Sustainable Management of Cultural Landscape


European Union Erasmus + Strategic Partnership

October 2017 - December 2020

From a landscape management viewpoint, the need to preserve natural, cultural and intangible values, and develop them from an evolutionary perspective into sustainable living environments, has always been of great importance. This is true even for particularly sensitive cultural landscapes, which are constantly changing, and need to be developed to meet the requirements of present day society. Furthermore, the fast-growing tourism industry requires sustainable management practices so that the development of cultural landscapes into touristic products avoids the adverse effect of mass tourism and does not compromise sustainability issues.

Cultural landscapes are sites associated with a significant event, activity, person or group of people. They can be grand estates, farmlands, public gardens and parks, college campuses, cemeteries, scenic highways, and industrial sites or works of art, narratives of cultures, and expressions of regional identity. Cultural landscapes can range from thousands of hectares of rural tracts of land to a small homestead with a front yard of less than one hectare. Like historic buildings and districts, they reveal aspects of a country’s origins and development through their form, features, and the ways they were used. Cultural landscapes also reveal much about our evolving relationship with the natural world.

Project Deliverables


The objective of this partnership is the development of courses and didactic resources on Sustainable Management of Cultural Landscapes, Regional Development and Cultural Heritage to be conducted at a Master’s level.

  • Curriculum development: Sustainable Management of Cultural Landscapes, Regional Development and Cultural Heritage based on a number of cases

  • Case studies of cultural landscape management

  • Workshops, conferences and Intensive Programmes

  • Scientific publications in the ECyS Journal ECOCYCLES

  • Landscape management software for local and regional development and planning

SUMCULA Ecocycles Articles

The following papers were generated by Gaia Education during the project:


Community-led approaches and interventions for the regeneration of abandoned towns in southern Italy

May East, Ecocycles Journal, 2(1), 18–25. | Read it here


Current thinking on sustainable human habitat: the Findhorn Ecovillage case

May East, Ecocycles Journal, 4(1), 68–72. | Read it here


Community-based solutions to locally-sourced food production systems featuring the revival of indigenous knowledge

May East, Christopher Mare, Ecocycles Journal, 4(1), 32–40. | Read it here


Regenerative strategies for climate justice

May East, Ecocycles Journal, 4(1), 41–46. | Read it here


Rising cities: continuity, innovation and deliberation of Vauban District, Freiburg, Germany

May East, Ecocycles Journal, 4(2), 58–71. | Read it here


Mapping the ‘Presency’ of Women in Cities

May East, Ecocycles Journal, 5(2), 1–5. | Read it here


Design for sustainable cultural landscapes - A whole-systems framework

May East, Ki Utara Pinheiro-Gibsone, Bernard Combes, Ecocycles Journal, 7(1), 1-13. | Read it here

Project Partners


Members of the partnership cover a wide range of competences: 


University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Coordinating institution: built cultural heritage, industrial landscapes, floating heritage, climate change, geomorphology, bio-diversity, remote sensing and GIS

University of Pécs, Hungary

Cultural heritage studies, regional development, strategic planning, adult education, floating heritage of rivers and lakes, viticultural landscapes, economy of regional planning, environmental law

University of Pannonia, Veszprém, Hungary

Regional development of disadvantaged regions, sustainable agriculture, agro-economy, bio-energy production, tourism, viticulture, remote sensing and GIS

Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency (LBDCA), Siófok, Hungary

Regional infrastructure planning, management of nature reserves and national parks, lake-management (shallow lakes), cultural heritage of rural areas

European Ecocycles Society (ECyS)

Sustainable ecological cycles, environmental management, international networking and publishing in the journal ECOCYCLES

University of Palermo (UNIPA), Palermo, Italy

General soil science and soil conservation, water resources management in arid environments, environmental protection, waste management, viticulture and conservation of viticultural landscapes, remote sensing and GIS

Ecole des Métiers de l’Environnement (EME), Bruz, France

Environmental technologies, environmental chemistry, remediation of polluted landscapes, renewable energy technologies, flu gas cleaning, biogas production, waste management

Mendel University (MENDELU), Brno, Czech Republic

Forestry, forest ecosystems, conservation of forest landscapes, landscape dynamics, environmental protection, environmental health and epidemiology

Gaia Education, Findhorn, Scotland, UK

Whole-systems design of ecological settlements, waste management and implementation of zero waste policies, environmental sociology, regenerative economies, adult education for sustainable development, lifelong learning

Slovak Agricultural University (SPU), Nitra, Slovakia

Agriculture, food safety, bio-energy, environmental law, regional development

University College of Tourism and Ecology (WSTiE), Sucha Beskidzka, Poland

Sustainable tourism, tourism-informatics, eco-tourism

Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

Viticulture and enology, environmental science, cultural heritage

University of Applied Sciences (HTW), Dresden, Germany

Environmental science, urban agriculture, landscape architecture

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