CHeriScape integrates different scientific disciplines, leading to innovative partnerships

Interview with Dr Bas Pedroli (Wageningen UR – Alterra)

Bas Pedroli is one of the partners in “Cultural Heritage in Landscape” (CHeriScape), a landscape-focussed international network funded as part of the transnational pilot call of the European Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage. In total, 10 projects received funding for international networking activities, bringing together scientists from 13 European countries.

“Traditionally, cultural heritage looks mainly at conservation and preservation. In recent years, more attention is given to the environmental and societal context of the features to be ‘cherished’. The project CHeriScape integrates tangible and intangible heritage values, combining physical geography with humanities and social sciences. It is a way of looking that helps us to understand our place in the world, and one which transcends disciplinary boundaries.”

At the heart of the CHeriScape initiative is an integrated series of five conferences across various countries in three years’ time, each to explore a different aspect of the importance of ‘landscape as heritage’ to society.

“The workshops are very interactive in nature, with open spaces or ‘world cafe’s’ as settings in which active debate and interaction takes place. This method has proven to work well. When you ask someone about their personal relationship with the landscape, it normally yields highly spontaneous responses. People recount how they used to enjoy the surroundings in which they grew up, and how the landscape that was so dear to them has changed. It has (subconsciously) formed their identity.” 

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