Landscapes change continuously and over varying temporal and spatial scales. Unraveling the processes and controls behind these changes is essential in order to understand the structure and history of the present-day landscape. This is especially important because strong links exist between landscape character, heritage, and feelings of local and regional identity – which in turn are vital in future landscape development, tourism, and planning. Within the Cultural Geography Group we work on landscape history and heritage from various interrelated angles and disciplines (e.g. landscape archaeology, historical geography, cultural geography), as well as on a wide variety of topics. Common denominators are found in the focus on long-term processes, human-landscape interactions and the implementation of scientific data in future landscape management.
In dealing sensibly with landscape heritage the issue is not how to reach stability or fossilization at some perceived ideal ‘stage’, but how to identify changes and manage them effectively for all stakeholders. This both applies to cultural remains as ‘physical’ elements (e.g. archaeological sites, historical monuments, parcellations) and as intangible heritage (e.g. practices, field names, folklore).