Integrating historical and social knowledge for restoring and planning traditional fruit landscape in Piedmont (Italy)

F. Larcher, P. Gullino, M.G. Mellano, G.L. Beccaro, M. Devecchi
The restoration and conservation of traditional rural landscapes is considered a priority at both the international and national level. Maintaining traditional features of agricultural activity and adopting a sustainable approach are imperative tools. Combining historical identity and sustainability is a big challenge for our society. In order to preserve and safeguard fruit growing in traditional rural system in Piedmont (North-West Italy) a multidisciplinary, integrated study was carried out. This research analyzed alternatives for the restoration of traditional orchard systems and proposed an innovative approach for maintaining traditional values and forecasting future land use changes. For identifying traditional landscape elements an historical study was performed. For analyzing public awareness concerning the future change factors and transformations affecting the traditional fruit landscape, one focus group meeting and five student workshops were conducted. Globalization, economic crisis of the local fruit market, agricultural trade and plant diseases were the main future change factors perceived by focus group participants. During focus groups, orchards disappearance/transformation and permanence/maintenance scenarios were built and discussed. During students' workshops, several change factors and future landscape scenarios were identified. The study showed that the historical knowledge and the participation and empowerment of multiple stakeholders can suggest solutions and strategies for the sustainable development of rural landscapes. Participatory approach might contribute to rural landscape planning policy and our results can be included in the future landscape planning programs and researches.
Larcher, F., Gullino, P., Mellano, M.G., Beccaro, G.L. and Devecchi, M. (2017). Integrating historical and social knowledge for restoring and planning traditional fruit landscape in Piedmont (Italy). Acta Hortic. 1189, 339-342
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1189.65
rural landscape, students, focus group, historical permanence, sustainability, fruit growing

Acta Horticulturae