Discussing Landscape, Discussing Development? The Case of Valsugana LEADER+. The awareness that landscape mirrors interaction between environment and local communities, determined by a given development model, is increasing both at an academic and at an institutional level. However, the role of landscape in facilitating or blocking the collaboration between different stakeholders in the framework of local development initiatives is studied less. This is the subject of the research project “Role and function of landscape in governance processes in rural and peri-urban areas in the Alps (France, Switzerland, Italy)”, which compares three different case-studies. The present work is focused on the Italian case study, located in Valsugana valley (Trentino). Semi-structured interviews, documents and newspaper articles are analysed to investigate the role played by landscape in the implementation of a LEADER+ project between 2002 and 2008. According to the research results, the landscape issue was never discussed nor openly put into operation during the implementation of LEADER+, although a lot of the funded actions, particularly those concerning “thematic routes”, had an effect on the local landscape. Two hypotheses are discussed in order to explain the ambiguous role of landscape in the Valsugana LEADER+. First, landscape could have been perceived by local actors as a troubling theme, able to unveil potential conflicts in the background between different values and visions about the “correct” management of the territory. Second, landscape, as conceived by the European Landscape Convention, is still a recent concept that hasn’t reached the collective awareness in the studied area, and it needs more time to enter the collective debate.
Mazzola, A.; De Ros, G. (2010). Discutere del paesagio, discutere dello sviluppo?: Il caso del leader+ Valsugana. AGRIBUSINESS PAESAGGIO & AMBIENTE, 13 (1): 77-84. handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/19606