Workshop Format// Formats des Ateliers

Paper in a panel / paper dans un panneau

DOI

https://doi.org/10.7275/2m2t-s424

Organizer/Presenter/author Information // Informations sur l'organisateur / le présentateur / auteurs

Carla Chifos, University of CincinnatiFollow

Biographical Information // Informations biographiques

Carla Chifos is Associate Professor of Sustainable Development and Urban Planning at the University of Cincinnati. She has also worked in Southeast Asia with USAID and multiple development agencies and consulting firms on issues of sustainable urban and regional development. At the USEPA, during the Clinton Administration, she was working with the integration of sustainable urban development into all the federal agencies. Her interest and work in rural cultural landscapes stems from years of summer teaching and research programs working on cultural and environmental protection juxtaposed with tourism in Crete, Santorini, Thailand, Indonesia and Brazil.

Keywords

cultural landscapes, rural heritage, rural cultural landscape protection, environmental degradation, economic loss, hydraulic paradigm, water management, large dams, tourism, traditional rural products

Abstract // Résumé

Four thousand years of shaping the landscape, developing sustainable agricultural practices and products, and forming a symbiotic relationship with ecological systems in the Aposelemis Valley of Crete has been disrupted due to the building of a large dam in the heart of that landscape. The politics and decision-making that resulted in the building and implementation of this dam are already documented and analyzed in a recent paper (Chifos, et al, 2019). This paper re-examines what happened in this Valley from the perspective of the cultural/heritage advocates and where the barriers to protecting and maintaining this landscape were and still are. This thriving rural landscape with five inhabited old villages, was recognized as a Natura site, a Ramsar site, was experiencing new archeological finds from Minoan, Roman, and Venetian eras, as well as being championed by local cultural associations, an agricultural cooperative, active farmers and shepherds, and environmentalists. Every such place cannot become a designated cultural landscape through UNESCO, IUCN or other international or national programs. It is not clear that such designations would have stopped the momentum of this water resource management outcome. How can active living traditional rural landscapes survive conflicts with the demands of hyper-tourism, urban growth, EU policies, and centralized governance? This analysis of the Crete case provides an opportunity to identify the weaknesses and world views that left this rural landscape vulnerable to such destruction. Local and regional strategies, as well as the role of local decision-making, that could have prevented or lessened this destruction are discussed, contributing to the ongoing search for how to empower active living rural cultural landscapes to co-exist in a world of rapid change.

Bibliographic References // Références Bibliographiques

Angelakis, A. N., Voudouris, K. S., & Mariolakos, I. (2016). Groundwater utilization through the centuries focusing on the Hellenic civilizations. Hydrogeology Journal, 24(5),1311–1324.

Apostolopoulos, Y. and D. Gayle (eds) (2002) Island Tourism and Sustainable Development : Caribbean, Pacific, and Mediterranean Experiences. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.

Baldacchino, G. (ed.) (2012) Extreme Heritage Management: the practices and policies of densely populated islands. New York: Berghahn Books.

Chifos, C., Z. Doxastakis, M. Romanos (2019) Public Discourse and government action in a controversial water management project: the damming of the Aposelemis River in Crete, Greece. Water Policy, 21, 526-45.

Thiel, A. (2010). Ecological modernisation and the scalar level of contradictions in Southern European water politics: The case of the Odelouca Dam in Portugal. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 28(3), 492–511.

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Panel 8. Paper 8.1 Tourism, Dams and Greed: Lessons from the destruction of a rural cultural landscape in Crete

Four thousand years of shaping the landscape, developing sustainable agricultural practices and products, and forming a symbiotic relationship with ecological systems in the Aposelemis Valley of Crete has been disrupted due to the building of a large dam in the heart of that landscape. The politics and decision-making that resulted in the building and implementation of this dam are already documented and analyzed in a recent paper (Chifos, et al, 2019). This paper re-examines what happened in this Valley from the perspective of the cultural/heritage advocates and where the barriers to protecting and maintaining this landscape were and still are. This thriving rural landscape with five inhabited old villages, was recognized as a Natura site, a Ramsar site, was experiencing new archeological finds from Minoan, Roman, and Venetian eras, as well as being championed by local cultural associations, an agricultural cooperative, active farmers and shepherds, and environmentalists. Every such place cannot become a designated cultural landscape through UNESCO, IUCN or other international or national programs. It is not clear that such designations would have stopped the momentum of this water resource management outcome. How can active living traditional rural landscapes survive conflicts with the demands of hyper-tourism, urban growth, EU policies, and centralized governance? This analysis of the Crete case provides an opportunity to identify the weaknesses and world views that left this rural landscape vulnerable to such destruction. Local and regional strategies, as well as the role of local decision-making, that could have prevented or lessened this destruction are discussed, contributing to the ongoing search for how to empower active living rural cultural landscapes to co-exist in a world of rapid change.

 

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