Visual Resource Stewardship Conference

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-27-2019


An international perspective to visual resource stewardship is presented in this paper. It examines the history of Great Britain’s love affair with its landscapes, then summarizes the more recent development of the European Landscape Convention, which has been embraced across much of Europe. The recognition of outstanding landscapes under the World Heritage Convention is then covered and the international Protected Areas program, which includes landscapes, is briefly summarized. Programs in several countries are reviewed. As the United States is very adequately covered in this and the 2017 conference, this paper mainly addresses other countries.

The key message the paper imparts is that most of the provisions focus on the character of the landscape, not its quality. Because it has been assumed, particularly in Britain, that it is too difficult and subjective to measure scenic quality, landscape character has become the subject. Authorities have stayed clear of subjectivity and applied objective-based analysis to landscape character.