Observing the protection of the landscape in the world, Europe and Poland one might declare that the variety of the landscape is “matched” by the diversity and great number of the forms of its protection. The landscape is physiognomy – an expression of the natural environment, a reflection of all the phenomena transpiring on the surface of the Earth. The environment – both natural and cultural – is decisive for the identity of a given place, while its external expression is the landscape. It is impossible to conceal or ignore the landscape, although one can be more or less sensitive to its beauty or at least order. The landscape always affects man, even if only his subconsciousness. In our surrounding we are dealing with a natural landscape, the product of Nature, and a cultural landscape, created by human intellect and hands; as a rule, however, we encounter their assorted, adverse or positive, mutual permeation. Gutersohn was right when he wrote that the landscape is the expression of man’s economy, Favourable economy comprises the foundation of a harmonious landscape, while bad economy – a devastated landscape, and vice versa: the devastation of the landscape reflects bad economy. The protection of Nature as if precedes the protection of historical monuments; the latest version of the statute on the protection of Nature of 16 April 2004 defined landscape merits as the ecological, aesthetic or cultural qualities of a given area together with the associated lay of the land, and the products and components of the natural environment moulded by the forces of Nature or man’s activity. For the sake of their protection article 16 confirmed the regional protection of the landscape, established at the beginning of the 1980s, which consists in the landscape park; according to its statutory definition, it encompasses an area protected owing to its natural and landscape values for the sake of the preservation and popularisation of those merits in the conditions of balanced development. At present, there are more than 120 such parks in Poland, which constitute over 7% of the total area of the country. In turn, the statute on the protection and care of historical monuments of 23 July 2003 described the cultural landscape as space historically shaped due to man’s activity, and containing products of civilisation or natural elements. Numerous milieus have shown great interest in preparing instruments serving both the revival of the merits of cultural heritage and their exploitation for the sake of economic activisation, specially the progress of tourism. The initiation of such undertakings will benefit from a presentation of the synthesis: Zasady tworzenia i zarządzania dla parków kulturowych oraz sporządzania planów ich ochrony (The Principles of the Establishment and Administration for Cultural Parks and the Conception of Plans for their Improvement), which constitutes auxiliary material both for units of communal territorial self-governments and conservation services as well as town planners, landscape architects, rural studies experts, architects and historians of art. These principles were commissioned by the National Centre for the Study and Documentation of Historical Monuments in Warsaw, and accepted in October 2005 by the State Council for the Protection of Historical Monuments, working alongside the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. On the one hand, the statute provides communal self-governments and their organisational units as well as conservation services relatively considerable flexibility in these ventures; on the other hand, it leaves certain things unsaid as regards the crux of the matter and its implementation. Deciding to face the increasingly distinctly accentuated social needs, the Institute of Landscape Architecture at the Cracow Polytechnic, cooperating with the National Centre for the Study and Documentation of Historical Monuments in Warsaw, undertook the completion of the above-mentioned Zasady. The indicated proposal does not comprise a regulation defining the necessity of devising a collection of strictly determined documents or inaugurating the indispensable activity demanded by law. At the present stage of the first steps made by the self-governments and the conservators of monuments together with specialists and social groups cooperating in the establishment of cultural parks, it is difficult or outright impossible to foresee what sort of conservation, social, economic and organisational problems will have to be tackled. Zasady indicates a certain scenario of issues and activity, conceived according to the ”step by step” principle, which in the nearest future will be probably improved in the course of winning experiences provided by the creation of cultural parks in Poland.
dr hab. inż. arch, profesor Politechniki Krakowskiej, kierownik Zakładu Krajobrazu Otwartego i Budowli Inżynierskich Instytutu Architektury Krajobrazu Politechniki Krakowskiej. W latach 1985-1994 główny specjalista wojewódzki – architekt Zespołu Jurajskich Parków Krajobrazowych w Krakowie. W latach 1991-2000 dyrektor Regionalnego Ośrodka Badań i Dokumentacji Zabytków w Krakowie. Członek Rady Ochrony Zabytków przy Ministrze Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego, Państwowej Rady Ochrony Przyrody przy Ministrze Środowiska oraz Polskiego Komitetu Narodowego ICOMOS.
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