Landscape as Public Space: The role of international and EU law in the protection of landscape in Europe
Title: Landscape as Public Space: The role of international and EU law in the protection of landscape in Europe
Author: STRECKER, Amy
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
This thesis deals with the protection of landscape in international law. It focuses mainly on Europe. Landscape has gained increasing importance on the international stage since the inclusion of ‘cultural landscapes’ within the scope of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in 1992. ‘Cultural landscapes’ were to give recognition to the intangible and associative values attached to certain landscapes, to sustainable agricultural practices and to ‘people and communities’ – essentially the human dimension of landscape. This shift has come full circle with the adoption of the European Landscape Convention in 2000. The European Landscape Convention conceives of landscape above all as a people’s landscape and accordingly, provides for the active participation of the public in the formulation of plans and polices. It not only focuses on outstanding landscapes, but also on the everyday and degraded landscapes where most people live and work. This brings landscape back to its early etymological origins and has a number of implications for human rights, democracy and access to justice. With this in mind, the thesis then explores the interplay between landscape and human rights from cultural, environmental and procedural rights perspectives. It demonstrates that outside the indigenous context, a ‘right to landscape’ is difficult to articulate in cultural rights terms. This is illustrated by the two cases studies (Tara and Rospuda), through a comparative analysis of the case law of a number of regional human rights courts and through the work of the UN Human Rights Committees. The thesis highlights how such a right is also difficult from an environmental rights perspective – since the very existence of a right to the environment itself is not well-established. In conclusion, it is the procedural environmental rights – such as participation and access to justice – which offer most scope for the protection of landscape in Europe.
Defence date: 15 June 2012; Examining Board: Professor Francesco Francioni (EUI) Supervisor; Professor Bruno de Witte (EUI); Professor Federico Lenzerini (University of Siena); Professor Ana Vrdoljak (University of Western Australia).
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