Landscape is not something merely ‘natural’. Alongside its material, orographic and morphological components, the landscape is also shaped as an anthropic product, the outcome of an articulated interaction involving settlement needs, urban development, resource exploitation, productive activities, and, more recently, environmental constraints, territorial valorisation, and attention (more or less marked) to biodiversity. These different practices often present instances that are not only difficult to harmonise, but sometimes distinctly conflicting and irreconcilable. It is clear, for example, that certain petitions linked to sustainability do not fit well with profit maximisation – just as the regeneration of certain landscape contexts conflicts with certain other business logics. From this point of view, to ask “which landscape we should prefer to meet the new challenges of a green economy” means, provocatively, to expose the structural asymmetry between landscape protection and conservation, on the one hand, and the “green” economy of sustainability, on the other. This is most evident if we focus specifically on the urban landscape, in which productivity, housing needs, the mass tourism industry, the preservation of flora and fauna, and the protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage combine to form a complex and seemingly inextricable tangle.
This focus of “Aisthesis” moves from the recognition of the multiple issues that find expression in the landscape, not always ̶ or even not in most cases ̶ under the auspices of a harmonious synthesis or some final irenic prospects. Far from taking the form of a pragmatic search for easy conciliatory solutions, landscape aesthetics is therefore today an interdisciplinary investigation that focuses on the variety of social, political, economic, cultural and environmental issues at stake, and is also a field of negotiation between the many concepts involved, from that of ‘environment’ to the notion of ‘territory’, from the concept of ‘nature’ to that of ‘habitat’.
Contributions to this Focus are welcome concerning the following and related topics:
– The aesthetic-artistic origin of the notion of landscape and the mutual relationships between the concepts of ‘landscape’, ‘environment’ and ‘nature’;
– The concept of “sustainability” in its environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects: limits and possibilities of an articulated and multi-layered notion.
– Landscape architecture and the idea of “planning or designing a landscape”, also with attention to the ethical-social, economic, political implications of these notios;
– Natural landscape and cultural landscape: the intertwining of nature and culture in the constitution, management, valorisation and conservation of the landscape, both in relation to the cultural and historical-artistic heritage (tangible and intangible) and in relation to the heritage of biodiversity;
– Human landscape and non-human landscape: the agency of the non-human and the perspectives of material ecocriticism in relation to landscape;
– The notion of ‘landscape’ within the interdisciplinary matrix of the Environmental Humanities and the relationship between contemporary landscape and the literature of the ecological crisis.
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Submissions should be made through the usual mask at: https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/aisthesis/about/submissions
Contributions must be submitted in English or French and must strictly adhere to the Aisthesis Guidelines.
Only contributions compliant with Author Guidelines will be admitted to peer review.