Home » Park Authority » Delegate functions

Landscape constraint

Article 9 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation, and promotes its enhancement.

The protection and enhancement of the cultural landscape heritage contribute to defending the memory of the national community, its unity and its territory.

Starting from these first grounds, the "European Landscape Convention", was signed in Florence in October 2000 between the Member States of the European Union, in which the "landscape" is defined as: "a certain portion of territory, so as perceived by people, whose character derives from the interaction of natural and anthropic factors".

Even if it is a very new concept and linked to the modern culture, the landscape has now became de facto one of the key elements for the sustainable development of human communities, based on a balanced relationship among social needs, economic and production activities and the environment.

The landscape has, therefore, important functions of general interest: on the cultural, social, ecological and environmental side it also represents (especially in a country such as Italy and even more in regions like Tuscany) an essential resource for the economic activity.

The landscape cooperates, even at an international level, for the development and maintenance of local cultures and represents an essential part of the cultural and natural heritage of Europe, thus contributing, in a decisive way, to the welfare of citizens, in addition to the consolidation of national identities as well as of the European identity.

The landscape is everywhere an important and irreplaceable physical perceptive element of the quality of life: both in urban areas and in rural areas, and both in degraded areas (in need of recovery) and in exceptional or great quality areas.

The landscape, finally key element of individual and social wellbeing, and its preservation, its right management, its balanced planning entail rights and responsibilities for each individual and each community.

With these assumptions and on the basis of these principles, the law has nowadays adopted a specific "Code of the cultural and landscape heritage" approved by Legislative Decree January 22, 2004 No 42.

This legislation has its roots in the early normative enactments on historic monuments and landscape aesthetic values: the laws of 1939, number 1089 on the monuments and number 1497 on the landscape beauties.

The legislation is now greatly enhanced, sophisticated and articulated through a series of subsequent legislative, corrective or supplemental decrees of Decree 42/2004.

The landscape constraint is present over the territory through specific Decrees of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage ("declaration of significant public interest" - Articles. 136-141 DL 42/2004 and subsequent amendments and supplements), which identify delimited and well defined parts of the territory considered of a particular value, or for general categories of land resources (so-called "protected areas by law - art. 142 DL 42/2002 and subsequent amendments and supplements"), as originally defined by the law 431/1985 and now taken up by the Code on the landscape , in which the landscape value is intrinsic, such as: the sea coasts, lakes, glaciers, mountains above a certain altitude and just the territories falling in parks and nature reserves.

The constraint is currently run in cooperation between the Regional governments and the Superintendences, as a matter comparticipated Regions State.

The landscape planning and authorization (Articles 143-146 DL 42/2004) is the responsibility of the Regional governments with the binding consultation of the Superintendences; the Regional governments also have the right to sub-delegate those powers to local authorities (Municipalities, Provinces, etc..) for their respective territories.

So it was for the Tuscany Regional Authority, which has sub-delegated, through its legislation on the regional territory government (Law 1/2005 with subsequent amendments and supplements), the competence for issuing the landscape authorization to the Municipalities and, previously, to the Regional Park Authorities.

The Tuscany Regional Authority has recently adopted also the landscape planning tool of the whole territory: the Plan of Territorial Address (PIT) which will constitute, together with the territorial plans of the parks duly approved and in force, the landscape plan under the clause 143 of the Code of the cultural heritage and landscape. The PIT therefore becomes a tool guide to which all the other tools for the planning and management of the territory of Local Authorities must adapt (municipal town plannings, provincial coordination plans, etc.) .

In this context it is still clear that the protection and respect of the territory, within a sustainable development, must be centered on the preservation of biodiversity, which also means a constant attention to the protection of the landscape, in the awareness that within the areas of high and recognized naturalness (just like parks) the protection of the landscape is given by the protection of the present ecosystems and biodiversity and thus confirms an overriding expertise of the Park Authorities even in matters of Landscape discipline.