First announcement and call for papers
Terraced landscapes were formed by use of a method of growing crops on the sides of hills or mountains by planting on graduated plains built into the slope. Although a labour-intensive cultivation method, it has been employed effectively to maximize arable land in variable terrains and cultures by reducing soil erosion and water loss.
In several regions agricultural terraces cover the mountains from base to peak. The most prominent examples of terrace cultivation are found in China, Japan, the Philippines, and other areas of Oceania and Southeast Asia; around the Mediterranean; in parts of Africa; and in the Andes of South America.
The ALPTER project (Interreg III B project dealing with the terraced landscapes of the Alpine arc) has proven that terrace cultivation can be found in other regions such as sub-Mediterranean hills, Dinaric areas and Alpine hills.
In modern times, the neglect of constructed terraces has had dire consequences for them in terms of structural decay: e.g. the loss of productive land, increase of natural hazards, disappearance of a rich cultural heritage, and loss of attractiveness for tourism.
The conference focuses on efforts to find ways to revive interest in terraced landscapes, to define recovery processes and to define implementation efforts for the maintenance of terraced landscapes.
Landslides are caused by the abandonment of terraced areas, posing a recurrent hazard to human life and livelihood. Terrace constructions are direct methods of preventing landslides, as they include modifying slope geometry, installing structures such as retaining walls, and rerouting surface and ground water drainage.
The aim of the theme is to share views, research experiences and practices, putting emphasis on following questions: What are precautionary means to prevent natural hazards? How efficient are various methods of preventing landslides? Which constraints must be confronted when reducing landslide hazards?
The construction of terraces not only extends the arable land, but also creates protected microclimates where particular varieties can flourish. Terraced landscapes originate from the demands of high-altitude agriculture and of gaining additional land in circumstances that elsewhere would not have seemed worth the effort. Furthermore, the cultivation of terraces nowadays raises many technical and marketing problems that must be considered in order to sustain the present farming activities.
The aim of the theme is to share views, research experiences and practices, putting emphasis on following questions: Are agricultural techniques such as terracing still increasing productivity? Are agricultural techniques such as terracing merely a simple modification of the old techniques? What kind of engineering problems does terracing present? How are improvements in farming techniques and the introduction of new crops influencing terracing?
Since the '90s, the dual goal of economic development through tourism and protection of the environment has been promoted. A variety of landscapes, climatic conditions and cultural diversity, often accompanied by renowned cuisine, support the world's leading tourist destinations. In our view, terraced landscapes are one of the most beautiful cultural landscapes, contributing to the identity and recognition of the local culture.
The aim of the theme is to share views, research experiences and practices, putting emphasis on following questions: Could tourism be a development strategy for the terraced areas? What kind of sustainable tourism, which fosters economic growth while preserving the quality of the environment, could be encouraged in terraced landscapes? What kinds of other support for local economies and local communities could be applied?
Policy and planning
Contemporary planners seek to balance the conflicting demands of economic growth, environmental sensitivity and aesthetic appeal. Successful implementation of a plan usually requires and increasingly involves private sector participation in public private partnerships. Subsidies to terraced landscapes could be instituted on the grounds that their preservation is in the public interest.
The aim of the theme is to share views, research experiences and practices, putting emphasis on following questions:: What kinds of measures, undertaken by which different institutions or government bodies, could influence professional planning of terraced areas? What kinds of policies are needed to preserve the terraced landscapes? What kind of methods are demanded for establishing control of successful implementation of a plan?
The conference will be conducted in the English language, with simultaneous translations into Slovenian and Italian languages. All abstracts and papers must be submitted and presentations prepared in the English language.