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The physical sprawl of a town is one of the main factors having an influence on periurban functional development and economic expansion. After Lithuania became a member of the EU, the biggest towns and especially the capital Vilnius have undergone considerable changes in the landscape of peri-urban areas: agricultural functions are gradually changed by urban functions, what makes negative anthropogenical influence on the landscape character and its ecological stability. The general plan for Vilnius even up to the year 2005 formulated the concept of city greenbelt. Unfortunately, this concept remained unrealized because of juridical assumptions and insufficient collaboration between neighbourhood municipalities. Despite this fact, the problems of landscape preservation and urban development in peri-urban areas still need further scientific research.

Practice of landscape inventory, assessment and planning in Lithuania is commonly confined to general physical or visual landscape characteristics and their description. Fundamental landscape classification based on natural and cultural morphology is the mainstream in the country. Applied, perceptional classification of landscape refer just to visual landscape characteristics and often do not consider the morphology of the natural landscape patterns. In practice, this type of classification is used as a tool for landscape planning in recreational or protected territories, such as national or regional parks. In the country, the territory planning practice mostly refers to ecological landscape classification, where the main aspects are processes, analysing circulatory relations. The aspect of landscape in urban development plans at the district level takes only a common descriptions and are not orientated in an integrative way concerning urban development. Obviously Lithuanian theory and practice of peri-urban planning needs a complex tool for landscape and urban development, which leads to the integrated character-based planning, cited on physical, functional, visual and mainly individually perceived natural features of the landscape. The efficiency of landscape planning mostly depends on the way of landscape classification. The review of landscape classification methods is the main issue for the background of this report.



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