Visions of change – a holistic landscape approach to the development of the Austrian Rhine Valley

Licka, L., 2005, Visions of change – a holistic landscape approach to the development of the Austrian Rhine Valley, in: ECLAS (D. Oguz), ‘Landscape change’, Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Agriculture Ankara University, Ankara

  • Author : Licka, L.
  • Year : 2005
  • Published in Book : Landscape change
  • Pages : 259-266
  • Abstract in English : The valley of the River Rhine in Austria is a prosperous area at the border to Switzerland. Due to economic welfare the population has encreased at the highest rate compared to the rest of Austria within the last 4 decades. The landscape is characteristic, the bottom of the valley is bordered by partly wooded slopes. The view into the mountain scenery of the Austrian and Swiss Alps is very attractive, Lake Constance adds a special quality as well to the landscape image as to recreational options. Within the valley a green zone is protected by law containing agricultural land as well as ecologically precious areas of reed-landscape. The identification with this open landscape by the inhabitants is high. It leads to the definition of “rural landscape” although the features of every-day life such as mobility, working and shopping situations and cultural events are more that of an urban area. Within this duality between perception and actual processes the project “Vision Rheintal” is working for strategies for a sustainable development. The project is based on a very broad participation process, its organisation is divided in different levels of professional working groups, organisational steering groups, public meetings and a special information process. Professional and scientific members work in groups on development strategies for all aspects: socio-cultural aspects, economic aspects, strategies for a better cooperation between communities, settlements and mobility, commonwealth equipments, natural resources. The interpretation of the landscape values has always been a sectoral one which lead to the claim of space for different uses. Nature protection caring for landscapes with ecological values, water management asking for retention areas, tourism claiming for resorts, agriculture demanding productive land etc. ‘Vision Rheintal’ is seeking for integral methods to break through these land claims. The integral definition of landscape characteristics, qualities and potentials is the basis for a sustainable landscape development. The lecture will explain the methods and present preliminary results of the work in progress.