Landscape services


Cyclical model

The model «Landscape services strengthen landscape quality» is designed for application to a specific landscape and encompasses several different steps. It is crucial to involve local people from the beginning and throughout the entire process.

  • Identify landscape services: The local population learns to ‘read’ the familiar landscape –including its natural and built qualities – and to identify its landscape services. Desired landscape improvements and landscape services are addressed in discussions or in workshops. Regional and cantonal landscape plans and inventories provide useful bases for the identification of desired (future) landscape services.
  • Identify potentials: The services that a given landscape can potentially provide are determined in a participatory way and/or derived from higher-level goals and strategies.
  • Identify landscape-relevant stakeholders: Important actors and/or target groups, i.e. people whom facilitators intend to engage more strongly with the potential of the landscape, are identified and invited to participate in developing a project to strengthen landscape qualities. ‘Key individuals’ should be identified and encouraged to participate. They are the access point to other locally important actors.
  • Establish structures: Initially informal structures should, where possible, eventually be integrated or transformed into existing or new, more formal institutional structures for the continuation of landscape-related activities. Structures are important in ensuring the continuity of projects, regularly assessing their relevance, and adjusting them as needed.
  • Develop projects: Project ideas for strengthening landscape qualities are jointly outlined, responsibilities and milestones defined, and missing stakeholder groups identified and invited to participate.
  • Implement projects: When implementing the agreed projects, the landscape-relevant actors and/or target groups should be integrated, and available landscape policy instruments should be employed (Steiger 2016).
  • Strengthen qualities: Potentials identified at the start of the process can be clearly designated and landscape qualities can be strengthened within the concrete projects.
  • Impact monitoring: Explicitly defined goals make it possible to evaluate achievements and/or the need for further measures.

Notably, strategically planned communication (orange circle in Figure) provides crucial support throughout the entire process, including long-term maintenance and safeguarding of benefits from landscape services, in particular by means of structured goals, instruments, application, and further development. Communication is not only about raising awareness of landscape services, but also about understanding and conveying aesthetic and emotional aspects.