Pilot Projects

Three pilot projects are being executed; New tools of awareness & knowledge centres, Landscape marketing and Cultural Heritage landscape network.These pilot projects are mainly set up as separate research projects. The final results will eventually be brought together into a final document which will be presented at the final conference in June of next year.

Three regions are involved in each pilot:

Pilot 1: Ile-de-France, RheinMain and Vlaams Brabant

Pilot 2: Groene Hart, Vlaams Brabant, Noord-Oost Twente

Pilot 3: Groene Hart, South Pennines, RheinMain

In regional planning, there is an obvious need to organise broad-based support in order to make a plan accepted and implemented. This pilot is about communication. The aim is the interpretation of the complex ideas, analyses and solutions of planners and other specialists in such a way that the interested layman, as well as specialists from other disciplines and the general public, get a chance to understand it. The pilot should:

Analyse the need for information by the different parties (the public, regional stakeholders, civil servants and politicians), look at software and other means of information and communications available (affordable) and give a guide to good practice (by examples).

This should lead to an action plan for what we call a knowledge centre. This could be physical or virtual (a house or a homepage) or, more likely both? Being a transnational pilot the option to connect individual regional knowledge centres in order to develop a network should be examined.

Landscape marketing

In general, the regional landscape is seldom subject to specific policies. Very often the landscape is merely the result of all kinds of sectoral activities. If there is any landscape policy it is nearly always meant to preserve certain valuable landscape features, very seldom the aim is to develop a valuable future landscape. However, especially in the densely populated North Western Metropolitan Area preservation of the valuable cultural landscape and the future use of the landscape for tourism, recreation, agriculture and forestry, production of drinking water etcetera must go hand in hand. The cultural landscape functions both as valuable open space and as “investment capital”. If a sustainable regional development is important, an integrated landscape approach should be elaborated.

This pilot aims to examine how the regional landscape as a whole can be put to value and what (marketing) strategies could be developed. The pilot could embody:

SWOT analyses on the basis of a landscape assessment and an inventory of the regional actors and stakeholders a description of critical strategies to develop new economic activities and a guide to good practices in this respect The pilot could lead to criteria for sustainable regional landscape marketing plans.

Cultural heritage landscape network

The regions share a common heritage. The Roman Empire left its traces, as did the industrial revolution. Other features are unique and reflect the diversity of European culture. Others again are common features, but have different local backgrounds, as defence lines, fortifications or trade routes. Today’s planners are confronted with the opportunity to integrate these features in their concepts and use them as a medium to enhance the identity of a place or a region. This pilot must develop ways to do this in such a way that the landscape is not turned into an open-air museum, but instead into a vital and living countryside. Three steps are foreseen: a (restricted) inventory of relevant cultural-historical elements or structures to select the most promising structures or collection of elements and develop examples of landscape networks and finally elaborate implementation aspects of these strategic plans.