The renewed interest in “cultural landscapes” is a global phenomenon to be explained in a multi dimensional way. The process of revalorising traditional habitats, people and their way of living in a particular environment, is closely linked to the introduction of heritage as “a cultural, social and economic construct”. The recognition of cultural landscapes as a new category on the world heritage list (UNESCO) since the 1990s, emphasises the importance of the human-environment interaction and the need for understanding the dynamics of landscapes in time and space. Values are changing and new opportunities emerge for a “dynamic preservation” of iconic landscapes and traditional communities. A cross disciplinary understanding of interacting processes is essential to plan and manage sustainable heritage(land)scapes. Various pilot projects and case studies—world-wide—lead to critical reflections about the sustainability of heritage landscapes and the sovereign role of tourism. The perspective of “Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Sites” (GIAHS), supported by economic resources generated by tourism, requires a research-based approach analysing opportunities and expectations, assessing strategic policies and top down politics.
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