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This volume collects the best scientific contribution presented in the 3rd World Conference on Terraced Landscapes held in Italy from 6th to 15th October 2016, offering a deep and multifaceted insight into the remarkable heritage of terraced landscapes in Italy, in Europe and in the World (America, Asia, Australia).

It consists of 2 parts: a geographical overview on some of the most important terraced systems in the world (1st part), and a multidisciplinary approach that aims to promote a multifunctional vision of terraces, underlining how these landscapes meet different needs: cultural and historical values, environmental and hydrogeological functions, quality and variety of food, community empowerment and sustainable development (2nd part).

The volume offers a great overview on strengths, weaknesses, functions and strategies for terraced landscapes all over the world, summarizing in a final manifest the guidelines to provide a future for these landscapes as natural and cultural heritage.



Chapter 1. Introduction

This volume collects the best scientific contribution presented in the 3rd World Conference on Terraced Landscapes held in Italy from October 6–15, 2016, offering a deep and multifaceted insight into the remarkable heritage of terraced landscapes in Italy, in Europe, and in the world (America, Asia, Australia). It consists of two parts: a geographical overview on some of the most important terraced systems in the world (first part) and a multidisciplinary approach that aims to promote a multifunctional vision of terraces, underlining how these landscapes meet different needs: cultural and historical values, environmental and hydrogeological functions, quality and variety of food, community empowerment, and sustainable development (second part). The volume offers a great overview on strengths, weaknesses, functions, and strategies for terraced landscapes all over the world, summarizing in a final manifest the guidelines to provide a future for these landscapes as natural and cultural heritage.
Mauro Varotto, Luca Bonardi, Paolo Tarolli

Terraced Landscapes in the World: A General Overview


Chapter 2. Terraced Vineyards in Europe: The Historical Persistence of Highly Specialised Regions

This contribution analyses the spread, origin and evolution of the most important European terraced viticulture complexes. Found in Mediterranean, Atlantic and continental areas, the terraces dedicated to viticulture owe their localisation to recurring geographical–environmental and historical movements in the different regions. Proximity to market outlets and to waterways were the key elements in their origins and distribution. The reasons behind the construction of the great viticulture terraced areas then guided the evolution of their twentieth-century history. In terms of the elements involved, the most influential inherited factors appear to be strong land fragmentation and the early entry into favourable commercial circuits.
Luca Bonardi

Chapter 3. Italian Terraced Landscapes: The Shapes and the Trends

Since the 1980s, Italian terraced landscapes have become the object of scientific attention, with a significant increase in systematic studies only in the last twenty years. However, the state of knowledge is still fragmentary. The studies were initially concentrated in limited areas considered particularly significant from an environmental or historical point of view. Even today, a detailed, national map of terraced landscapes is still lacking. Starting from this “state of the art” formed by extremely differentiated knowledge levels, the project “Mapping Terraced Landscapes in Italy” (MAPTER) began, thanks to the collaboration of several research centers at the third Meeting of the International Terraced Landscapes Alliance (ITLA) (October 6–15, 2016). MAPTER collected and attempted to harmonize, for the first time, the available data on both local and regional scales, integrating them with further surveys for uncovered areas, to produce an initial estimate of national terraced systems. This contribution delineates, first, the project’s outcomes, presenting the initial data concerning the extent and geographical distribution of Italian terraced systems. The second part of the contribution includes observations on the new processes of returning to abandoned terraced lands. These observations have emerged from a survey (the Livingstones Project) promoted by the Italian Alpine Club, and they are used here to identify practices of a virtuous “third way” for managing rural mountain areas, far from marginality, abandonment, and productive intensification.
Mauro Varotto, Francesco Ferrarese, Salvatore Eugenio Pappalardo

Chapter 4. Slovenian Terraced Landscapes

This review of Slovenian terraced landscapes presents some archaeological details, a detailed survey of published research on terraced landscapes , and the state of terraced landscapes in Slovenia . The study concludes with the inclusion of terraced landscapes in spatial planning and in protected cultural landscapes . Slovenia has hilly terrain that is not favorable for dense settlement. Exceptional archaeological findings on Mount Donatus (Donačka Gora) confirm that people already transformed slopes and settled on terraced platforms during the transition between the Bronze and Iron Ages. There have been two peak periods of publishing about Slovenia ’s terraced landscapes : the first one in 2007 and 2008 and the second one in 2015 and 2016. Terraced areas can be found in more than 90% of Slovenia ’s municipalities, but the presence of terraced landscapes in the municipalities is not uniform. Various types of terraces exist in Slovenia , and they can be defined according to the use or function of the terrace slope and terrace platform, the form of the terrace slope and terrace platform, and the construction of the terrace slope. Grassed terrace slopes are much more common in the Slovenian cultural landscape than dry stone wall construction, and they can be found in all Slovenian regions. Slovenian spatial planning has not recognized terraced regions as a landscape system sui generis and needs to adopt a procedure enabling institutions at the national and local levels to acknowledge their existence. In some cases, terraced landscapes are protected as a part of cultural landscapes and are recognized as cultural heritage sites.
Lučka Ažman Momirski

Chapter 5. Landscape Typology of French Agrarian Terraces

The landscapes of agricultural terraces occupy in France a geographical area essentially localized at east of a Strasbourg/Biarritz line. Built mainly by the peasants who cultivated them, they can be classified into two main types connected to their agricultural purposes: “food terraces ”, the most numerous, and terraces of opportunity on very limited spaces. The geography of terraces on the scale of France is, however, more complex. Indeed, these arrangements join very different regional contexts which produced each of the specific agrosystems in which terraces are more or less present. So, according to the important size of occupied surfaces, four types can be distinguished: the “Cévenol” model, the “High Valleys” model, the “Provencal” model and the “Isolates” model. All these models worked until the middle of the nineteenth century, and then gradually declined for a century, challenged by the crises, the technical progress and the political choices that are almost a general abandonment of mountain agriculture. However, from the 1980s, the question of the reconquest of the slopes was posed, and gradually, projects of rehabilitation of the old terraces emerged. Even if the pioneers of this revival were especially the winegrowers, today, the reconquest concerns other sectors carried by the evolution of consumption patterns, the questioning of chemical agriculture and monoculture.
Jean-François Blanc

Chapter 6. Terraced Fields in Spain: Landscapes of Work and Beauty

The sheer diversity of approaches and the volume of scientific output underscore the growing social and policy interest in these landscapes. Recognition of their productive, environmental and cultural functions—and of the grave problems arising from their mismanagement or abandonment —shows the need to allocate resources to their study at both the national and European levels. Finally, the need for a Catalogue of European Union Terraced Landscapes is outlined as a preliminary step to considering these as EU Landscapes of Special Relevance . Such an initiative would be reinforced by activities being undertaken at the international level.
Sabina Asins-Velis

Chapter 7. Terraced Landscapes in the Canary Islands: La Gomera, “The Terrace Island”

The aim of this work is to map and characterize the maximum surface area of terraced slopes on La Gomera Island. To do so, two digital orthophotos, from 1964 and 2016, were used and analyzed with GIS . These sources represent two key moments in the recent history of the island, corresponding in the first instance to a peak in population and agricultural activity and in the second to the fall into disuse of the terraces . In this study, terrace characterization was based on a map-based analysis of environmental and human factors which influence this kind of landscape. The environmental factors considered were topographically—(slope, elevation, landforms) and geologically-based, while the human factors analyzed were land use , land cover, and protected natural areas. The results show the enormous, diverse, and vulnerable heritage of the terraces , which are an example of a cultural landscape whose history reveals the isolation, scarcity, subsistence, and identity of La Gomera islanders, as well as the terraces ’ current state of abandonment and degradation . This research constitutes the beginning of an inventory process (identification, location, and description) which will serve as a prior step to classification and evaluation, necessary to protect this landscape. It is also the first contribution from an Atlantic-Macaronesian island to the atlas of world terraces , as promoted by the International Terraced Landscapes Alliance (ITLA).
Lidia Esther Romero Martín, Antonio Ignacio Hernández Cordero, Aarón Santana Cordero, Carla Vargas Negrín, Juan Manuel Palerm Salazar

Chapter 8. Terraced Landscapes in Perù: Terraces and Social Water Management

Challenged by the area’s imposing verticality, the societies inhabiting the Andes Mountains made constant effort to profitably exploit the slopes and develop the territory for supporting agriculture, which gave rise to characteristic terraced landscapes . Many studies on this terracing date back to the 1980s and 1990s, years when terrace use and recovery were given great importance. In 2010, institutions began renewing interest in the loss of productive land, current climate changes , and terrace abandonment , seeking to reduce adverse effects created on the terraced slopes, on rural economies, and on the population’s socio-culture. This article intends to examine the geographical knowledge of Peruvian terracing, considering the Rural Agricultural Productive Development Program (AgroRural) , located in Lima, Peru , and discussing the relevant results of AgroRural’s inventory and characterization of terraces in areas with a high terracing density. The article will also highlight some issues, debated in recent years, which have raised the rural population’s concerns over their territory and economy—specifically climate change and the abandonment and degradation of terracing. Water management, which is an integral part of the terraced structure, will be discussed as well. The second International Terraces Meeting, held in Cusco in 2014, animated the debate among scholars, institutions, and the rural population concerning problems affecting terraced areas and how to apply traditional knowledge to counteract them.
Lianet Camara, Mourik Bueno de Mesquita

Chapter 9. Australian Dry Stone Terraces: An Historical and Contemporary Interpretation

The topic of this paper will attempt to describe Australian terraced landscapes styles and their historical evolution through the prism of the range of practical, survival, cultural, social and aesthetic genres constructed from the 1800s early settlement era through to present-day contemporary designs. The story stretches from the Gold Rush times , through a creative surge after World War II, to the contemporary terraces built in the last decade or so at the Mount Annan Botanical Gardens in New South Wales. Of particular interest here is the historical background that in the 1850s and 60s Gold Rush period Swiss Italians from Ticino and Swiss immigrants from the southern part of Graubünden settled in the area around Daylesford, Victoria. Even today, their influence is ever present in the township of Hepburn Springs through the names of its residents, the names of its Mineral Springs (Locarno) and its buildings.
Raelene Marshall

Chapter 10. Agricultural Terraces in Mexico

The Mexican territory’s geographical characteristics allow the development of diverse agricultural systems , which have been practiced since ancient times. The terrace system is one of these, and it is found in various challenging landscapes, such as hills, cliffs, and ravines. This work aims to show the diversity of agricultural terraces in Mexico and present a general description of this system’s characteristics. Studies in this field identify several types of terraces : terraces with stone walls, metepantles, and lama-bordo. To understand the characteristics of these terraces , a documentary review of five Mexican regions was made: Tlaxcala, the basin of Mexico , the valley of Toluca, the Mixteca Alta, and the Mayan area. Traditional agricultural systems in Mexico are an important subject, studied by archeologists and anthropologists from the perspective of traditional agriculture , agroforestry systems, and traditional ecological knowledge . This paper’s introduction emphasizes the role of agricultural terraces for the development of civilization in Mesoamerica , specifically in central Mexico , the Mixteca Alta, and the Mayan area. Traditional agriculture and the different agricultural systems practiced in Mexico are also addressed. The document continues with the subject of terraces , presenting the various names given to them in different studies and regions. Terraces in Mexico have always been important for societal development—from ancient cultures to the rural communities managing the systems today. Through terraces , models may be generated to help improve soil management , control erosional processes, and support food security for the population.
José Manuel Pérez Sánchez

Towards a Multifunctional Vision of Terraced Landscapes


Chapter 11. Mapping Agricultural Terraces in Italy. Methodologies Applied in the MAPTER Project

Agricultural terraced systems and their geographical distribution are not often represented in maps, even if they play an important role in hydro-geological hazard: Moreover, detailed cartography of these features could improve understanding and valuing their environmental, social, and economic complexity. The general aim of the MAPTER project is to map and quantify the extension the Italian terraced systems. To do that, it was necessary to apply different methodologies according to different data sources locally available: (i) traditional cartographic and photo analysis, (ii) orthophoto and high-resolution satellite images , (iii) DTM LiDAR analysis , (iv) Web Map Services and Geobrowser analysis, (v) participatory mapping and Voluntary Geography Activities, (vi) the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) . At the time of this paper, the LiDAR DTM allows us to highly improve the traditional methodologies of cartographic and aerial photos analyses , in terms of precision, costs, and time-consuming: Many terraced systems in Italy appear to be underestimated by the previous, traditional, methodologies in comparison with the results obtained by LiDAR technology and LiDAR data elaboration. This work tested different methodologies and approaches to survey study areas in the Italian context, representing a starting point to coordinate researches among academic institutions, public administrations, voluntary geographers, and citizens science , in order to implement the geographical knowledge for terraced systems and landscapes, key heritage of Italian territories.
Francesco Ferrarese, Salvatore Eugenio Pappalardo, Alberto Cosner, Stefano Brugnaro, Kaodi Alum, Angelica Dal Pozzo, Massimo De Marchi

Chapter 12. Terraced Landscapes: Land Abandonment, Soil Degradation, and Suitable Management

Agricultural terraces are among the most visible and extensive human signatures on different landscapes of the world. Terraces are generally built to retain soil and water, to reduce erosion, and to support irrigation. They reduce slope gradient and length, and facilitate the infiltration of water in areas with a moderate to low soil permeability by controlling the overland flow velocity. Thereby, they create positive effects on agricultural activities. Since ancient times, agricultural terraces have been built in different topographic conditions (e.g. coastal area, hilly, and steep slope mountain landscapes) and used for the cultivation of various crops (e.g. vineyards, fruit and olive groves, cereals, tea). Their management however arises relevant critical issues. Historical terraces are often of the bench type with stone walls and require adequate maintenance. Poorly designed and controlled terraces can lead to slope failures, often due to walls collapsing, increasing potential soil water erosion. Also, terraced areas are often served by agricultural roads that can profoundly influence surface hydrologic processes and erosion. Land abandonment and ageing of the local population , which affected several regions of the world during the last decades, are among the main reasons for the poor maintenance of terraced landscapes . As a consequence, a progressive increase of land degradation and loss of soil functions (e.g. food production, environmental interaction such as water storage, filtering and transformation, biological habitat, physical and cultural heritage ) is observed. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the main critical issues of terraced landscapes , providing a few case studies, and a possible solution for proper long-term management.
Paolo Tarolli, Davide Rizzo, Gerardo Brancucci

Chapter 13. Health, Seeds, Diversity and Terraces

Modern plant breeding has moved towards uniformity, while the increasing demand for nutritious and safe food would require the maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity to respond to climate changes , to improve resilience at farm level and to improve health through a diversified diet. Thus, a change in the way new varieties are produced is necessary, and this is offered by participatory plant breeding, which combines modern science with farmers’ knowledge and emphasizes specific adaptation. This is particularly relevant for remote, difficult to access agricultural landscapes such as terraced agriculture. Yemen, a typical country with large areas covered by terraces , offers an example that participatory plant breeding can be successfully implemented even in these challenging situations: in a three years programme, new varieties of barley and lentil, two key food crops in Yemen, were obtained. A methodology, which can be even more suitable to terraced agriculture, is evolutionary plant breeding through which farmers can manage independently a large and evolving genetic diversity. This allows them to quickly respond to climate changes and associated new pests, to be the owner of their own seed, to diversify their agricultural systems and increase their resilience and, more importantly, to improve their nutritional status with a more diversified diet without depending on external inputs.
Salvatore Ceccarelli

Chapter 14. Comparative Studies on Pattern and Ecosystem Services of the Traditional Rice Agricultural Landscapes in East Asia

The traditional agricultural landscape is a multifunctional geographic object, which can provide multiple ecosystem services for human beings due to complex interactions between components, patterns, processes, and dynamics. Taking the Satoyama landscape in Japan and the Hani terrace landscape in southwestern China as objects, this paper reviews and compares their patterns and multiple ecosystem services . The results indicate that both landscapes are composed of similar elements, including forests, villages, wet rice paddies or terraces , grasslands, streams, ponds, and irrigation ditches. However, they differ in distributing area, spatial pattern , ecosystem services , and socio-ecological pressures . The main elements of the traditional Satoyama landscape are secondary forests and small, gently sloping, rice paddies. Its spatial pattern is a heterogeneous mosaic of seminatural ecosystems, and the prevailing ecological process is the flow of organic fertilizer. As the landscape has been abandoned because of various social pressures (the aging farming population, urbanization, and economic globalization), its current ecological service is mainly cultural—providing Japan with a symbol of traditional rural lifestyle. The Hani terraces are still a vigorous, living landscape, which provides all kinds of ecological services for local people and tourists. This life in the landscape stems from its reciprocal effects, feedbacks among the vertically ordered components of natural and seminatural forests, villages, and huge, steeply sloping rice terraces . Because they are traditional agricultural landscapes, both the Hani terraces and the Satoyama are facing continuous pressures from social and economic development. Learning the efficient, adaptive management strategies from Satoyama can help Hani rice terraces meet the challenges.
Yuanmei Jiao, Toshiya Okuro, Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Luohui Liang, Xuan Gao

Chapter 15. Terraced Lands: From Put in Place to Put in Memory

The terracing of sloping, rocky, and hilly land is man’s answer to the physical environment ’s potentialities and constraints. It sets up singular territories where nature and culture are tightly linked. The places of action and life thus created report a high level of symbiosis between inhabitants/users and used time/spaces. This symbiosis defines the quality of the areas where humans live, the écoumène as explained by Augustin Berque (Berque in Écoumène, Introduction à l’étude des milieux humains. Belin, Paris, 2000). Acquainted to a put in writing of the relief, these arrangements tangibly mark the way users—permanent, seasonal, or passers-by—perceive the territory. Expressed by tracing and by artifacts widely executed in dry stone, this “writing on the soil” conforms and orders space and establishes a network of relationships concerning family; neighborhood; production; cooperation; and structuring societies, land property , and technical systems . Functional efficiency and aesthetics create another register of shared perceptions, which gives meaning to forms of the landscape, to constructed works, and to modes of building, conferring an identity recorded by the collective memoirs . These perpetual comings and goings established between the territory’s reality and its representation, this fertile trajectivity —to paraphrase Gérard Chouquer—between the material and the mental, justify and legitimize attention to and care for terraced lands because, beyond the universe of forms and production of goods, these sets help us appreciate lifestyles and think about man’s way of being in the world.
Ada Acovitsióti-Hameau

Chapter 16. Economic Analysis of the Traditional Cultural Terraced Olive-Growing Landscape and Participatory Planning Process

Terraced landscapes are increasingly considered as valuable cultural, social, and environmental systems. However, we could attribute the loss of most of these landscapes and their tangible and intangible heritages to the abandonment or degradation of these areas that could be valorised and protected. The main goals of this study are providing a methodology and tools to analyse traditional terraced landscapes integrating spatial analysis with socio-economic analysis and suggesting operational or political proposals to reduce the abandonment of agricultural terraces . The selected study area is the olive-growing area in the municipality of Trevi (Umbria Region, Italy) . This study’s innovative contribution is its methodology composed of two main steps: construction of an integrated and open database followed by launch of a participatory planning process . The results show that the main weakness of the conservation of the olive-growing landscape is the profitability level of olive oil production and sale. Some measures need to be implemented to address these issues, and a joint public and private effort is required. On the one hand, public institutions should provide direct funding and incentives, and on the other, consumers should be willing to pay more for extra-virgin olive oil with landscaped value. Moreover, nomination for inscription into UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a cultural landscape, advocated by local institutions, could generate useful synergies to implement efficient collective marketing policies , which are particularly demanded by olive growers.
Biancamaria Torquati, Lucio Cecchini, Sonia Venanzi, Giulia Giacchè

Chapter 17. The Multidimensional Benefits of Terraced Landscape Regeneration: An Economic Perspective and Beyond

Terraced landscapes represent a particular type of multifunctional, historic–cultural agrarian landscapes, today at risk of abandonment due to socio-economic changes. These landscapes are an ancient example of a “circular” model in using resources, able to be productive in multiple dimensions, providing many ecosystem services to local communities and thus contributing to human well-being. Terraced landscapes have a complex value for society: sociocultural, environmental and economic values, which can become a driver of territorial regeneration , if a systemic economic–territorial perspective is adopted. This paper proposes the circular economy as a viable model of sustainable territorial development that can support terraced landscapes regeneration, exploiting their structural multifunctionality and thus enhancing the multidimensional territorial productivity. The ecosystem services’ assessment framework, which includes economic, spatial, quantitative and qualitative evaluation tools, can be integrated in agri-environmental policies to make operational the “circular” paradigm of regeneration. A selection of economic tools and case studies is presented to show how circular processes can be activated in terraced landscapes , reducing costs and waste of resources, increasing multidimensional productivity, and finally attracting more investments towards a new systemic urban-rural “circular” development model .
Luigi Fusco Girard, Antonia Gravagnuolo, Fortuna De Rosa

Chapter 18. The Challenge of Tourism in Terraced Landscapes

Terraced landscapes contain and produce natural and cultural values which tend to be highly relevant to tourism. The variable interactions developing between the tourism industry and local agricultural systems sustaining terraced cultures may have different consequences on both local development and tourism trends. After a brief theoretical introduction into landscape–tourism interrelationships , this chapter addresses the long array of circumstances and consequences of tourism development in terraced landscapes . With the aid of a series of diagrams which serve as its analytical framework, the chapter lays out and discusses the empirical circumstances and types of challenges stemming from different types of tourism in such landscapes, in terms of polarities: (a) types of landscape uses from the demand side of tourism, (b) impacts of tourism on the agricultural system of these landscapes and (c) impacts of tourism on the socio-economic system of terraced landscapes . Both risks and opportunities incurred by tourism impacts on visited landscapes are especially pressing in the case of terraced landscapes , running the full range from most negative (i.e. destruction) to most positive (i.e. rejuvenation) possible consequences. Even though the diagrams used in this chapter present mass and mild tourism as polarities, they serve as a basis for elaboration on the attractions and expectations of tourists and local communities , in such cases, and on landscape-related tourism consequences on local agricultural and broader local/regional socio-economic systems . They also allow for some conclusive remarks on the environmental, economic and social/cultural sustainability of terraced landscape tourism, in the context of broader local/regional development, while laying the ground for further analysis.
Theano S. Terkenli, Benedetta Castiglioni, Margherita Cisani

Chapter 19. Innovative Practices and Strategic Planning on Terraced Landscapes with a View to Building New Alpine Communities

Most terraced landscapes are found in so-called fragile areas that today are reconstructing their territorial identity and redefining new forms of territoriality. The transformation that territories are undergoing in general stems, first and foremost, from a new approach to their own resources with a view to building innovative paths to development. Starting from the importance of territorial practices in these fragile areas, as terraced landscapes , the contribution deals with the potentiality of these resources in the building of a specific place awareness . Exercising an awareness of place means supporting processes and policies designed to strengthen the interpretational capacity of a territory and its development. Place awareness , built in this way on short local networks, comes into contact with long networks and hybridises and adjusts in line with modern life and its changes. The case study proposed supports these reflections. It regards the experience of Alto Canavese territory in Piedmont Region (Italy ). It is an interesting case study because the terraces , along with other features of the territory, were the basis upon which a heritage framework was reconstructed which could provide a new horizon of meaning for the territory and the sharing of a common heritage that could bring people together.
Federica Corrado, Erwin Durbiano

Chapter 20. Planning, Policies and Governance for Terraced Landscape: A General View

Guidelines for planning, policies and governance are suggested by class of terraced landscapes taking into consideration the main features of geographic domains and environmental contexts. Dealing with irreversibility, reversibility and development processes the guidelines can help the communities to adopt integrated strategies based on an effective institutional design. Input and basic information are provided in the 3rd International Congress on Terraced Landscapes (Italy , 6th–15th October 2016) by the working groups “Rules and policies” held in Trento/Rovereto and “Agronomic and Social Innovation” held in Valstagna , Canale di Brenta (Vicenza).
Enrico Fontanari, Domenico Patassini

Chapter 21. Integrated Policies for Terraces: The Role of Landscape Observatories

So far, we do not have a systematic evidence about the effectiveness of single policies, nor of their different combinations applied in diverse contexts for safeguarding and bringing into new life terraced landscapes. We just know that policies that are more diffuse include regulations about how terraced landscapes should be preserved and restored, and some financial compensative measures in the frame of agricultural policies. From an academic point of view, if we consider, according to Lowi (1972), the four types of policies usually employed (distributive, redistributive, regulatory and constituent), it becomes quite clear that successful policies need a sensible combination of these different “resources”. Just as an example: a restriction (like a rule about how to restore terraces) is more easily accepted if combined with some kind of benefit (financial, but also of other nature) and will have an easier implementation if the diverse institutions share it. However, such an approach is seldom practised, since terraced landscapes do not represent a sectoral interest, and no financial or economic lobby pushes for redirecting public policies towards effectiveness in preserving this collective heritage. In such a general context, local landscape observatories represent a new and great resource, since they are reframing the issue from below, adopting de facto an integrated point of view and a collective interest. In Italy, many of them have done an important job in raising consciousness about terraced landscapes heritage value, but also acting directly for repairing them, for preventing abandonment, for promoting new sustainable agriculture, for spreading good practices. After an introduction dealing with policies for terraced landscapes, the paper will therefore explore, with reference mainly to Italy, what landscape observatories are, how they work both on a voluntary or institutional base, how they are helping to reframe the terraced landscapes preservation issue, looking into new ways to reconcile economy and landscape.
Anna Marson


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