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The cultural landscape and the uniqueness of place: A greenway heritage network for landscape conservation of Lisbon Metropolitan Area

Luis F Ribeiro, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The cultural landscape of Lisbon Metropolitan Area evolved through processes of trial and error, and cultural exchanges, leading to a landscape that is in many situations ecologically sustainable, visual attractive, and culturally and historically identifiable. This results in a high landscape quality that is underlying the attraction of population to this region, its tourist industry and urban development. This research aims to explore the significance of cultural and historic resources for the development of a greenway network for the conservation of landscape quality. The landscape is studied in two levels (regional and local), through two case studies: Northern municipalities of Lisbon Metropolitan Area, and the municipality of Amadora (in Lisbon Metropolitan Area). Research at the regional level is framed by parametric methods of landscape planning. The results show that it is possible to delineate a greenway network for Lisbon Metropolitan Area, strongly supported by the landscape patterns of cultural and historic resources. A method framework for local level draws on landscape planning, environmental history, landscape conservation, and cultural geography, is applied at the local level. This level of research also used parametric methods of landscape assessment, complemented with an environmental historic, landscape ecology, and cultural geography approaches, using secondary historic, and focus group interviews data sources. The objective is to address the local values and ascertain the significance of the regional level approach when applied to the local scale. Cultural and historic resources assessment should include the different cultural perspectives and environmental contexts existing in fragmented metropolitan areas. which eventually underlies the uniqueness of each place. This research concludes that cultural and historic resources have a high potential for the development of greenway networks in ancient settled metropolitan Mediterranean landscapes, such as in Lisbon Metropolitan Area. Such a network can provide for the conservation of landscape quality and bring about development and recreation opportunities. However to thoroughly achieve these objectives, the criteria for the assessment of cultural and historic resources have to consider diversified levels of cultural and historic significance, becoming therefore significant resources for the economic development and cultural identity at a national, regional and local scale.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development|Landscaping

Recommended Citation

Ribeiro, Luis F, "The cultural landscape and the uniqueness of place: A greenway heritage network for landscape conservation of Lisbon Metropolitan Area" (1998). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9823768.