Management of Cultural Landscapes: What Does this Mean in the Former Soviet Union? A Case Study from Latvia

Simon Bell, O Nikodemus, Z Peneze, I Kruze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Concern about changing cultural landscapes has increased recently, with the advent of the European Landscape Convention placing signatory countries in a position of having to develop action for protecting and managing cultural landscapes. In countries of the former Soviet Union the landscape underwent many changes as a result of agricultural collectivisation and its aftermath. This situation has been analysed for six sample rural municipalities (pagasts) in Latvia, one of the three former Soviet countries to join the European Union (EU), using maps from the period 1901 to 1927 (to represent the ‘traditional landscape’) and 1997 orthophotographs updated to 2000 (to represent the ‘post-Soviet landscape’), abandoned agricultural land to 2007 to show the continuing aftermath of the Soviet system and field assessment of their character. It was found that all sampled pagasts had experienced significant landscape change during the Soviet times that replaced the pre-Soviet, traditional character with a new ‘ideological landscape’. The implications for the protection and conservation of such landscapes created by a previous foreign occupying power are many, raising questions of what landscapes or elements to conserve under the requirements of the Convention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-455
Number of pages31
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Collectivisation
  • landscape character
  • European Landscape Convention
  • landscape change


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