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Landscape: from common good to human right

Abstract : This paper analyses how the current concept of landscape, which overcomes a scenery-based characterisation and a confinement to classical aesthetics and art, relates to the notions of the common good, commons and commons pool resources (CPRs). I consider landscape as a complex process in which human beings (with their history and culture) and their environment are mutually defined. On the basis of this approach to landscape studies, and by considering contemporary documents on landscape (i.e. the European Landscape Convention, the Latin American Initiative for Landscape and the UNESCO Florence Declaration) I analyse the similarity between the notion of landscape and the concepts of common good, the management of commons and the commons pool resources institutions. Through theoretical research supported by practical examples (e.g. community gardens) I argue that landscape can be defined as a common good, can include the commons, and the collective management of lands and common pool resources institutions. The paper relies on an excursus through the theories and legal documents , with a specific regard to the theoretical foundations of these different notions. The analysis carried out in the paper leads, in the end, to the possibility of defining the 'right to landscape'. Even if the concept is new in the literature, and a right to landscape is not recognised as a right per se, it is already implicated and studied in many international rights laws. Three approaches to landscape as a right have been distinguished: the right to landscape as a perceived landscape (a collective right), as a right to the environment and a right for addressing human rights. I integrated these approaches by arguing that landscape is a domain in relation to which human rights can be claimed, and that landscape can be considered as a right to which human beings are entitled.
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Contributor : Laura Menatti <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 7:04:20 PM
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Laura Menatti. Landscape: from common good to human right. International Journal of the Commons, International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), 2017, 11 (2), pp.641-683. ⟨10.18352/ijc.738⟩. ⟨halshs-01993259⟩



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