The Evidence of Links between Landscape and Economy in a Rural Park

The Evidence of Links between Landscape and Economy in a Rural Park

Paola Perchinunno (University of Bari, Italy), Francesco Rotondo (Politecnico di Bari, Italy) and Carmelo Maria Torre (Polytechnic of Bari, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/jaeis.2012070105
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This paper verifies the existence of relationships between specific features of the agrarian landscape of ancient olive trees in the park territory of six municipalities in the Region of Puglia, Italy, and the economic activity of the areas concerned. This has the scope of exploring developmental opportunities, whether already put into place, or potentially active. It develops and verifies theoretical approaches and empirical experiences which propose processes of territorial exploitation and local development as pathways for the identification and utilization of both the differences and distinctive characteristics of the territory itself, toward the creation of a “value added territory” as the basis for development. Agriculture tends to be presented in terms of the “care and culture” of the territory: not only the appropriate production of primary goods, ecological and locally characterized but also the contextualized production of land and environment. In this paper, the authors use the concept of the park from the perspective of innovation: no longer referring to the concept of environmental protection and preservation as a defensive action, but creating a synthesis between the productive enhancement of open spaces alongside the upgrading of environmental systems, the built environment and environmental, and cultural development.
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1. Introduction

The creation of protected natural areas and parks represents an opportunity for experimentation and the dissemination of forms of sustainable local development and proper land management. The potential success of policies for both natural conservation and the socio-economic development of individual parks are dependent on a variety of factors: the size of the area concerned, the socio-cultural context, inherent characteristics of the area, the territorial policy of relevant organisations, the credibility, and effectiveness of Park organisations. It is clear that the primary reason for which protected parks are established is the protection of nature. However, given the presence of human settlements within the protected areas, the environment is seen not only within a defensive and protectionist framework yet also from the perspective of primary activities: research, tourism, public services, handicrafts, local food production are all sectors which may be considered as compatible with environmental protection, linked to forms of territorial incentives, thus recuperating depressed areas, not only economically, yet also socially.

The concept of park construction is identified with appropriate protection and land management activities, redefining practices and objectives through the introduction of environmentally conscious approaches. The construction of the park in any case represents an action of “care for the territory” (Gambino, 2001) which together with the maintenance of primary productivity also tends towards environmental remediation and its social, cultural and recreational use (Selicato, 2003).

The objective of this study is the identification of the existence of relations between the characteristic landscape of the park agricultural landscape within the present study and the economic activities of the areas involved, with the aim of identifying development opportunities, whether already put into place, or potentially active.

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