Day 75 of #100dayproject: The “new” economies and their impact on landscapes.

IMG267Streetmarket in Santiago de Chile

A vibrant economy provides the basis for people’s livelihoods and the goods and services necessary for development[1]. A study conducted by Diener y Seligman[2] suggest that individuals are happier when living in urban areas with greater amounts of green space. Compared with when they live in areas with less green space, they show significantly lower mental distress and significantly higher well-being[3].

However, the gradual abandonment of the traditional rural economy and the land use system has affected the cultural landscape. The forest succession and the accelerated invasion of woody species affect the mosaic structure of the landscape, which has begun to lose some landscape elements[4]. Physically, the result of such kind of planning tends to be an imbalanced urban landscape composed of fragmentary relationships among important systems of the landscape[5]

A new type of economy is the Creative Economy. For unlocking the potential of the creative economy also means promoting the overall creativity of societies, affirming the distinctive identity of the places where it flourishes and clusters, improving the quality of life there, enhancing local image and prestige and strengthening the resources for the imagining of diverse new futures[6]. The core social unit in which transformative change takes place is a culturally defined community, which builds on its own specific values and institutions to create:

  1. Economic value: material and non-material well-being;
  2. Social value: the benefits of social cohesion, social stability, etc.;
  3. Environmental value: benefits derived from natural resources and ecosystems; and
  4. Cultural value: the intrinsic and instrumental benefits from art and culture that contribute to individual and collective fulfilment.

The experts also recommended that co-operation be established between responsible local, regional, national and international bodies and development actors; integration should be sought linking urban planning, financial and monitoring creativity activities[7].

[1] Geoghegan, T. (2013). Post-2015: framing a new approach to sustainable development. Independent Research Forum.

[2] Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Beyond money: Toward an economy of well-being. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 5, 1–31.

[3] White, M. P., Alcock, I., Wheeler, B. W., & Depledge, M. H. (2013). Would You Be Happier Living in a Greener Urban Area? A Fixed-Effects Analysis of Panel Data. Psychological Science, XX(X), 1–9. doi:10.1177/0956797612464659

[4] Amanatidou, D. (2005). Analysis and Evaluation of a Traditional Cultural Landscape as a basis for its Conservation Management. A case study in Vikos-Aoos National Park – Greece. Fakultät Für Forst- Und Umweltwissenschaften. Albert-Ludwigs Universität.

[5] Tardin, R. (2014). “Landscape and Urban Planning: A Systemic Approach.” In M. P. Amado (Ed.), Urban Planning: Practices, Challenges and Benefits. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

[6] United Nations/UNDP/UNESCO. (2013). Informe de las Naciones Unidas sobre la Economía Creativa 2013. Principales Recomendaciones. (p. 28). Paris. Retrieved from

[7] UNESCO World Heritage Centre. (2002). Cultural Landscapes: the Challenges of Conservation (No. 7) (pp. 1–193). Paris, France.


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