Profile of Miss Bianca Maria Politecnico di Torino

Bianca Maria

General research interests

Environmental and Landscape Planning, mainly focusing on land use conflicts between nature conservation and human use of open landscapes.

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Territorial Planning and Locale Development

PhD Abstract

Interest in landscape and biodiversity in territorial planning research is growing dramatically at a global scale. Even if they can be considered as “traditional” topics for planning (think of the urban planning tradition of green and park planning pursuing landscape quality within cities, and protected areas' planning aiming to biodiversity conservation), new interests and needs are investing them, due to contemporary social and economic changes. As a matter of fact, one of the main focuses for research is currently the so called “multifunctionality” of landscape, underlying the need to strenghthen the sinergies between landscape and biodiversity through a more comprehensive planning. In a certain way, planning processes are seen indeed to have treated landscape and biodiversity as separated issues (the one comprising “human values” related to physical and psychological health and aesthetic appretiation, the other concerning the health of other forms of life), most of the times focusing alternately on the one and implicitly leaving the other undergoing not controlled impacts and externalities.
In this frame, the present research investigates the opportunities and difficulties for an effective integration among landscape and biodiversity within territorial planning processes. The ultimate questions are: (concepts level) is there a mismatch attaining the conceptual and linguistic level in the talk of different specialist involved in the planning process about biodiversity and landscape? (Policy level) As policies have a relevant role in addressing laws and planning approaches, are the ones regarding biodiversity and landscape sufficiently coherent in order to enable territorial planning to pursue a strong “multifunctional vision”? (Planning level) Finally, which are the main obstacles to be solved within planning processes and procedures and plans' implementation to get a real integration between biodiversity and landscape needs?
The survey has been articulated in three sections, corresponding to as many questions, each one developed through a specific methodology.
The “concepts level” comprises the examination of the specific terminology from biology and ecology borrowed by planners who often apply to it sensible shifts in meaning. An example of this mismatch is the term “diversity”, counting at least six meanings; the value associated to landscape “diversity” is usually positive to ecologists (meaning high levels of biodiversity), while sometimes it is less desiderable for landscape planners who on some occasions have to preserve the homogeneous character of specific landscapes (i.e. intensive vineyard landscapes). This means that putting in light linguistic and conceptual lacks of conformity has also an important repercussion on more operative matters.
Within the policy section, the integration among landscape policies and biodiversity strategies with territorial concern within European Union Countries is tested (offering for the very first time such a cross-cutting overview on this issue). The results of this section show that, dispite the harmonisation process carried out by the EU in the matter of environmental law and issues, European Countries don't share the same idea of “nature and landscape conservation and management”. Indeed there are progresses to do in many directions: from European to single-Country level.
Finally, assumptions for integrated territorialization among landscape and biodiversity through planning processes are sought in the final section of the thesis, analyzing Italian and international case studies facing with the development of approaches to cope with the emerging multifunctional landscape paradigm. The main focus will be on the potential sinergies and conflicts in planning and management of multifunctional green networks.
The methodological approach to investigate this topic is currently under development, and it could get useful feedback from the discussion within the Young Academic meeting.

Latest deposited documents

Landscape and Biodiversity as Emergent Challenges for Planning: Separating or Integrating? image
Landscape and Biodiversity as Emergent Challenges for Planning: Separating or Integrating? (February 2011)

Interest in landscape and biodiversity in territorial planning research is growing dramatically at a global scale. Even if "traditional"...