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Peter Kurz

Abstract

The paper explores transformations in agriculture during the period 1995–2015 and shows their impact on rural landscapes in the case of Austria. When Austria joined the European Union in 1995, this meant a minor gash in agricultural politics, from broad support of smallholder agriculture to a programme of modernisation and rationalisation. Austrian politicians defined this shift as a process of “ecological modernisation” (Fischler et al. 1994), incorporating agri-environmental schemes as instruments and modifying existing programmes of direct payments. The survey forms the groundwork for a discussion on landscape effects of the CAP as an “ecological” modernisation programme and possible impact of the CAP-reform 2020.

Open access

Peter Kurz

Abstract

The paper explores the relationships between alpine pasture management and pastoral landscape ecosystems, based on research set in the Austrian limestone Alps. The focus of inquiry is laid upon the different management practices employed by pasturing communities. Therefore, the concept of “farming styles”, as introduced by Ploeg (1994) is adapted. Five different types of alpine pasture management could be identified. Those types are investigated further on their impacts on natural environments of vegetation- and landscape patterns, taking diversity of plant communities as an indicator. It is figured out that management strategies as a central factor shaping diversity in mountain pastureland shall be considered in the design of agro-environmental policies and in nature conservation.

Open access

Peter Kurz, Gisa Ruland and Sibylla Zech

Abstract

Many (World Heritage) cultural landscapes are a living environment for thousands of inhabitants, visitors, entrepreneurs, farmers and other land users. In order to manage such landscapes we have to consider the legal framework and the reality of the regional planning culture. The ‘landscape of regional players’ consists of a wide range of stakeholders. How should regions tackle natural and cultural heritage as an integrated part of regional development? The discussion of Austria’s Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut World Heritage region involves vertical and horizontal dimensions of governance, including politics, administration, private businesses and civil society.