The perception that the population has of the landscape is a factor which influences their behaviour and conditions their decision making, especially when choices need to be made between transformation and preservation. Popular opinion, the mechanisms by which it is formed and through which it is expressed therefore has a great deal of importance for landscape studies because it isn’t simply reality that influences behaviour, as much as the idea that we have of it (Zerbi, 1993). The European Landscape Convention (Florence, 2000) underlined the role that the population must take in the management of landscapes. In this brief analysis we intend to examine how the population perceives the landscape of the Montello in comparison with the area of the Veneto plain which surrounds it. We have endeavoured to examine how this relationship between the hillside and the plain tends to be organized today at a time when the Montello is becoming seen as an island of green and nature in the increasingly built up areas which surround it. In order to analyse the views held of the Montello landscape by those who live on it or close to it, we carried out interviews with people from both groups. Initially the conversations tended to give rise to expressions of opinion about the uniqueness of the Montello and a general recognition of that fact. However, one of the most unique features, the karst (or sinkholes), is only rarely recognised despite the fact that a “morphology with depressions” is often described and acknowledged as a characteristic. It is interesting to note that those who live on the Montello don’t mention the sinkholes as a defining feature of the landscape as they think of them as being “normal”. One unique feature of the Montello which is recognised by almost all of those interviewed is the amount of “green” among the woods and meadows; it is an environment that is considered natural or semi-natural – and this is in itself considered to be valuable – despite the fact that there is no particular commonly held knowledge of the characteristics of the place itself, e.g. of it’s vegetation. The Montello was also described as a “comfortable” hill. The absence of steep hills and the proximity to the services available on the plain render it an area of natural beauty which is both easy to enjoy and not too remote for those that live on it. Based on this perhaps superficial view, almost all those interviewed demonstrated an intense affection for the Montello. Lastly it should be underlined that in asking people about the characteristics of the landscape “of” the Montello, the answers tended to regard the landscape as “seen from” the Montello: the two realities of the hill and the plain which surrounds it need therefore to be considered as a single entity: it is a relationship from which emerge both diversities and communalities, in particular when speaking of the transformations to the local landscape. The analyses of the changes to the landscape of the Montello conducted, based on cartography and aerial photography, were compared to the opinions that people had about recent territorial transformations. Despite not being particularly intense, these modifications are generally perceived by the inhabitants of the Montello area either as not presenting any particular problem or indeed they are not perceived at all. The flat land which surrounds the Montello – in the same way as much of the Veneto plain – has in contrast been affected by massive change over the last decade, changes which take the form of a gradual saturation and progressive joining together of built-up areas. This “urban sprawl” is the result of the construction of both residential and industrial buildings as well as roads and other types of infrastructure. The majority of those interviewed, and almost all of those living on the plain irrespective of age, were seen to not recognise this massive change, or in any case to not give any great importance to it, to the point that they needed to be stimulated by carefully phrased questions into talking about how things used to be. Even then, answers like “you need to remember that here there was nothing, just fields…” express not a sense of nostalgia so much as a positive feeling about the changes themselves. Popular opinion about the changes to the landscape is affected by a more global judgement about improvements to the way of life (“here we used to be poor”). The change to the landscape is, therefore, filled with another symbolic meaning: it represents the attainment of a better standard of living and as such cannot be reason for a negative evaluation. Lastly we discovered a fairly evident coexistence – even in the same interviewee – of two profoundly different but not necessarily opposing ways of perceiving the Montello. On the one hand the Montello is considered as woodland, a natural environment, a green space almost with its original vocation as the Montello Wood. This view is mainly associated with recreational use, to the idea that it is a place to go walking, to spend some free time, that it is a healthy and peaceful space in a noisy and polluted surrounding area. On the other hand the Montello is perceived as being “the countryside”, as an inhabited place, cultivated, taken care of and for this reason loved as being a “normal” rural landscape; this perhaps also explains why it is also considered a landscape which is worth preserving. These two views of the Montello seem today to come together in the idea of a “park”, an idea which is widely held both by residents and “users”. The “park” (suggested by large scale urban planning) is already coming into being, a fact demonstrated by children’s drawings which describe some of the most common things to do on the Montello (mushroom collecting, walks, nature, etc). However, when we try to understand what is meant by the term “park” some contradictions become apparent; in particular it isn’t clear if we are talking about a “natural park” or an “urban park”. In any case, the Montello today is becoming a kind of green space which has developed a role as a result of the new kind of pressure which is applied by those who live close to it (and not only), no longer as a result of a “hunger for land” but with a “hunger for greenery”, fresh air and, why not, for a nice view.

Tra Montello e città  diffusa. La percezione del paesaggio e delle sue trasformazioni

FERRARIO, VIVIANA
2005

Abstract

The perception that the population has of the landscape is a factor which influences their behaviour and conditions their decision making, especially when choices need to be made between transformation and preservation. Popular opinion, the mechanisms by which it is formed and through which it is expressed therefore has a great deal of importance for landscape studies because it isn’t simply reality that influences behaviour, as much as the idea that we have of it (Zerbi, 1993). The European Landscape Convention (Florence, 2000) underlined the role that the population must take in the management of landscapes. In this brief analysis we intend to examine how the population perceives the landscape of the Montello in comparison with the area of the Veneto plain which surrounds it. We have endeavoured to examine how this relationship between the hillside and the plain tends to be organized today at a time when the Montello is becoming seen as an island of green and nature in the increasingly built up areas which surround it. In order to analyse the views held of the Montello landscape by those who live on it or close to it, we carried out interviews with people from both groups. Initially the conversations tended to give rise to expressions of opinion about the uniqueness of the Montello and a general recognition of that fact. However, one of the most unique features, the karst (or sinkholes), is only rarely recognised despite the fact that a “morphology with depressions” is often described and acknowledged as a characteristic. It is interesting to note that those who live on the Montello don’t mention the sinkholes as a defining feature of the landscape as they think of them as being “normal”. One unique feature of the Montello which is recognised by almost all of those interviewed is the amount of “green” among the woods and meadows; it is an environment that is considered natural or semi-natural – and this is in itself considered to be valuable – despite the fact that there is no particular commonly held knowledge of the characteristics of the place itself, e.g. of it’s vegetation. The Montello was also described as a “comfortable” hill. The absence of steep hills and the proximity to the services available on the plain render it an area of natural beauty which is both easy to enjoy and not too remote for those that live on it. Based on this perhaps superficial view, almost all those interviewed demonstrated an intense affection for the Montello. Lastly it should be underlined that in asking people about the characteristics of the landscape “of” the Montello, the answers tended to regard the landscape as “seen from” the Montello: the two realities of the hill and the plain which surrounds it need therefore to be considered as a single entity: it is a relationship from which emerge both diversities and communalities, in particular when speaking of the transformations to the local landscape. The analyses of the changes to the landscape of the Montello conducted, based on cartography and aerial photography, were compared to the opinions that people had about recent territorial transformations. Despite not being particularly intense, these modifications are generally perceived by the inhabitants of the Montello area either as not presenting any particular problem or indeed they are not perceived at all. The flat land which surrounds the Montello – in the same way as much of the Veneto plain – has in contrast been affected by massive change over the last decade, changes which take the form of a gradual saturation and progressive joining together of built-up areas. This “urban sprawl” is the result of the construction of both residential and industrial buildings as well as roads and other types of infrastructure. The majority of those interviewed, and almost all of those living on the plain irrespective of age, were seen to not recognise this massive change, or in any case to not give any great importance to it, to the point that they needed to be stimulated by carefully phrased questions into talking about how things used to be. Even then, answers like “you need to remember that here there was nothing, just fields…” express not a sense of nostalgia so much as a positive feeling about the changes themselves. Popular opinion about the changes to the landscape is affected by a more global judgement about improvements to the way of life (“here we used to be poor”). The change to the landscape is, therefore, filled with another symbolic meaning: it represents the attainment of a better standard of living and as such cannot be reason for a negative evaluation. Lastly we discovered a fairly evident coexistence – even in the same interviewee – of two profoundly different but not necessarily opposing ways of perceiving the Montello. On the one hand the Montello is considered as woodland, a natural environment, a green space almost with its original vocation as the Montello Wood. This view is mainly associated with recreational use, to the idea that it is a place to go walking, to spend some free time, that it is a healthy and peaceful space in a noisy and polluted surrounding area. On the other hand the Montello is perceived as being “the countryside”, as an inhabited place, cultivated, taken care of and for this reason loved as being a “normal” rural landscape; this perhaps also explains why it is also considered a landscape which is worth preserving. These two views of the Montello seem today to come together in the idea of a “park”, an idea which is widely held both by residents and “users”. The “park” (suggested by large scale urban planning) is already coming into being, a fact demonstrated by children’s drawings which describe some of the most common things to do on the Montello (mushroom collecting, walks, nature, etc). However, when we try to understand what is meant by the term “park” some contradictions become apparent; in particular it isn’t clear if we are talking about a “natural park” or an “urban park”. In any case, the Montello today is becoming a kind of green space which has developed a role as a result of the new kind of pressure which is applied by those who live close to it (and not only), no longer as a result of a “hunger for land” but with a “hunger for greenery”, fresh air and, why not, for a nice view.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11578/151525
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