2017 / Merging Landscapes / A – Ideas


During decades in Catalonia, the Mediterranean landscape composition and structure were managed by the necesities of civilisation, whose dynamics resulted in a mosaic shaped by crops, pastures and sparse and fragmented forests. But in the last few decades, the abandonment of the agricultural uses as well as wood extraction meant the perfect opportunity for the forest to overgrowth. This resulted into a continual and dense forest, an homogeneous landscape, vulnerable to disturbances.

The Project is set in Barcelona, between the agricultural area of El Penedés and L’Ordal forest system and it is the result of the intertwining of this agroforestry mosaic. The main goal is to generate a more hetereogeneous landscape that leads to an increase in biodiversity, ecosystems’ health and resilience to fire disturbances. Recovering some of the lost agricultural fields and stablishing different gradients of forest density the project entails new forest structures that are adaptable and self-resistant to fires. Tourists, hikers and bikers are conceived as agents in this landascape, so the project also pretends to comunicate to society the value of the territory by promoting trails, clearing path borders and summits, where the viewpoints are more interesting for users.

Merging Landscapes also understands that wildfires are an intrinsic disturbance associated with the natural dynamics of Mediterranean forest systems, and that fire is an inherent agent for its ecosystems. So, working with forest management and recovering the fire as a tool, the project pursues the positive effects of low-intensity prescribed burns, mainly reducing the combustibility and removing competition of vigorous trees (germination of the seed bank of holm oaks) and increasing productivity of the lands.

Attending the topography and fire behaviour patterns the most strategic areas can be idenified. These constitute the points where the fire has more probabilities to start and the surfaces where fire would spread faster.

As a dynamic process, the project follows a management and manteinance plan over the time, playing with sinergies between the different agents (land owners, farmers, native goats, firefigthters, hikers, general users of natural spaces and tourists) to generate a close-cycle of profit.

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IFLA Europe
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