Defining Landscapes, and Their Importance for National Identity—A Case Study from Slovenia
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Research Background
- To redefine the concept of national landscape identity areas and renew the methodology for their designation;
- To elaborate guidelines for management of these landscapes; and
- To provide recommendations for applying the methodology on the regional and local levels.
2.2. Step 1—Drafting the Methodology for Assessing National Landscape Identity Areas
2.3. Step 2—Performing an Online Questionnaire on the Relevance of Existing National Identity Areas and Redrafting the Methodology
- Do you know this area? (yes/no)
- Do you consider this area important for national identity (yes/no) and (in case the answer is yes) which criteria have influenced your decision?
2.4. Step 3—Developing a Detailed Methodology for Identifying National Landscape Identity Areas, Performing Evaluation on Selected Case Study Areas, and Preparing Guidelines for Landscape Planning and Management
3.1. Redefinition of the Concept of National Landscape Identity Areas
- Landscape features and landscape patterns that either represent a generic Slovenian landscape (e.g., a church on a hilltop) or a certain region (e. g. hayracks, different types of agricultural terraces) and that are considered relevant for landscape identity;
- Landscape identity areas that are unique and outstanding and therefore important for national identity.
3.1.1. Identity Value of Existing National Landscape Identity Areas
- The mountains and valleys of the Julian Alps with Triglav, the highest Slovenian mountain, as the most frequently mentioned (13 times) and Triglav National Park.
- Coastal areas with special emphasis on the Sečovlje salt pans (13-times) and coastal towns (especially Piran).
- The river Soča (Isonzo) and the landscape along the river with special mentioning of the towns of Bovec and Kobarid.
3.1.2. Evaluation Criteria and Pilot Areas for Evaluating Landscape Identity
- Representativeness—the area is important for national landscape identity because of its uniqueness (Bled, Bohinj) or for being a representative of a certain landscape type (Bitnje)—see Figure 2.
- Coherence and preservation/authenticity of landscape features and patterns:
- Coherence among natural and cultural features/characteristics—e.g., cultural terraces that only slightly adapt to topography (Dolenjska, Notranjska)—see Figure 3;
- Picturesqueness, visual attraction;
- Landscape heterogeneity.
- Cultural and scientific value:
- Historical and symbolic meaning—places and landscapes have a strong associative (e.g., the Savica waterfall), symbolic (e.g., Triglav) and/or historical value (e.g., the WW1 remains along the Soča/Isonzo river battlefield)—see Figure 3;
- Identity value—places and landscapes that the majority of citizens identify with (e.g., Planica, Bled);
- Continuity—places and landscapes with preserved settlement patterns, field division systems, etc. (e.g., Bitnje, Velika Planina, Zajamniki)—see Figure 4;
- Scientific and research value—landscapes that are important for studying natural phenomena (e.g., Karst) and/or historical landscape development.
- N—the area is considered of national importance for landscape identity;
- R—the area is of regional importance for landscape identity;
- L—the area is of local importance for landscape identity; and
- 0—the area has no importance for landscape identity.
- Pilot areas should be distributed within all five landscape regions of Slovenia.
- Pilot areas that are already enlisted among national landscape identity areas were selected within all three groups from the questionnaire (areas of high, medium, and low importance):
- Ljubljansko barje;
- Zgornja Savinjska dolina (Logarska dolina);
- Jeruzalemske gorice;
- Radensko polje;
- Mirnska dolina;
- Bitnje; and
- Posočje; and
- Kraški rob.
- Triglav and the surrounding area (the highest mountain peak in Slovenia);
- Bohinj (glacier lake and mountain pastures);
- Pokljuka (high forest plateau);
- Planica (alpine valley with contemporary ski jumping facilities); and
- Trenta (alpine river valley with surrounding slopes and plateaus).
3.2. Guidelines for Managing National Landscape Identity Areas
- Preserving existing land use, landscape features, and patterns that contribute to landscape identity.
- Preserving the traditional land division system, settlement patterns, and architectural typology.
- Promoting agricultural activities to prevent land abandonment and overgrowing, especially in marginal agricultural areas (e.g., mountain pastures). Besides, food production and agriculture in these areas has an important role in preserving landscape features and patterns with identity value; therefore, agricultural management technologies should adapt to that.
- Management and monitoring of landscape heterogeneity.
- Protection of natural landscape features (e.g., natural streams, hedges, individual trees, etc.).
- All development activities (e.g., housing, agriculture, etc.) should adapt to the environment’s carrying capacity. New developments should be planned considering the existing landscape character.
- Massive tourism should be prevented, and touristic development should be planned within the environment’s carrying capacity.
- Touristic infrastructure should be unified and minimized to avoid visual pollution.
- The inclusion of landscape identity into expertises and planning acts.
- Educational activities for relevant stakeholders and the general public.
- The inclusion of recommendations into sectoral policies and management plans.
3.3. Recommendations for the Method’s Application on Regional and Local Levels
- Further research should investigate the principles of regional/local identity and the differences between these two compared to national identity.
- The suggested criteria as well as the thresholds should be reconsidered and adapted to specific regional/local contexts.
- Additional criteria and characteristic landscape features could be added.
- Regional/local experts should perform the evaluation.
3.4. The Evaluation of Jezersko—An Example of a Case Study
3.4.1. Area Description and Conservation Regimes
- The area has a unique and well-preserved character, but, because of its remoteness and inacessibility, it was not considered as important for identity among interviewees.
- Despite the (so far) moderate touristic development, which did not negatively affect the landscape character and identity, uncontrolled future development could lead toward landscape degradation.
3.4.2. Characteristic Landscape Features
4.1. Redefinition of the Concept of National Landscape Identity Areas
4.2. Guidelines for Managing National Landscape Identity Areas
4.3. Recommendations for the Method’s Application on Regional and Local Levels
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
- Relph, E.C. Place and Placelessness; Pion: London, UK, 1976; ISBN 978-0-85086-055-9. [Google Scholar]
- Basso, K.H. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language Among the Western Apache, 1st ed.; University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque, NM, USA, 1996; ISBN 978-0-8263-1724-7. [Google Scholar]
- Južnič, S. Identiteta; Založba FDV: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2003. [Google Scholar]
- Kučan, A. The Modern Social Conception of Slovene Space = Slovenski Prostor v Sodobni Družbeni Predstavi. Geogr. Zb. 1997, 37, 111–169. [Google Scholar]
- Halbwachs, M. Kolektivni Spomin; Studia Humanitatis: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2001. [Google Scholar]
- Hrobat, K. Ko Baba Dvigne Krilo; Filozofska fakulteta: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2010; Volume 2010. [Google Scholar]
- Kučan, A. Prostorska Prepoznavnost Podeželja; Društvo krajinskih arhitektov Slovenije: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2013; pp. 66–68. [Google Scholar]
- Lowenthal, D. British National Identity and the English Landscape. Rural History 1991, 2, 205–230. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Hoskins, W. The Making of the English Landscape; Hodder and Stoughton: London, UK, 1995. [Google Scholar]
- Sörlin, S. The Articulation of Territory: Landscape and the Constitution of Regional and National Identity. Nor. Geogr. Tidsskr. Nor. J. Geogr. 1999, 53, 103–112. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Jackson, J.B. Discovering the Vernacular Landscape; Yale University Press: New Haven, London, UK, 1984; Volume 1984. [Google Scholar]
- European Landscape Convention. Available online: https://www.coe.int/en/web/conventions/full-list/-/conventions/treaty/176 (accessed on 10 May 2021).
- Tudor, C. An Approach to Landscape Character Assessment; Natural England: York, UK, 2014; ISBN 978-78367-141-0. [Google Scholar]
- Sarlöv Herlin, I. Exploring the National Contexts and Cultural Ideas that Preceded the Landscape Character Assessment Method in England. Landsc. Res. 2016, 41, 175–185. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Warnock, S.; Griffiths, G. Landscape Characterisation: The Living Landscapes Approach in the UK. Landsc. Res. 2015, 40, 261–278. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Farrell, H.; Boyle, K.; Rybaczuk, K. Landscape Character Assessment in the Republic of Ireland. LCN News Landsc. Character Netw. Newsl. 2006, 21, 10–12. [Google Scholar]
- Van Eetvelde, V.; Antrop, M. Indicators for Assessing Changing Landscape Character of Cultural Landscapes in Flanders (Belgium). Land Use Policy 2009, 26, 901–910. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Simensen, T.; Halvorsen, R.; Erikstad, L. Methods for Landscape Characterisation and Mapping: A Systematic Review. Land Use Policy 2018, 75, 557–569. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Wascher, D.M. European Landscape Character Areas. Typologies, Cartography and Indicators for the Assessment of Sustainable Landscapes; Landscape Europe: Wageningen, The Netherlands, 2005. [Google Scholar]
- McCormack, A.; O’Leary, T. Development and Application of Landscape Assessment Guidelines in Ireland: Case Studies using Forestry and Wind Farm Developments. In Countryside Planning; Routledge: London, UK, 2012; pp. 158–172. ISBN 978-1-84977-091-0. [Google Scholar]
- Ingold, T. The Temporality of the Landscape. World Archaeol. 1993, 25, 152–174. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Marušič, I. Regionalna Razdelitev Krajinskih Tipov v Sloveniji—Metodološke Osnove; Ministrstvo za Okolje in Prostor: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1998; Volume 1998. [Google Scholar]
- Ode, Å.; Tveit, M.S.; Fry, G. Capturing Landscape Visual Character Using Indicators: Touching Base with Landscape Aesthetic Theory. Landsc. Res. 2008, 33, 89–117. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Tveit, M.; Ode, Å.; Fry, G. Key Concepts in a Framework for Analysing Visual Landscape Character. Landsc. Res. 2006, 31, 229–255. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Linkola, H. Administration, Landscape and Authorized Heritage Discourse—Contextualising the Nationally Valuable Landscape Areas of Finland. Landsc. Res. 2015, 40, 939–954. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ņitavska, N. The Method of Landscape Identity Assessment. Res. Rural Dev. 2011, 8, 175–181. [Google Scholar]
- Ramos, I.L.; Bianchi, P.; Bernardo, F.; Van Eetvelde, V. What Matters to People? Exploring Contents of Landscape Identity at the Local Scale. Landsc. Res. 2019, 44, 320–336. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Odlok o Strategiji Prostorskega Razvoja Slovenije (OdSPRS). Available online: http://pisrs.si (accessed on 29 April 2021).
- Golobič, M.; Penko Seidl, N.; Pipan, T.; Hudoklin, J.; Šmid Hribar, M.; Kumer, P. Nadgradnja Metodologije Določanja Območij Nacionalne Prepoznavnosti Krajine; Univerza v Ljubljani, ZRC SAZU, Acer Novo mesto: Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2020; p. 114. [Google Scholar]
- Lowenthal, D. European Landscape Transformations: The Rural Residue. In Understanding Ordinary Landscapes; Yale University Press: London, UK, 2009; pp. 180–188. ISBN 978-0-300-18561-4. [Google Scholar]
- Tilley, C. A Phenomenology of Landscape; Berg Publishers: Oxford, UK, 1994; Volume 1994. [Google Scholar]
- Tuan, Y.-F. Space and Place; University of Minesotta Press: Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2005. [Google Scholar]
- Boillat, S.; Serrano, E.; Rist, S.; Berkes, F. The Importance of Place Names in the Search for Ecosystem-Like Concepts in Indigenous Societies: An Example from the Bolivian Andes. Environ. Manag. 2013, 51, 663–678. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Stobbelaar, D.J.; Pedroli, B. Perspectives on Landscape Identity: A Conceptual Challenge. Landsc. Res. 2011, 36, 321–339. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ramos, I.L.; Bernardo, F.; Ribeiro, S.C.; Van Eetvelde, V. Landscape Identity: Implications for Policy Making. Land Use Policy 2016, 53, 36–43. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Jacobs, M.; Lengkeek, J.; Dooremalen, H. The Production of Mindscapes: A Comprehensive Theory of Landscape Experience. Ph.D. Thesis, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 2006. [Google Scholar]
- Schama, S. Landscape and Memory; Vintage: New York, NY, USA, 1996; ISBN 978-0-679-73512-0. [Google Scholar]
- Butler, A.; Sarlöv-Herlin, I. Changing Landscape Identity—Practice, Plurality, and Power. Landsc. Res. 2019, 44, 271–277. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. 1972. Available online: https://whc.unesco.org/archive/convention-en.pdf (accessed on 10 May 2021).
- Reading the Identity of Place. In Multiple Landscape: Merging Past and Present; 2004. Available online: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Derk-Stobbelaar/publication/40111226_Reading_the_Identity_of_Place/links/0c96051dc5796a55db000000/Reading-the-Identity-of-Place.pdf (accessed on 10 May 2021).
- Potthoff, K. The Use of ‘Cultural Landscape’ in 19th Century German Geographical Literature. Nor. J. Geogr. 2013, 67, 49–54. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Sauer, C.O. The Morphology of Landscape, by Carl O. Sauer; University Press: Berkeley, CA, USA, 1925. [Google Scholar]
- Centre, U.W.H. Cultural Landscapes. Available online: https://whc.unesco.org/en/culturallandscape/ (accessed on 29 April 2021).
- Register Kulturne Dediščine RKD. Available online: https://gisportal.gov.si/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=df5b0c8a300145fda417eda6b0c2b52b (accessed on 29 April 2021).
- Kladnik, D.; Šmid Hribar, M.; Geršič, M. Terraced Landscapes as Protected Cultural Heritage Sites. Acta Geogr. Slov. 2017, 57, 131–148. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Pipan, P.; Kokalj, Ž. Transformation of the Jeruzalem Hills Cultural Landscape with Modern Vineyard Terraces. Acta Geogr. Slov. 2017, 57, 149–162. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Agnoletti, M.; Emanueli, F. (Eds.) Biocultural Diversity in Europe; Environmental History; Springer International Publishing: Berlin, Germany, 2016; ISBN 978-3-319-26313-7. [Google Scholar]
- Antrop, M.; Brandt, J.; Loupa-Ramos, I.; Padoa-Schioppa, E.; Porter, J.; Van Eetvelde, V.; Pinto-Correia, T. How Landscape Ecology Can Promote the Development of Sustainable Landscapes in Europe: The Role of the European Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE-Europe) in the Twenty-First Century. Landsc. Ecol. 2013, 28, 1641–1647. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef][Green Version]
- Hudoklin, J.; Selak, I.; Simič, S. Podrobnejša Pravila Za Urejanje Prostora—Ohranjanje Prepoznavnosti Slovenskih Krajin; ACER Novo mesto d.o.o.: Novo mesto, Slovenia, 2005; p. 78. [Google Scholar]
- Šmid Hribar, M.; Lisec, A. Protecting Trees through an Inventory and Typology: Heritage Trees in the Karavanke Mountains, Slovenia. Acta Geogr. Slov. 2011, 51, 169–188. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Kučan, A. Constructing Landscape Conceptions. J. Landsc. Archit. 2007, 2, 30–41. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Lindström, K. Universal Heritage Value, Community Identities and World Heritage: Forms, Functions, Processes and Context at a Changing Mt Fuji. Landsc. Res. 2019, 44, 278–291. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
|Importance for national identity|
|≥90% **||50–89% **||<50% **|
|Recognition of landscape among interviewees||High||≥75% *||8||19||2|
|* Percentage of the interviewees who know the area|
|** Percentage of the interviewees who consider the area important for national identity among those who know the area|
|8 areas||Green: Areas that should be directly listed among national landscape identity areas|
|19 + 11 + 1 = 31 areas||Yellow: Areas that should be further evaluated according to proposed methodology|
|2 + 10 + 2 + 9 = 23 areas||Pink: Areas that were excluded from further evaluation on national level|
|Types of Landscape Features (General List for Slovenia); Landscape Features that Appear in the Alpine Region Are Written in Bold.|
|Geomorphological and relief||Vegetation||Water||Structures|
|Mountain peaks||Riparian vegetation||Torrents||Hayracks (and other structures upon which fodder for animals is dried)|
|Sheer rocks and cliffs||Tree avenues||Sinking stream/sinking river||Herdsmen huts|
|Limestone pavements/plateaus||Fallow land on field borders||Backwater||Barns and other farmsteads|
|Cliff/rock formation||Green windbreaks||Mill streams||Bee houses|
|Scree slopes||Solitude trees||Artificial cannals||Mills and sawmills|
|Moraine||Reeds||Reclamation ditches||Individual farms|
|Boulders||Extensive orchards||Waterfalls||Salt-pan houses|
|Mogul meadows||Groups of trees and shrubs||Springs and ponors||Chapels and plague crosses (columns)|
|River beds and kanyons||Forest patches||Water cachements||Churches and bell towers|
|Cascades||Park/park plantation/park complex||Ponds||Castles and forts|
|Swallow holes, boiling springs, and estavelles||Fern and birches/litter raking forest||Headwaters||(Visible) archeological remains|
|Gravel plains and dunes||Lakes||War remains and borders (bunkers and trenches)|
|River terraces||Accumulation lakes||Water barriers|
|Alluvial fans||Intermittent lakes||Monuments (memorials)|
|Solitary hills (on carst poljes)||Gravel pits||Wooden footbridges|
|Special geomorphological features: needles, natural windows, karrens, rillenkarrens, and other karst features||(Peat) bogs|
|Shafts (ice pits)||Sea|
|Bare surface||Salt pans|
|Depressions and sinkholes|
|Criteria and Sub-Criteria||Evaluation||Comment—Field Observations|
|N||The area is important for identity but less important than the most prominent landscape areas (e.g., Bled, Bohinj). Clustered settlement in hills.|
|Coherence and preservation/authenticity of landscape features and patterns|
|Coherence among natural and cultural features/characteristics||N||Settlements on the edges and sunny slopes due to the harsh climate. Pollarded ash hedges on the parcel boundaries. Meadows in the valley bottom, forest on the steep slopes, and pastures and hayfields on the plateaus.|
|Clearly defined spatial order||N||Ash hedges planted along the parcel boundaries in the valley bottom. Well-preserved architecture, houses with vegetable gardens, lime trees at isolated farms, and orchards on sunny slopes.|
|Picturesqueness and visual attraction||N||Picturesque, visually attractive landscape. The best observation locations are from slightly elevated points. Surrounded by forested slopes and ridges, the landscape is perceived as a complete whole with clearly expressed boundaries. Pollareded ash hedges are also an element of visual attractiveness.|
|Landscape heterogeneity||N||Pollarded ash hedges.|
Meadows and pastures.
Lime trees at isolated farms.
Settlement patterns and traditional materials (shingles).
Traditional farm buildings.
Forests in the background.
Wooden fences around vegetable gardens.
|Cultural and scientific value|
|Historical and symbolic meaning||R||Health tourism (climate, eye diseases).|
|Identity value||R/L||Indigenous breed of sheep; annual sheep fair.|
|Continuity||N||Pollarded ash hedges are still preserved, but their management is less intensive (branches and leaves were used for fodder).|
|Scientific and research value||R/L||Tufa deposit in surrounding area. |
Indigenous breed of sheep.
|Conclusion: the area is important for national identity.|
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Penko Seidl, N.; Šmid Hribar, M.; Hudoklin, J.; Pipan, T.; Golobič, M. Defining Landscapes, and Their Importance for National Identity—A Case Study from Slovenia. Sustainability 2021, 13, 6475. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116475
Penko Seidl N, Šmid Hribar M, Hudoklin J, Pipan T, Golobič M. Defining Landscapes, and Their Importance for National Identity—A Case Study from Slovenia. Sustainability. 2021; 13(11):6475. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116475Chicago/Turabian Style
Penko Seidl, Nadja, Mateja Šmid Hribar, Jelka Hudoklin, Tomaž Pipan, and Mojca Golobič. 2021. "Defining Landscapes, and Their Importance for National Identity—A Case Study from Slovenia" Sustainability 13, no. 11: 6475. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116475