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Chapter 1: Introduction: Europe’s living landscapes at a turning point

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the book Europe's Living Landscapes. The book treats the current crisis in landscape quality as a challenge for action and research; in agreement with the European Landscape Convention, which stresses the importance of safeguarding all landscapes. To counteract global trends initiatives are being taken in many places, in conjunction with local efforts, to allow new living landscapes to emerge on the basis of the existing values. Landscape is one of the most fascinating assets of Europe. Its great diversity reflects a multitude of historical layers in an intricate spatial pattern. The emerging development of integrated science is a significant asset for the study of landscapes and in the search for solutions for the complex problems related to the deterioration of values and functions, multifunctional land use, abandonment of regions, local to global transformations, and rapidly changing and highly diverse societal needs and demands.

Keywords: agriculture; biodiversity; Europe; European Landscape Convention; landscape ecology; nature conservation; spatial pattern

10.1163/9789004278073_002
/content/books/b9789004278073s002
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