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Final Report


"Methods of cataloguing Austrian cultural landscapes on national, regional and community levels with regard to the cultural heritage of natural resources as well as methodological approaches to examining environmental compatibility"

LETS CARE METHOD - Landscape Environment
Assessment and Cultural Heritage Restoration

June 2001

1 Planned and actually realized activities

The actual development of the project is identical with the individual steps described in the project proposal.

All project partners elaborated their agreed shares of the project. From the very beginning, the individual contributions were presented and discussed in the workshops especially designed for this purpose.

The project INTERREG II C "Cultural landscapes" (Title: LETS CARE METHOD - Landscape Environment Assessment and Cultural Heritage Restoration) places the focus of interest on the complexity of cultural landscapes and, particularly, on cultural heritage.

2 Critical assessment of the project development

  • Co-operation
    Principally speaking, co-operation has been very good. Thanks to the target-oriented scientific and organizational project leadership (Professor Dr. Concina, Venice) it was possible to follow the individual project steps in the workshops and to enhance the exchange of information in further meetings. The discussions were very constructive
  • Position / Austrian Contribution
    On the initiative of Austria and as Austrian contribution, a comparison of methods used in Romania, the Federal Republic of Germany and Switzerland was initiated and carried out.
  • Unplanned project prolongation caused by Italy
    Due to financial reasons (the Italian ministries were late in transferring the start money to the Italian project partners), the new deadline for finishing the complete project by the general co-ordinator Italy was decided to be December 2001. At the international closing workshop (13 to 16 of September 2001 in Venice) the results were presented and discussed, and possibilities of networking were demonstrated.
  • Due execution of the Austrian project parts
    The official confirmation of the due project execution (with regard to contents, science, etc.) issued by the general co-ordinator Professor Dr. Concina, Venice, is attached to this report. (Annex)

3 Presentation and realization of results

3.1 Cultural landscape inventory of Austria (Step 1)

3.1.1 Methodological aspects

a) Elaboration of a system of indicators

  • For the purpose of identifying and describing the cultural landscape units (on regional and national levels) for Austria as well as comparing and evaluating cataloguing systems (e.g. cultural or architectural heritage, landscape units)
  • Definition of common minimum requirements in harmony with the transferable standards for cataloguing cultural heritage and landscapes on a transnational level as well as on regional and national levels in the area of co-operation
  • Elaboration of a system of indicators on the basis of a comparison of European methods for the purpose of identifying cultural heritage with a methodology related to cultural landscapes (town planning and/or planning approach) on the level of community development and community development programmes (community and inter-community levels)
  • Definition of cultural heritage for the individual steps of examining environmental compatibility according to the relevant EU guidelines and the national legislation derived therefrom
  • Identification of the characteristics of cultural landscape units by means of selected indicators used for mapping the potential of natural resources (functions of landscapes), the pertinent technical contributions concerning aspects of human geography and socio-economic classifications (community types). Selection of special indicators for a first assessment of the socio-economic dynamism

b) Evaluation
With regard to the fields and levels of work (regional and national levels as well as instrument for examining environmental compatibility) mentioned under a), the fundamentals for the introduction of common methods of evaluating the sensitivity of and the possible hazards to cultural heritage and cultural landscapes are elaborated with due consideration of the research activities developed in the European Union.

c) Thematic maps
The aforementioned approach and methods serve for the development of thematic maps. These are fundamental to the evaluation and problem definition which are important for the protection and revitalization of cultural heritage and cultural landscapes and take into account the sensitivity of as well as current hazards to cultural heritage and cultural landscapes, and their potential of natural resources (detailed division into the individual areas of natural resource potentials). The maps are developed on the basis of the existing data on the levels mentioned.

3.1.2 Instrumental aspects

a) Maintaining system for the cultural landscapes of European and international importance
At the same time, a comprehensive management concept has been developed for the categories of protection mentioned. This concept is applied to the existing and planned areas.

b) Inventory of cultural landscapes and town planning activities for the benefit of the architectural heritage on community level
At the international scientific forum for exchange of information in Switzerland the method and its further application in Austria were demonstrated for the community and inter-community levels (representation of cultural heritage related to cultural landscapes from the point of view of town and/or area planning).

3.1.3 Aspects of the contents of the Austrian inventory of cultural landscapes

a) Classification of landscapes and/or cultural landscapes

  • Classification of cultural landscapes in Austria with regard to human geography
  • Types of cultural landscapes with regard to ecological aspects and natural environment

b) Mapping of the potential of natural resources and/or landscape functions
Selected indicators for the presentation of the potential or availability of natural resources (nature protection, recreational potential, agriculture and forestry, mineral raw materials, geological hazards, etc.).

c) Persistent elements of cultural landscapes

Rural settlements, archaeological heritage, development of the landscape structure (types of fields), and historical village and town centres.

d) Individual natural indicators

e) Further instruments

e1) Inventory of cultural goods on a local level
e2) Maintaining system for exceptional cultural landscapes of national and/or international importance.

f) Land use

f1) CORIN data sets
f2) Maps of real land use in Austria - Prof. Dr. Seger

g) Socio-economic dynamism

g1) Population and tourism density 1999
g2) Development of settlements - forecast until 2011


3.2 The cultural landscape inventory of Austria in the European and international contexts

The aforementioned work is done for the Austrian territory and serves as a basis for harmonizing the policies concerning cultural landscapes in the neighbouring countries in general, and currently in the countries involved in the project (Italy, Eastern European countries: Romania, Slovenia, Hungary). In addition, the practical development of an approach that is internationally comparable allows a concrete evaluation and realization of the comparisons of methods in the sense of the EU. Consequently, the regional "approach of cultural landscape units" for the first time allows an operationalization of European strategies and political sectors (EU and Council of Europe).

In the draft of a European Spatial Planning Concept, the European Union has for the first time underlined the fact that cultural heritage and natural resources are goods that deserve special attention within the field of area planning. The fundamental aspects of the Agenda 2000 as well as concepts of the Council of Europe address these aims although, on the international, national and regional levels, the phenomena of cultural heritage and cultural landscape have not yet been fully operationlized in this segment. The approach by sectors (nature protection, etc.) and general principles alone is not sufficient for the aforementioned problems. The same is true for the Landscape Convention which shows the new approach for the comprehensive landscape policy in Europe.

3.3 Aims/Result

  • Operationalization and identification of cultural heritage and/or the complex phenomenon of "cultural landscape" for purposes relevant to the stated levels in Austria, and international co-operation between Austria and neighbouring countries (in current interregional projects and future international tasks) in a first step.
  • Harmonization of the criteria of evaluation and identification of cultural heritage and cultural landscape on and for the European level.
  • Institutionalization of the mentioned results by means of a "Cultural Landscape Inventory of Austria" within the ICOMOS-Austria Working Group on "Cultural Landscape, Town and Area Planning" on the national level.

3.4 Innovative Approach

3.4.1 Methodological aspects

a) Methods and selection of indicators for a transdisciplinary approach
For the purpose of operationalization, the regional instrument of identifying comprehensive cultural landscape units (human geography and planning approaches) is defined for the first time for Austria and the countries involved and linked up with the series of cultural landscape types classified by landscape ecology. For the first time, criteria and methodological approaches of

  • historical geography,
  • human geography,
  • andscape planning considering the potential of natural resources (landscape functions) divided into the important sectors of nature protection potential, biotic yield potential, availability of water, recreational potential of a landscape, mineral resource potential, potential of geological risks, etc.,
  • ocio-economic classification of community types,
  • and the protection of cultural heritage by planning and/or town planning measures with regard to the cultural landscape units are combined on the mentioned national and regional levels, which is a first step towards a national inventory.

First classification and characterization with regard to the development of an overall concept:
The approach of natural resource potentials of the EU is for the first time documented comprehensively with regard to these units and in consideration of the Austrian data.

b) Socio-economic change

For the assessment of hazards and sensitivity, a first selection of indicators was introduced for the mentioned reference unit.

c) Approach of historical space-oriented sciences
On the community and inter-community levels, a method related to cultural landscapes and town planning is described according to international criteria.

3.4.2 Use of results

  • First operationalization and harmonization of criteria and methods for the identification of this complex phenomenon on regional, national and international levels.
  • Conception and realization of a procedure of establishing an inventory of cultural landscapes, landscape functions and/or the potential of natural resources, and cultural heritage which is designed for the planning and decision-taking levels and specifically applicable to the individual levels.
  • Elaboration of concrete documents for the representation of sensitivity, hazard potential and development of an overall concept as well as their practical implementation, the aims of cultural landscape policies on the national level, in interregional co-operation and in European political approaches (Agenda 2000 - safeguarding of cultural landscapes with the instruments of landscape policy and the European Spatial Planning Concept, etc.)
  • Harmonization of the criteria of evaluation and identification of cultural heritage and cultural landscape on and for the European level.
    First classification and characterization with regard to the development of an overall concept.
  • The natural resource potential approach of the EU is for the first time comprehensively documented with regard to these units and in consideration of the Austrian data.
  • Improving and streamlining of the instruments of environmental compatibility examinations according to the EU guidelines.
  • Assistance to implementing the UNESCO criteria in Austria (UNESCO World Heritage Convention), especially for the areas suggested for inclusion or already included in the list of cultural world heritage:
    • Bregenzerwald
    • Eisenstraße / Erzberg
    • Hallstatt / Dachstein
    • Wachau

3.5 Transnational project - national part - division of tasks

3.5.1 Cultural landscape inventory of Austria

The Austrian project part is designed for the national level and aims at developing an inventory of cultural landscapes in Austria (division into cultural landscape units) on the basis of a human geographical approach (see TP. 3.2.3 of the proposal) including the linkage with selected descriptive data (landscape functions, historical elements, maintaining system, etc.). This division and first evaluation provide information and aims for the other levels of action of cultural landscape policies with regard to a more profound identification, evaluation and further development.
At the same time the indicators of UNESCO concerning the areas of world cultural heritage are considered and proposals for their application to Austria in the research context are elaborated.

3.5.2 Italian projects

The Italian partner will take care of the concrete methodological and practical implementation of case studies and test regions on further levels - regional, community and object levels. This will, in turn, be of great use for the Austrian practice (regional and object levels of cultural heritage). In connection with the structural research design developed by the Austrian partner, in these test regions and areas a verification of research results will consequently take place on the regional, community and individual object levels. This will particularly allow an identification of the aims of protection specific of a region and the evaluation of existing regional levels, which will permit an evaluation of new methodological approaches up to the object of cultural heritage.

In agreement with the partners, the mentioned approach would be introduced methodologically and rounded off to an overall concept with the experience derived from it. Thus, a synopsis of interregional and international effects could be immediately derived from a national strategic approach (first national summary and conception).

3.5.3 Scientific exchange co-ordinated by ICOMOS-Austria (Working Group on Cultural Landscapes, Town Planning and Area Planning, chaired by Dipl.-Ing. Hans P. Jeschke)

In addition, a scientific exchange of experience with the Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Romania was made possible. This exchange of experience was directly integrated into the results of the work and was defined as proper project component for the joint project work of Italy and Austria.

3.6 Project Stages

The Project is divided into the following stages or work programmes (Workpackages - WPs)



Task result


Project management and co-ordination
The project partners will use MS-Project, e-mail and working sessions.

Project plan



Data evaluation
Examination, evaluation and analysis of data (descriptive individual data) of the pertinent special disciplines that deal with the natural resource potential and cultural heritage, compilation of specific data in a Geographic Information System (GIS)

First draft of a data catalogue and methodological approaches, specific data in digital form


Examination of models
Examination and selection of available models for landscape classification (natural environment and human geography)

Draft classification of cultural landscapes from the point of view of human geography


Method harmonization
Harmonization of methods and data types with the Italian project partners

Interim report with model presentations



Transnational minimum requirements
Evaluation of the first draft catalogue with regard to transnational minimum requirements for cross-boundary co-operation on the state level and international strategies (Agenda 2000; European Spatial Development Perspective (E.S.D.P.))

Final catalogue of data sets for identifying, describing and evaluating the functions of cultural landscapes


Cultural landscape classification model (CL Model)
Establishment of the cultural landscape classification model from an integrative human geographical point of view with regard to cultural heritage; linkage of specific data sets in GIS

Draft classification of cultural landscapes and draft cultural landscape inventory of Austria with appertaining data sets


Model application

Application of the planning model


Harmonization of the CL Model
Harmonization of methodology and documentation of the model for a cultural landscape inventory of Austria with the project partner, discussion of the evaluation and methods

Interim report

Joint transnational model under EU criteria (Agenda 2000, E.S.D.P.)


Concept presentation
Presentation of the concept and model as well as of the possibilities of implementation on national and transnational levels.

Partial report: model description


Final Report
Synthesis of results in a final report with selected graphic presentations

Cultural landscape inventory of Austria, final report with map illustrations, thematic maps


Dissemination of results

International symposia


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