Agricultural landscape and countryside
Switzerland is famous for its attractive rural landscape. It can only be preserved, however, if we are able to recognise and assess the most important processes involved in changing it.
Supporting the countryside and managing the traditional rural landscape are key objectives of Swiss agricultural policy. ART is involved in three rural landscape projects:
- One important goal of farming, particularly in the mountain region, is to keep the rural landscape open. As part of the joint AlpFUTUR project ART is investigating the effects of overgrown countryside on species diversity and landscape.
- The new direct payment system brings with it the potential for increasing the importance of rural landscape management. So far there has been no indicator for assessing change in the rural landscape. ART is clarifying which indicators could be viable and meaningful.
- Nature/Landscape/Army: Military training areas are often found in the Alpine foothills and the Alps themselves. Agriculture and recreation are very important here. The idea is to devise utilisation concepts to defuse conflict between farming, recreation and the military.
Agricultural Landscapes: Assessing Development Potential and Land-Use Conflicts
Switzerland is characterised by a variety of agricultural landscapes. Here, with a view to their preservation and further development, we attempt to highlight their development potential and the land-use conflicts to which they are subject.
A Garden Full of Trees
Standard fruit trees are increasingly disappearing from our agricultural landscape. That’s why ART is developing alternative combinations of agricultural crops and trees which are not only profitable, but enrich the landscape as well.
Swiss Tree lines
Mountain timber lines are significant markers of transition between Swiss landscapes types. They play an important role in the environmental assessment of land-use change, land abandonment, and climate research.
Swiss Agricultural Landscape Types
What is typical for a landscape? What features characterise a landscape? What can be done to sustainably develop the character of a landscape? Are the measures transferable to other landscapes?
Landscape Typology of Switzerland – a baseline study
The fundamental analysis for Landscape Typology of Switzerland is based on a ‘dynamic model’ permitting landscape character classification to be flexibly adapted through weighting of the content parameters. Long-term constant features (primary landscape structure) orography, topography, geology, and climate were analysed and preparedclassified. As medium-term variable criteria (secondary landscape structure) landscape matrix (dominant land cover), high-alpine (forest-free) landscapes, landscapes characterised by settlements, and landscapes characterised by lakes and wetlands were delineated.