Society and Landscape

Landscape represents a semiotic interface between individual needs and resources, but enlarging to the phenomenological scale (Fig. 9.4), landscape is also an interface between societal needs and societally recognized resources (Fig. 9.5). This vision justifies at least two types of cognitive landscape: the first is the individual-based cognitive landscape, changing according to the character of each person. For every individual there exists a specific landscape. In the second case, for every society there is a specific societally based cognitive landscape that influences and in turn is influenced by the individual-based landscape. The integration between these two models of landscape produces the regional landscapes that in a country like Italy are identified by distinct regions (e.g. Liguria, Tuscany, Veneto, etc.) in which climate and geomorphology are only some of the several actors shaping space and processes.

In every society, from the primitive to the most technologically advanced, every piece of land is under the direct or indirect influence of human decisions that not always are ecologically in tune with the environment (see f.i. Nassauer 1997).

Landscape

Needs

Functions

-> Resources

Fig. 9.4 According to the General Theory of Resources the landscape becomes an eco-semiotic agent that interfaces between needs-related functions and resources. The landscape represents the collective properties of all the species and function-specific eco-fields requested via cognitive mechanisms by every organism.

Fig. 9.5 Needs and resources are connected by a semiotic interface: the eco-field. All the eco-fields of an individual or a society create the cognitive landscape. The external component of this landscape represents the geographical landscape. Currency or other conventions can exclude the semiotic interface of the landscape from resource tracking causing landscape degradation.

Landscape

Fig. 9.4 According to the General Theory of Resources the landscape becomes an eco-semiotic agent that interfaces between needs-related functions and resources. The landscape represents the collective properties of all the species and function-specific eco-fields requested via cognitive mechanisms by every organism.

Landscape

Currency or other conventions

For instance, moving across the Mediterranean basin, in which have occurred at least 10,000 years of strict relationships between human beings and nature, the co-evolutionary modifications of the physical and biological landscape under the pressure of the human meta-domains are easily observed (Grove and Rackham 2001, Blondel and Aronson 1999).

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