Special Issue "Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jørgen Primdahl
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Interests: rural landscape; landscape management
Prof. Dr. Teresa Pinto-Correia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ICAAM, University of Évora, Portugal
Interests: rural landscapes; society and environment; landscape ecology; Mediterranean land-use systems; landscape management and governance
Prof. Dr. Veerle Van Eetvelde
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Interests: landscape ecology; landscape and heritage management and planning; patterns and processes of landscape change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rural landscape dynamics are challenging existing policy regimes for a number of reasons, and new approaches to landscape governance regimes are called for. The underlying driving forces for landscape change—market developments, technological innovations, and urbanization in various forms, including counter-urbanization and tourism—are increasingly interlinked and globalized. Policy regimes are functioning at multiple levels across a number of sectors. Some domains have been de-regulated, such as agricultural policies; others have expanded, such as nature conservation and natural resource policies; and others, again, have been decentralized, such as land-use planning—all adding to the complexity of change and regulation. Finally, rural communities themselves have changed because of various combinations of in and out migrations, and often find themselves locked in between the increasing influence from outside forces and internal social and cultural segregation. Power relations have changed, although these changes are not always acknowledged by those involved.

In this Special Issue, we address these challenges for rural landscape governance. Based on literature reviews and empirical studies, we tackle the following questions: How are the key actors in present day landscapes coping with the change processes and the resulting governance challenges? How are these key actors interplaying with each other? What general governance challenges can be identified and what characterizes these challenges? Which approaches have been shown to point forward and how can they be brought together in the specific contexts forming the conditions for the individual rural landscape?

Prof. Dr. Jørgen Primdahl
Prof. Dr. Teresa Pinto-Correia
Prof. Dr. Veerle Van Eetvelde
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • rural landscape management
  • governance
  • public policies
  • rural communities and actors
  • landscape and societal change

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Rural Landscapes—Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance
Land 2020, 9(12), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120521 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Rural landscape dynamics are challenging existing policy regimes for a number of reasons and new approaches to landscape governance are needed [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
When Peace and Quiet Is Not Enough: Place-Shaping and the Role of Leaders in Sustainability and Quality of Life in Rural Estonia and Latvia
Land 2020, 9(8), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9080259 - 02 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 991
Abstract
Estonian and Latvian rural inhabitants enjoy many factors enhancing the quality of life, such as the peace and quiet of the countryside, fresh food and rural activities. However, these benefits are insufficient to overcome poor employment prospects in rural areas. Place-shaping practices have [...] Read more.
Estonian and Latvian rural inhabitants enjoy many factors enhancing the quality of life, such as the peace and quiet of the countryside, fresh food and rural activities. However, these benefits are insufficient to overcome poor employment prospects in rural areas. Place-shaping practices have transformative powers that are instrumental in achieving sustainable change in communities. The process of reappreciating local landscapes creates memories of positive associations with symbolic meaning; it helps inhabitants to strengthen their sense of place identity and re-grounds their appreciation into a specific local context. Sustainable rural futures require conditions where inhabitants feel listened to and that are responsive to their needs. They also require inspirational leaders to facilitate change and create networks of opportunities, linking inhabitants to the outside world and resources. Leaders may play an important role of re-positioning local communities for the future, creating new experiences or new opportunities, which further feeds re-appreciation of place and enhances quality of life. In order to understand the main issues of the rural areas, two villages with active rural projects in Estonia and Latvia were selected to analyse the role that leaders play in the development of the area and the barriers to a more sustainable approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
Landscape-Ecological Approach to Spatial Planning as a Tool to Minimize Socio-Ecological Conflicts: Case Study of Agrolandscape in the Taiga Zone of Russia
Land 2020, 9(6), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9060192 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
Landscape heterogeneity generates significant influences on economic activity. Present-day publications in landscape planning focus more and more on a participatory approach and a communication process. By contrast, we focus on nature-based criteria aimed at proper adaptation of planning decisions to natural landscape patterns. [...] Read more.
Landscape heterogeneity generates significant influences on economic activity. Present-day publications in landscape planning focus more and more on a participatory approach and a communication process. By contrast, we focus on nature-based criteria aimed at proper adaptation of planning decisions to natural landscape patterns. The paper proposes the framework aimed at considering geographical context, matter flows, and dynamic processes in projecting ecological network and perfect sites for various land use types as well as for choosing appropriate technologies. We use the example of a river basin in the taiga zone of European Russia, partially used for forestry and traditional agriculture. A landscape map, space images, and geochemical data are used to provide rationales for the necessary emergent effects resulting from proper proportions, neighborhoods, buffers, and shapes for lands use units. The proposed spatial arrangement of land use types and technologies ensures the coordination of socio-economic and ecological interests and preserves zonal background conditions, including runoff, soils, migration routes, and biodiversity. The allocation of arable lands and cutovers is aimed at minimizing undesirable matter flows that could cause qualitative changes in the geochemical environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
Landscape Strategy-Making and Collaboration. The Hills of Northern Mors, Denmark; A Case of Changing Focus and Scale
Land 2020, 9(6), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9060189 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 639
Abstract
This paper focuses on a three-year rural landscape strategy-making process, which was driven by a Danish municipality and involved a large number of stakeholders. The project was part of an action research program aimed at developing new approaches to collaborative landscape planning. Gaining [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on a three-year rural landscape strategy-making process, which was driven by a Danish municipality and involved a large number of stakeholders. The project was part of an action research program aimed at developing new approaches to collaborative landscape planning. Gaining experiences with such approaches was part of this aim. During the course of the project, the focus and scale of the strategy changed significantly. The process developed in interesting ways in respect to three dimensions of collaborative landscape planning: collaboration, scale, and public goods. After a brief review of the three dimensions and their links to landscape planning, the case story is unfolded in three sections: (1) The planning process, (2) the process outcome (the strategy), and (3) the aftermath in terms of critical reflections from participating planners and local stakeholders. The process and outcome of the landscape strategy-making process is discussed in the context of collaboration, scale, and public goods, including a brief outline of the lessons learned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
50 Years of Environmental Activism in Girona, Catalonia: From Case Advocacy to Regional Planning
Land 2020, 9(6), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9060172 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
Environmental activism, with decades of relevant presence already, is a fundamental element for the preservation of natural and cultural values. Theories around their bases, protagonists, methods, instruments and results proliferate in a period of obliged ecological transition. Here, we present an investigation in [...] Read more.
Environmental activism, with decades of relevant presence already, is a fundamental element for the preservation of natural and cultural values. Theories around their bases, protagonists, methods, instruments and results proliferate in a period of obliged ecological transition. Here, we present an investigation in the region of Girona (Catalunya, Spain), with the main objective of reflecting on environmental activism and its singular impact on the territorial reality of this area. The specific interest of this case resides in the longevity of the mobilizations (50 years) and the number of cases and actors; for its causes (a territory endowed with a very socialized narrative linking landscape to identity, and subject to multiple and powerful transformative pressures); and for its effective results. Through collaborative research and different data sources, we display map-based results about environmental movements and conflicts, and quantitative results about typologies of movements, conflict triggers, outcomes of the cases, and conversion rate to nature or heritage protection figures. The discussion, and by extension the conclusions, proposes answers to the exceptional nature of the case in the Catalan context, its relationship with NIMBY processes, and the notable incidence of these mobilizations in the landscape quality and land planning of Girona. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Landscape Approach towards Integrated Conservation and Use of Primeval Forests: The Transboundary Kovda River Catchment in Russia and Finland
Land 2020, 9(5), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050144 - 09 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1480
Abstract
Regional clear-felling of naturally dynamic boreal forests has left remote forest landscapes in northern Europe with challenges regarding rural development based on wood mining. However, biodiversity conservation with higher levels of ambition than what is possible in regions with a long forest history, [...] Read more.
Regional clear-felling of naturally dynamic boreal forests has left remote forest landscapes in northern Europe with challenges regarding rural development based on wood mining. However, biodiversity conservation with higher levels of ambition than what is possible in regions with a long forest history, and cultural heritage, offer opportunities for developing new value chains that support rural development. We explored the opportunities for pro-active integrated spatial planning based on: (i) landscapes’ natural and cultural heritage values in the transboundary Kovda River catchment in Russia and Finland; (ii) forest canopy loss as a threat; and (iii) private, public and civil sector stakeholders’ views on the use and non-use values at local to international levels. After a 50-year history of wood mining in Russia, the remaining primeval forest and cultural heritage remnants are located along the pre-1940 Finnish-Russian border. Forest canopy loss was higher in Finland (0.42%/year) than in Russia (0.09%/year), and decreased from the south to the north in both countries. The spatial scales of stakeholders’ use of forest landscapes ranged from stand-scale to the entire catchment of Kovda River in Russia and Finland (~2,600,000 ha). We stress the need to develop an integrated landscape approach that includes: (i) forest landscape goods; (ii) other ecosystem services and values found in intact forest landscapes; and (iii) adaptive local and regional forest landscape governance. Transboundary collaboration offers opportunities for effective knowledge production and learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance)
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Open AccessArticle
Reflections on How State–Civil Society Collaborations Play out in the Context of Land Grabbing in Argentina
Land 2019, 8(8), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8080116 - 30 Jul 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
We examine collaborations between the state and civil society in the context of land grabbing in Argentina. Land grabbing provokes many governance challenges, which generate new social arrangements. The incentives for, limitations to, and contradictions inherent in these collaborations are examined. We particularly [...] Read more.
We examine collaborations between the state and civil society in the context of land grabbing in Argentina. Land grabbing provokes many governance challenges, which generate new social arrangements. The incentives for, limitations to, and contradictions inherent in these collaborations are examined. We particularly explore how the collaborations between the provincial government of Santiago del Estero and non-government organizations (NGOs) played out. This province has experienced many land grabs, especially for agriculture and livestock production. In response to protest and political pressure, two provincial agencies were established to assist communities in relation to land tenure issues (at different stages). Even though many scholars consider state–civil society collaborations to be introduced by nation states only to gain and maintain political power, we show how rural communities are actually supported by these initiatives. By empowering rural populations, active NGOs can make a difference to how the negative implications of land grabbing are addressed. However, NGOs and government agencies are constrained by global forces, local political power plays, and stakeholder struggles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Landscapes - Challenges and Solutions to Landscape Governance)
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