because they rep-
resent the same spot, but in fact each
one brings with it something
different: