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Landscape and Life: Appropriate Scales for Sustainable Development


To analyze the tensions between economy and ecology in the transformation of European landscapes and life during 1950-90, identifying criteria of appropriate scale for the framing of environmental policy integrated and adapted to the social and economic context.

Case studies in Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden are used to examine processes of sectoral specialization in land use, habitat, and social space during the period 1950-90 with specific attention to policy impact within culturally-distinct situations. The analytical goals include:

(i) objectively measurable changes of scale in the territorial, functional, and socio-political contexts of people in specific regions during 1950-90 ;

(ii) critical reflections on these changes, their genesis and impacts on landscape and life,

(iii) an evaluation of the impacts of salient EC sectoral policies.

The case studies span a range of actual and potential scale horizons within which tensions of economic and ecological interest are examines. Results are interpreted in terms of the two central policy-relevant issues of scale modulation ("top-down), and of subsidiarity ("bottom-up"). The studies incorporate both conventional scientific as well as interpretative approaches to the understanding of historically-rooted practical experience in negotiating livelihood and resources within specific European regions. An integral part of the project design are procedures to facilitate cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue throughout the research period and should insight into the ways in which the conflicting interests of economy and ecology have been successfully negotiated during 1950-90, and the lessons for future development.

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Meccanismo di finanziamento

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University College Dublin
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4 Dublin

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Partecipanti (3)