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Chapter 3 - The legacy of nature enshrined in cultural landscapes
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Thomson Reuters Aranzadi
Manero Miguel, F.; García Cuesta, J. L. (Coords.) (2017): Territorial Heritage & Spatial Planning. A Geographical Perspective. Ed. Thomson Reuters. The Global Law Collection. Navarra. 327 págs. ISBN – 978-84-9152-762-6
The aim is to consider Nature as a whole as an object of study in Physical Geography, but in close connection and interaction with Human Geography, because the subject matter and raison d’être of Geography is, inescapably, the study of the «humanised landscape» (García, 2001: 45). Nature can also be called the «physical environment», «natural environment», «natural landscapes», «ecological environment» or «ecological complex». However, in this work of research, for the sake of both brevity and clarity, Nature will be used as the equivalent of «natural landscapes» and «physical environment». What is important in any of these denominations is that the natural elements can be conceived as external to human activity, but at the same time as conditioning elements of the said activity to varying degrees and on different scales; an aspect in which the great French geographer Max Sorre was a pioneer at the end of the first half of the 20th century, while still being a valid reference today (Sorre, 1943: 15). Having assumed this approach to Nature in Physical Geography, the enormous influence of human intervention (or anthropogenic action) over the centuries on the physical environment can be inferred and demonstrated. In this sense, many so-called «natural» landscapes can be considered cultural, since they are the tangible and demonstrable result of the material and immaterial culture of human societies. Human societies use the said landscapes, to different degrees, and in doing so humanise them. With this argument and several examples (mostly from the Iberian Peninsula), the aim is to clarify the fallacies and insufficiencies of neodeterminism, which is still the dominant epistemological approach among those who, such as researchers and professionals, consider themselves «naturalists»: geographers, biologists, ecologists, forestry engineers and geologists, etc.
5403.01 Geografía Cultural
This activities are included in the objectives and results of the Research Project CSO2013-47205-P «Culture and heritage as territorial resources: sustainable development strategies and spatial impacts», from the State Programme to Encourage Scientific Technical Research of Excellence, Sub-programme of the Generation of Knowledge from the Ministry of Economy & Competitiveness, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The coordinators are featured as Principal Investigators.
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