The main objective of this research project is to make landscape management operational and useful in the context of policy making for sustainable development. Due to its great landscape diversity and landscape vulnerability to human activities, Slovenia appears to be a good »laboratory« for this research. This placed-based research project attempts to provide key content knowledge to bridge the science and the practice and enhancement of sustainable development, exploring case studies represented by Slovenian landscapes going through different transformations.
The overall procedure of the methodology includes a 3-phase approach.
Within the Phase 1 the structural and shape analysis of the landscape components, the quantification of the changes over time, and ecosystem services assessment will be done in order to understand trends and changes that provide the major directions for this century. These analyses will allow the identification of functional shortcomings of today’s landscapes towards sustainability. Based on data from Phase 1 and data on development processes, the creation of landscape scenarios will be done in Phase 2 through exploratory and normative scenarios. Exploratory scenarios will be done by expert driven processes aiming to obtain future plausible scenarios. With participatory methods in order to co-design landscape desire scenarios we will find the optimization of spatial patterns of different landscape types taking into account the needs, perceptions and ability of stakeholders. Then, a comparison between the today’s landscapes to the sustainable landscape scenario will be done to evaluate the degree of sustainability that could be achieved in the selected landscapes. The Phase 3 aims the creation of sustainable landscape management strategies for the landscapes selected by means of negotiations; this will enable transformations towards the implementation of sustainable solutions.
The expected results will help to identify new approaches for sustainable landscape development management (e.g. sustainable agriculture development) and to increase the
visibility of landscape-based research to sustainability science and policy making. The results will be communicated to entities responsible for landscape management, as well as to policy makers involved in regional development, and will be disseminated at national and international conferences and through scientific papers.