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 Pianura Veronese

The Landscape Experimental Local Observatories regional network has been set up during the last two years on the initiative of Regione Veneto, in compliance with the EU regulations provided for by the Landscape European Convention and by the Legislative Decree 42/2004 "Code of cultural heritage and landscape": this decree provides for the establishment of specific observatories for landscape preservation and development indeed.

The recent Regional Law n. 10 of 26th May 2011 (Revisions of the Regional Law n. 11 of 23rd April 2004 "Regulations for landscape management") implemented the regulations provided for by the "Code of cultural heritage and landscape" and set up the Landscape Regional Observatory for the preservation and redevelopment of landscapes in Veneto region.  

The Landscape Regional Observatory mainly intends to create a public awareness of the need for landscape preservation and encourage a greater involvement in the political decisions regarding the territory. The observatory intends to promote the preservation and development of landscape peculiarities, resulting from natural and human factors, and to especially safeguard the cultural values embodied by landscape by encouraging knowledge, information, redevelopment and fruition.

Furthermore, the Landscape Regional Observatory intends to collect the existing documentation and analyze what has been done so far: this is necessary in order to identify the correct principles and guidelines for a consistent management and development of the territory. All this should result in regulations intended to prevent and solve critical situations and to promote and develop landscapes and their history in Veneto region.

As for the activities the Landscape Regional Observatory is going to undertake in the years 2012-2014, the recent Regional Council Decree n. 824 of 15th May 2012 stated a programme as follows:

a) suggested activities:

- knowledge of landscapes in Veneto region and their origins and transformations;
- identification and analysis of landscapes at risk;
- identification of emblematic cases in Veneto region;
- disclosure of data and information regarding landscape characteristics, risks and vulnerabilities and regarding the Landscape Regional Observatory activities, through the Notebooks of the Landscape Regional Observatory and the relevant website;
- collection and evaluation of the requests coming from local populations;
- landscape-experts training through appropriate school and university courses;
- giving opinions about regionally important landscapes;

b) actions:

- initiatives for the preservation and development of landscapes in Veneto region;
- statement of guidelines and operational criteria for a proper landscape management;
- improvement and redevelopment of degraded landscapes;
- answering the requests coming from local populations;
- coordination of the Landscape Experimental Local Observatories activities;

c) monitoring activities:

- establishment of an archive where data relating to landscape are stored;
- monitoring landscapes changes resulting from great land works;
- reporting noteworthy cases relating to the safeguard, development and management of landscapes in Veneto region to the Landscape Quality National Observatory: the most remarkable cases will compete for the “Landscape European Award”;
- collection of monitored data, land and urban planning results and cultural, environmental, agricultural, social and economical politics results;
- periodic report on each activity.

The Landscape Regional Observatory has provided for the establishment and coordination of a Landscape Experimental Local Observatories regional network: this network is meant to study and collect data and create a public awareness in each territory listed in the Regional Coordination Technical Plan.

Through the Landscape Experimental Local Observatories, Veneto Region intends to preserve and develop regional landscapes, collect data relating to the identified landscapes, their origins and transformations, values, risks and vulnerabilities and listen to the requests coming from local populations. Through the Landscape Experimental Local Observatories, Veneto Region intends to promote landscape-experts training with multi-subjects programmes for landscapes preservation, management, redevelopment and planning: these programmes are meant for public and private sector professionals and associations.

In order to carry out these activities, the Landscape Regional Observatory needs to use relevant regional facilities and collaborate with local observatories, intended to ‘collect’ the requests local populations consider as ‘basic needs’.

Six Landscape Experimental Local Observatories were established in Veneto region between 2011 and 2012: there is the Observatory of the Pianura Veronese among them. The Landscape Experimental Local Observatory of the Pianura Veronese is the sixth official one after the Alta Marca Hills Landscape Observatory, the River Brenta Observatory, the Dolomites Landscapes Observatory, the Eastern Veneto Marshland Reclamation Observatory, the Roman Graticolato Observatory: all this confirms the deep interest in landscape development.

The Landscape Experimental Local Observatories are expected to last 18 months and can extend for a period of time, in compliance with the Regional Council Decree n. 826 of 15th May 2012, providing for purposes and operational criteria as follows:

- going beyond the idea of landscape as perfection, as a painting or as a nostalgic vision of a long gone reality. Landscape comprises the whole territory indeed: the perfect areas, the ordinary areas and the degraded areas;
- catching landscape transformations, unchanged characteristics, innovations and redevelopments of degraded areas;
- informing and training local communities about their landscape potential;
- promoting politics and actions intended for landscape transformation and preservation.

The sensitization, training and monitoring carried out by the Landscape Experimental Local Observatories are crucial to people’s quality of life as follows:

- collection of data relating to local landscape and establishment of a relevant archive;
- disclosure of information through a specific digital platform, intended for consultation and evaluation of the requests coming from local populations;
- disclosure of information by sensitizing and training local populations, thanks also to schools;
- public service experts and professionals training;
- supplying data and documentation for addresses and planning handbooks to be drawn up;
- reporting on local landscape critical cases and development proposals to the Regional Observatory.

Following the first positive results of the experimental observatories first activities and following further requests to establish more experimental observatories, Veneto Region decided to consolidate the so-far-achieved experimental experience: the Regional Council Decree n. 118 of 11th February 2013 officially established the landscape observatories regional network and the Landscape Observatory of the Pianura Veronese is part of it. The network establishment closes the experimental phase and therefore the activities will extend beyond the initially expected deadline of 2014.