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Resilience and the Cultural Landscape: Understanding and Managing Change in Human-Shaped Environments

  • Provides a new perspective on landscape change, offering insight for anyone involved in research on landscape change or its practical management
  • Features compelling and accessible case studies, examining the major processes of landscape change and illustrating the potentials and limitations of resilience-based landscape analysis and management
  • Links conceptual and empirical approaches, enabling readers to develop firmly-based knowledge on patterns and processes in human-shaped environments

By: Tobias Plieninger(Editor), Claudia Bieling(Editor)

350 pages, 68 b/w illustrations, 13 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Oct 2012 | #201533 | ISBN-13: 9781107020788
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £56.99 $73/€62 approx

About this book

All over the world, efforts are being made to preserve landscapes facing fundamental change as a consequence of widespread agricultural intensification, land abandonment and urbanisation. The 'cultural landscape' and 'resilience' approaches have, until now, largely been viewed as distinct methods for understanding the effects of these dynamics and the ways in which they might be adapted or managed.

Resilience and the Cultural Landscape brings together these two perspectives, providing new insights into the social-ecological resilience of cultural landscapes by coming to terms with, and challenging, the concepts of 'driving forces', 'thresholds', 'adaptive cycles' and 'adaptive management'. By linking these research communities, Resilience and the Cultural Landscape develops a new perspective on landscape changes. Based on firm conceptual contributions and rich case studies from Europe, the Americas and Australia, it will appeal to anyone interested in analysing and managing change in human-shaped environments in the context of sustainability.

" [...] If I was asked to give a shelf mark for this book it would be as with an interest in the interacting between society and nature and between society and nature and those involved in policy advice will find it of interest."
- John Hopkins, British Ecological Society Bulletin, August 2013

"The book contributes a new dimension (i.e. broader spatial scale) of CHN and also serves as a theoretical frontier in the ecological understanding of resilience. Highly recommended."
- J. Chen, Choice

"All landscape practitioners will find much food for thought."
- Landscape History

"I warmly recommend this insightful book for landscape ecology scholars and beyond, to every person truly interested in a holistic understanding of the cultural landscapes."
- Landscape Ecology

"I can recommend it to all landscape researchers to learn about your partners if you want to know them and their ideas better."
- CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi)

"I can highly recommend this book for the landscape as well as for the resilience scholarship and more generally for everybody interested in analyzing and managing change in human-shaped environments in the context of sustainability."
- Ecology and Society




1. Connecting cultural landscapes to resilience Tobias Plieninger and Claudia Bieling

Part I. Conceptualising Landscapes and Social-Ecological Systems
2. Landscapes as integrating frameworks for human, environmental and policy processes Paul Selman
3. From cultural landscapes to resilient social-ecological systems: transformation of a classical paradigm or a novel approach? Thomas Kirchoff, Fridolin Brand and Deborah Hoheisel
4. Conceptualising the human in cultural landscapes and resilience thinking Lesley Head
5. System or arena? Conceptual concerns around the analysis of landscape dynamics Marie Stenseke, Regina Lindborg, Annika Dhalberg and Elin Slatmo
6. Resilience thinking vs. political ecology: understanding the dynamics of small-scale, labour-intensive farming landscapes Mats Widgren

Part II. Analysing Landscape Resilience
7. In search of resilient behaviour: using the driving forces framework to study cultural landscapes Matthias Burgi, Felix Kienast and Anna M. Hersperger
8. Cultural landscapes as complex adaptive systems: the cases of northern Spain and northern Argentina Alejandro J. Rescia, Maria E. Perez-Corona, Paula Arribas-Urena and John W. Dover
9. Linking path dependency and resilience for the analysis of landscape development Andreas Rohring and Ludger Gailing
10. The sugar-cane landscape of the Caribbean islands: resilience, adaptation and transformation of the plantation social-ecological system William Found and Marta Berbes-Blazquez
11. Offshore wind farming on Germany's North Sea coast: tracing regime shifts across scales Kira Gee and Benjamin Burkhard

Part III. Managing Landscapes for Resilience
12. Collective efforts to manage cultural landscapes for resilience Katrin Prager
13. Response strategy assessment: a tool for evaluating resilience for the management of social-ecological systems Magnus Tuvendal and Thomas Elmqvist
14. Ecosystem services and social-ecological resilience in transhumance cultural landscapes: learning from the past, looking for a future Elisa Oteros-Rozas, Jose A. Gonzalez, Berta Martin-Lopez, Cesar A. Lopez and Carlos Montes
15. The role of homegardens in strengthening social-ecological resilience: case studies from Cuba and Austria Christine Van der Stege, Brigitte Vogl-Lukasser and Christian R. Vogl
16. Promises and pitfalls of adaptive management in resilience thinking: the lens of political ecology Betsy A. Beymer-Farris, Thomas J. Bassett and Ian Bryceson

Part IV. Perspectives for Resilient Landscapes
17. A heterarchy of knowledges: tools for the study of landscape histories and futures Carole L. Crumley
18. Towards a deeper understanding of the social in resilience: the contributions of cultural landscapes Ann P. Kinzig
19. Resilience and cultural landscapes: opportunities, relevance and ways ahead Claudia Bieling and Tobias Plieninger


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Tobias Plieninger is Head of the Ecosystem Services Research Group at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Research Fellow at the Geography Department, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin. He is an environmental scientist with a commitment to inter- and transdisciplinary landscape research. He has researched and published extensively on the driving forces, processes and impacts of change in European cultural landscapes at various spatial and temporal scales. He serves on the committees of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL) and the IUCN European Sustainable Use Specialists Group.

Claudia Bieling is a landscape researcher at the Institute for Landscape Management at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Focusing on the mutual relations between people and place, she investigates land use and its various meanings for small-scale landowners and society. Her work particularly addresses landscape perceptions, immaterial benefits provided by landscapes ('cultural ecosystem services') and nature and heritage preservation in the context of private land use. She has studied these topics in an array of interdisciplinary projects on different land use forms, ranging from livestock husbandry and viticulture to forestry practices, and in different European regions.

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