1. Landscapes are places of economic productivity Landscapes are of key importance for the economic potential and prosperity of a region. The technological modernisation of agricultural processes brought about a radical reorganisation of hydrological systems (mainly due to drainage and irrigation facilities), an overall increase of land use intensity and an entirely new infrastructure network that provided easy access for any type of vehicle. At the same time, the changes accompanying economic development have become visible characteristics of both traditional as well as modern landscapes. The dominant function of agriculture is changing and its formative role is now in some areas being taken over by other functions e.g. urbanisation and recreation.
  2. Landscapes consist of recognisable units A landscape is as a recognisable region that is distinctly different from neighbouring regions. In some cases such borders can be easily distinguished, but in other cases sophisticated procedures are needed to detect diffuse boundaries. This is also reflected in the above landscape definition. The large diversity of landscapes characteristic for specific regions is one of the key cultural heritage elements of Europe, although much threatened in recent times. There is a tendency for regional differences between landscapes to disappear. However, these differences are of utmost importance for the maintenance of regional identity, cultural heritage, tourism and nature conservation and therefore require appropriate policies to be defined. 
  3. Landscapes provide identity to places Landscapes give identity to places where people live, work or recreate. Quality of life of residents, workers and tourists is largely determined by the intrinsic quality being perceived in the landscape. However, esthetical and perceptional landscape values are a difficult issue and will be addressed in LANDSCAPE EUROPE. The aspect of identity in relation to landscape also implies that landscape is also subject to changing ideas determined by people's perception of place and time. Although this may seem to be a complicating factor for landscape research, it is essential to find ways to incorporate the required flexibility in the research approaches, so as to enhance people's participation in research application landscape design and landscape policy. LANDSCAPE EUROPE aims to play a pivot role in this complex but challenging research area for Europe.