Landscape as a Driver for Well-being: The ELC in the Globalist Arena

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This article was downloaded by: [Northeastern University]On: 10 November 2014, At: 22:12Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UKLandscape ResearchPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information: as a Driver for Well-being:The ELC in the Globalist ArenaShelley Egoz aa School of Landscape Architecture , Lincoln University , NewZealandPublished online: 18 Jul 2011.To cite this article: Shelley Egoz (2011) Landscape as a Driver for Well-being: The ELC in theGlobalist Arena, Landscape Research, 36:4, 509-534, DOI: 10.1080/01426397.2011.582939To link to this article: SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLETaylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. 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Terms &Conditions of access and use can be found at as a Driver for Well-being:The ELC in the Globalist ArenaSHELLEY EGOZSchool of Landscape Architecture, Lincoln University, New ZealandABSTRACT The European Landscape Convention (ELC) recognizes that landscapes aredynamic entities that change over time and advocates appropriate management strategies thatwill protect landscape values and the well-being of communities and individuals affected bychange. Global drivers are however often powerful forces to which the inhabitants of landscapedont have means to resist. Two cases of dramatic landscape change, in the contrastinggeographies and political contexts of New Zealand and Palestine, are presented. The firstexample is located within a benign context and the other in an area of extreme conflict.Nonetheless in both cases the changes described have striking visible impact on the landscape andsignificant flow-on effects, some of them intangible and unquantifiable, on the well-being of thepeople who inhabit these landscapes. These cases present the two ends of a spectrum in which thehypothesis of a world landscape convention inspired by the ELC is relevant. The argument is thatthe moral imperative of a landscape convention in the spirit of the ELC holds the potential tobecome the mechanism to mitigate such ill effects of landscape change at a breadth of situationsfrom the everyday ordinary landscape to military conflict zones.KEY WORDS: European Landscape Convention, landscape change, community well-being,New Zealand, PalestineIntroductionThe European Landscape Convention (ELC) recognizes that landscapes are dynamicentities that change over time and advocates appropriate management strategies thatwill protect landscape values and the well-being of communities and individualsaffected by change. Global drivers are however often powerful forces. The ELC as itis articulated today may not be addressing global economic drivers of landscapechange (Primdahl, 2007) to which local communities have little means of resistance.One of the ELCs important contributions, I argue nevertheless, is that itintroduces a moral dimension to the landscape discourse. The ELCs statementabout landscape being: a key element of individual and social well-being and thatits protection, management and planning entail rights and responsibilities foreveryone (Preamble to the European Landscape Convention, 2000), stresses socialequity as the underlying premise. The Council of Europe convention represents theCorrespondence Address: Shelley Egoz, School of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Environment,Society and Design, Lincoln University, PO Box 84, Lincoln 7647, Christchurch, New Zealand. Research,Vol. 36, No. 4, 509534, August 2011ISSN 0142-6397 Print/1469-9710 Online/11/040509-26 2011 Landscape Research Group LtdDOI: 10.1080/01426397.2011.582939Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014moral authority of Europe rather than State power (Olwig, 2007). The ELC istherefore underpinned by the spirit of common good and social justice. As suchit holds the potential to influence a world convention. Similar to the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights, a Universal Landscape Convention could become amoderating mechanism that addresses landscape abuse. Conceptually and philoso-phically related to human rights, a right to landscape is implicit in the essence of theideas captured in the ELC. Presidents Roosevelts 1940s vision for a need to definehuman rights emerged in the context of threats to freedom (Hayden, 2001). Today,climate change poses another acute threat; it is apt therefore that landscape, in itsholistic meaning as defined in the ELC becomes the driver to address such threats.To illustrate the importance of the moral imperative embedded in the ELC I focuson two examples of visible impact on the physical landscape. Both have significantflow-on effects, some of them intangible and unquantifiable, on the well-being of thepeople who inhabit these landscapes. I examine these cases against the hypothesis ofan international landscape convention inspired by the ELC.The case studies I present are from two geographically diverse locations, verydifferent in their political and cultural context. By unpacking these cases here Iillustrate the universal essence of landscape and that, as implied in the ELC, everylandscape affects well-being and could benefit from such a convention. The firstexample is from New Zealand, portraying dramatic landscape change in the peri-urban landscape. Urbanization is a worldwide common phenomenon and the way itdrives change of a landscapes rural character is not restricted to the New Zealandcontext. The New Zealand example, nonetheless, illustrates some of the short-comings of New Zealand domestic planning legislation and how it falls short inensuring the power balance between investors economic interests and residents iskept equal. The main lesson is that the effects based planning legislation in NewZealand which does not address cumulative consequences overlooks the holisticnature of landscape one of the principles that is at the core of the ELC. This iswhere a global landscape convention that endorses the values of the ELC couldcontribute to instilling the imperatives of rights of communities to claim a landscape.The second is the striking landscape transformation of the West Bank Palestinianterritory under Israeli occupation. An analysis of spatial elements that constitutethis landscape, correlated with the intangible humanitarian toll on the civilianpopulation, exposes the correspondence between landscape and well-being.I illustrate how the landscape has been fragmented through a spatial typology ofplanes, lines and point elements in the landscape. I make the point that thecumulative impact of landscape fragmentation on well-being is more than the sum ofits parts.1The drivers and resulting landscape of both cases are very different in politicalcontext, scale and severity of impacts on human beings. Nonetheless in both casesthe impact is a result of cumulative effects and the visible landscape expression ofglobal drivers has non-physical flow-on effects on peoples well-being. I thus chose topresent these two cases as indicators. The disparate case studies illustrate the twoends of the wide spectrum of situations where landscape and well-being are lacedtogether. Endorsement of a convention that adopts the approach that landscape is awhole and embeds a moral obligation for social justice can become the framework toaddress such effects.510 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014Case 1: New ZealandNew Zealand (NZ) is a relatively small nation (4.4 million inhabitants) in the SouthPacific. In the past two and a half decades, neoliberalism, free market ideology andderegulation have been politically prominent in NZ, with significant impacts on theplanned landscape.The first example is a case study of dramatic landscape change that had occurredin a small NZ settlement. Between 2000 and 2003 the residential area of Prebbleton,a small rural village in the region of Canterbury on the outskirts of Christchurch(Figure 1), increased fivefold, turning a once typical New Zealand rural village intoan everywhere landscape suburban neighbourhood (see Figures 2a, 2b and 3). Thistype of accelerated growth was occurring throughout New Zealand at a time ofeconomic growth. The scale of change became a topic for public concern discussed inthe media and environmental bodies (see reports by the Parliamentary Commis-sioner for the Environment, 2001, 2003).Through mapping the landscape changes and interviewing existing residents, theconsequences of the transformation in Prebbleton became clear, revealing unfore-seen and usually ignored subtle impacts of landscape change on community well-being, and highlighting a concern that local peoples views about a way of life andthe values they treasure in terms of the places they live in are overlooked (Egoz &Seiber, 2005).Global DriversNew Zealands economy opened up to global forces in the mid-1980s. A majoreconomic restructuring was driven to extreme by a free market paradigm known asthe New Zealand experiment (Le Heron & Pawson, 1996). The rural landscape inparticular was influenced by a shift to corporate farming or globalized agribusiness.While small farms endure the realities of annual and seasonal challenges, market-driven corporate farming is not so resilient. Unprofitability results in immediateconsequences of abandoning farming as in the Prebbleton area where the economicfailure of commercial apple orchards in the late 1990s saw a rapid transformationfrom rural to residential land uses (Roche, 2001).The collapse of international stock markets when the bubble burst in thelate 1990s drove a worldwide shift to speculative investments in real estate. A lowNew Zealand dollar attracted foreign investment.2 Readily available low interestcredit generated a surge in the standard of living and created a real estate bubble inNew Zealand similar to that in other Western countries. House prices rosedramatically (Lohr, 2005). Real estate was considered the most viable option forinvestment especially since in NZ, capital gains on property are often not taxed(Hargraves, 2008).3 The demand for land to build houses on increased. The viabilityof agriculture had been diminishing for a couple of decades, following economicliberalization in the mid-1980s that had contributed to a structural crisis inagriculture and a significant decline in income from farming (Campbell & Lawrence,2003). Farmers in peri-urban areas were eager to subdivide farming land to cater forurban dwellers desire for country-like properties (Fairweather, 1992). Arcadianideals and the aspirations for a bucolic lifestyle are persistent in NZ cultureLandscape as a Driver for Well-being 511Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014(Bell, 1996; Swaffield & Fairweather, 1997) as well as the sharing of Westerncultures dream of a suburban idyll representing affluence and a good life (Davison,2004).These global economic and cultural forces found fertile ground in the local contextof New Zealands unique approach to planning legislation. The Resource Manage-ment Act 1991 (RMA) was widely promoted as an enabling act, using an effectsbased approach to address environmental sustainability within a laissez-faireeconomic ideology protecting individuals property rights.4 For many individualfarmers the prerogative of selling off parts of their farms for residential developmentFigure 1. Location of Prebbleton in relation to the city of Christchurch.512 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014was an opportunity for profit that exceeded the prospects from farming. Cheapcredit drove an extensive culture of borrowing and many city people, who at thesame time were influenced by seductive global media images depicting idealizedsuburban lifestyles, chose to capitalize on the accessibility to loans and purchase asuburban home.The shaping of a landscape by a globalized economy and the realm of freelyflowing capital and information is however set within a local context.Local ContextPrebbleton remained a small village until 1999, when a sewage pipeline fromChristchurch City was constructed in order to allow for a local mushroom factory tocontinue production. The mushroom factory generated an unpleasant smell whichaffected the desirability of the town despite its proximity to the city and ruralFigure 2 (a and b). Prebbleton Village: a typical New Zealand rural settlement landscape.(Photos: author)Landscape as a Driver for Well-being 513Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014surroundings. After a long community struggle, the factorys composting facilitiesthat had caused the bad smell were removed from the village. The proximity ofPrebbleton village to Christchurch city centre was now a factor in determiningdesirability of properties. Christchurch City did not have large rural lots to offer newhomebuyers at a time of increased demand for property. It was evident toentrepreneurs that there was a potent market demand, and that Prebbleton was theideal location, offering the lifestyle choice of living in a rural village, perceived asa safe and healthy environment for families, coupled with benefits from theemployment, commerce and entertainment opportunities of the nearby city ofChristchurch. Once the new sewer line was constructed developers in the areaconverged eagerly on the town, and the liberal planning environment supported theirvision.Development and Change in PrebbletonThe first application for resource consent to change land-uses from rural toresidential was approved in 2000. The developer, a former farmer, believed that if, onthe same piece of land, revenues from houses exceeded revenues from crops it mademore sense to develop a residential neighbourhood on his property rather thancontinue to farm.5 The residents of Prebbleton were wary about an influx ofdevelopment that may transform the character of their village, and during 2001 thePrebbleton Community Association tried to oppose it, but their objection wasrejected and the acceleration of development continued. Following the success of thefirst developer in gaining consent to change the land-uses, others followed to fill inthe area between the existing built area and the year 2000 subdivision (see Figures 4and 5). The pie charts in Figure 5 demonstrate the dramatic change in land-usedistribution that occurred in Prebbleton between 2000 and 2003. Residential land-use grew from 13% to a total of 64% of the existing township boundary in a periodof only four years.Figure 3. The new suburban everywhere landscape of Prebbleton. (Photos: author)514 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014The InterviewsIt was clear that such accelerated growth must have an effect on an existingcommunity, and in this context in-depth interviews with 40 stakeholders in theprocess were conducted during the months of January and February 2004. Theinterviews included residents in the community, developers, and council employees.6The goal was to understand the circumstances in which the acceleration occurredand how the Prebbleton community viewed this change using an ethnographicapproach and qualitative methodology.7Most interviewees expressed lamentation and a sense of loss of the townshipsphysical character as well as the loss of community. They felt powerless and at themercy of the District Councils decisions, which they believed were driven bydevelopment pressure and the Councils want for a larger number of ratepayers.Some Prebbleton residents who had owned large rural properties perceived that theywere forced to subdivide and develop or they would be sandwiched in-betweensuburban neighbourhoods and no longer able to continue with their rural practicessuch as spraying or horse training. They felt that the decision to subdivide theirproperties was imposed rather than a freely made choice.A few interviewees expressed contentedness at the land-speculation opportunitiesthat the accelerated development had offered them. Nevertheless, this point of viewFigure 4. Prebbleton township on-ground development between 2000 and 2003.Landscape as a Driver for Well-being 515Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014did not represent satisfaction with the new type of suburban development. They didnot envision themselves staying in the community but rather ready to move furtheraway from the city where, with the capital they believed they could now receive fortheir Prebbleton properties, they would buy larger areas of land and continue withrural activities. Those residents accepted what they interpreted as progress;urbanization seemed normal to these few voices but yet not desirable for them asindividuals.One of the strongest themes that emerged in the interviews was a sense of loss ofrural character and loss of community: [The landscape is] just suburban sprawl.Well just join up with the city (interview 5) and Its not a village anymore(interview 1). The large areas that had been subdivided were viewed as out ofcharacter from the existing township, and a prevalent comment was the irony of howtown people were enticed to a rural environment, but at the end of the day foundthey were living in a citys suburban-like environment.The established residents who had been part of a rural village felt that a changeof lifestyle was now being imposed upon them:Figure 5. Land-use changes in Prebbleton 20002003.516 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014Its not you changing your lifestyle, its the Council saying how they cant lookforward enough to see whats in front of your nose . . . I used to live in thecountry whereas I dont feel that way now at all because this road outside mymain gate is just so, so, so busy. (interview 11)Suburbanization resulted in some intangible losses to this community. Oneinterviewee described how the increase in scale drove the cancellation of schooltrips and challenging activities that could no longer be managed in a large schoolenvironment. She felt that one cost of the transformation from a village environmentto a suburban one was paid by the children. (interview 5)The sudden increase also made some residents feel alienation in their ownneighbourhood:You know, if you walk past the houses there you hardly know nobodynow . . . weve lost our neighbours in a sense. (interview 13)Another concern voiced was how growth, that could have, in other circumstances,been an opportunity to strengthen a rural community, drove fragmentation ofcommunity instead.8 Most interviewees noted that they do not resent the idea ofgrowth in itself, but would have liked to have some say in the type of future growthand its impact on their community:You know, I think that the basis of any society is community. . . And Im notanti-development, Im pro-development, and I like to think that there arebenefits on the side of . . . It hasnt actually happened that way. (interview 3)Some of the new subdivisions have been designed to generate their own separateidentities, breaking away from the existing community rather than becoming partof Prebbleton. This was done through development of gated neighbourhoods(Figure 6).9 This type of neighbourhood design was viewed as driving fragmentationof community.. . . if you walk in just to walk the children or to go for a bike ride you actuallyfeel like youre going into someone elses territory, its not like its just part ofyour village. (interview 5)These gated communities are sold as part of an image of affluence and some of themsell at high market prices, creating a noticeable socio-economic gap between themodest properties owned by working-class residents:I find that a lot of new people moving in, have such comfy houses and its wholedifferent financial standpoint. But a lot of people dont even contribute to thetown. They just come live here. (interview 13)While the RMA is presumed to address effects, this voice that expresses social-classconcerns demonstrates the type of complex social effects that are difficult toquantify. The Prebbleton example illustrates Goodrich et al.s argument of setbacksLandscape as a Driver for Well-being 517Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014in the practice of social impact assessment in New Zealand that are at the bottomend concerning how we define the affected community, how we involve interestedand affected parties, and what their role should be in the decision-making process(2000, p. 113).Negative impact, however, is not restricted to lower income families. Lamentationand a sense of loss were also expressed by members of the Prebbleton communitywho had played an active role in contributing to the change. Despite gainingfinancial benefit from subdividing their properties they felt their actions were notdriven by free choice but imposed by the circumstances:. . . but from that time on [when the first subdivision was approved] you knewthat your dream was shattered, you werent going to end your days on that fiveacre block, and every time you went outside to do something whether it be buildanother fence, or do some work you wondered how long before the bulldozerwould come in and push it all down, and in the end the bulldozer did come in topush it all down, so all my hard work for twenty years, digging post holes andputting up fences and that, was all flattened. (interview 23)Gleeson (2000) discussed further social equity implications of the RMA. He arguedthat a new market approach drove commodification of the consent processconcluding that Allowing money to define certain critical aspects of the consentprocess. . . make[s] a mockery of the Acts claim to have enhanced publicparticipation in planning. Prebbleton residents indeed expressed their disillusion-ment with the ability of the RMA to represent community interest, and the inherentinequity embedded in the act:Under Resource Management, if youve got sufficient money to bring in yourexperts and to say what you want them to say, its very difficult to stop things.And it happens, because youll run out of money because theres no, um, noFigure 6. The new developments in Prebbleton often have an entry gate and a distinct name.(Photo: author)518 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014revenue for what youre trying to defend, but there is for the developer who istrying to achieve. There is the thought now that people are trying to maximizetheir properties in terms of subdivisions and if they can get twice as manysections, they can get twice as many, they would. Its very difficult to stopanything at all happening. (interview 3)One of the weaknesses of the RMA is its focus on the detail rather than on the wholepicture and the significance of cumulative effects. This piecemeal approach is myopicand fails to address the complex nature of landscape change:The Resource Management also falls down on the basis that youre onlylooking at basically the area . . . Each one [neighbourhood] has been taken intheir own context but what about the overall picture? (interview 3)Its the intangibles that arent really taken into consideration in the RMA andso, that sense of community, the downstream effect, the effect on theschool . . . (interview 5)These downstream effects of accelerated development triggered by global flow ofcapital were not addressed within the permissive local legislation mechanism.The New Zealand Case and a Landscape ConventionThe above excerpts from established residents highlight the limitations of thelocal planning legislation, the RMA, to address the type of aspirations that areencapsulated in the ELC.New Zealands legislation underpinned by a global neoliberal ideology of laissez-faire supported landscape change that had negative flow on effects on the wellbeingof a community. The RMA was promulgated as a sincere endeavour to addresssustainable management of resources. The rhetoric of the act is that ofenvironmental sustainability inspired by the 1987 Brundtland Report (Jacobsen,1999). Memon and Gleeson (1995), however, argued that this attempt to conflatetwo potentially conflicting ideologies, economic liberalism and environmentalprotection, into one planning act was driven by political pressure from threeinterest groups: the New Right, Environmentalists and Maori.10 The Act has sinceproved problematic; community and environmental groups critiqued the neoliberaldrivers and questioned the social equity implications of this permissive legislation(Gleeson, 2000; Goodrich et al., 2000).11The focus of the RMA on direct effects stands in contrast to the ideas embodiedin the ELC where landscape is understood as a whole. The Prebbleton case illustratesthat the principles that underpin the RMA fall short from adhering with the spiritof the ELC. The ELCs vision to achieve sustainable development based on abalanced and harmonious relationship between social needs [and], economicactivity (Preamble to the European Landscape Convention, 2000) might be anidealistic statement that in an international setting will face further challengesparticularly in a society such as New Zealand that rejects regulation. Nevertheless, itis the moral core spirit of the ELC that aspires to social justice that has the potentialLandscape as a Driver for Well-being 519Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014to address the more subtle ill effects of landscape change. The ELC directly addresseslandscape as an everyday living environment and explicitly states that landscape is amajor component of residents quality of life, ascribing a pro-active role to landscapeas articulated in the preamble: the landscape has an important public interest rolein the cultural, ecological, environmental and social fields . . .. It also emphasizesthe importance of public participation in this process. Identifying landscape as thekey actor is where a landscape convention has the potential to become a driver forwell-being and a mitigator of the ill effects of drastic change.The New Zealand situation is but one situation where the lack of a holisticapproach allows individual property rights to override community values. The storyof Prebbleton is an example of an everyday benign landscape that encounteredaccelerated change. The next example is at the other end of the spectrum of effects oflandscape change on people; it is a landscape situated within extreme conflictconditions and the ill effects on the inhabitants, while also intangible, are moreexplicit.Case 2: PalestineThis case describes striking landscape change that has been taking place in thePalestinian West Bank in the past few decades. This territory is in a different geo-political position to that of New Zealand. The latter is an isolated island nation thatwas colonized by the British Empire as late as the nineteenth century; there are fewsignificant strategic assets to warrant the attention of global superpowers whodominate the global agenda of economic, diplomatic and military policies.12 Incontrast, Palestine has throughout history drawn global attention as the spiritualcentre for worldwide spread monotheistic religions as well as a major crossroads inthe Middle East. In both cases the landscape change that is discussed in this paperwas moulded by global ideologies. In New Zealand it is neoliberalism while in thePalestinian West Bank, Zionism.Global DriversImmense forces that influenced Europe and the New World have also left their markon the landscape of Palestine since the late nineteenth century. In ideological terms itwas the formation of modern political Zionism, and the emergence of the concept ofa Jewish nation-state as a product of the Spring of Nations. Dramatic events inEurope had physical consequences on the ground in Palestine: the failed Russianrevolution in 1905, the First World War and its political aftermath, the rise ofNazism in Germany and the Holocaust. Every event that affected the Jews of Europeenticed a wave of immigration, some of which ended up in Palestine.In 1948 the State of Israel came into being and the pace of landscape changegained momentum. Global politics played a major role in the region: the Europeancolonial powers supported the fledgling Jewish state; one prominent example isEuropean engagement in military co-operation with Israel in 1956, with the failedattempt to regain control over the Suez Canal. It was the 1967 Six Day War howeverthat became a pivotal event to dramatically change the landscape of the West Bank.The outcome of this war proved Israel to be a regional superpower. By now the520 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014global trench line between the Western block of countries and the Soviet-influencedones was clearly defined with Egypt and Syria being on the Soviet side. Israel gainedcontrol over the Golan Heights (Syria), the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip(Egypt), and the West Bank (Jordan). Israeli Jewish settlement in this area beganin earnest in violation of international law (OCHA, 2007).13 The West Bank was aprime destination being perceived as strategically significant and an integral part ofthe Zionist narrative, as it is considered the heart of ancient Hebrew settlement in thecountry.The geo-strategic importance of Israel against the backdrop of the Cold War andthe proximity to the oil fields in the region enabled Israel to resist any internationalpressure that had been applied on it to withdraw from the Arab lands. The Israelisettlement of the West Bank which began as a trickle turned into a wave ofdevelopment of townships, cities and infra-structure that extended seizure of stateowned land (previously the Jordanian Crown), to privately owned Palestinianproperties. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War and the collapse ofthe Soviet Union triggered a massive wave of Jewish immigration from thoseterritories to Israel. Within one decade, during the 1990s, the population of Israelincreased by 20%. The newly arrived immigrants tipped the national political mapdrastically towards more settlement of, mainly, the West Bank. Many of them,encouraged by the government, became willing settlers.The landscape was affected by Israeli strategic drivers, ideologies and globaldrivers, each reinforcing the other. For example, during the Palestinian uprising(second intifada 20002004) Israeli security issues became more acute. For manyIsraelis the violent attacks and suicide bombings within Israeli cities legitimizedJewish Settlement in the West Bank as a security measure and way of ensuring Israelicontrol in areas where the violence was coming from. On a global level, the 9/11events and the so-called war on terror atmosphere enabled Israel to exert extremeforce with little international objection. These retributions triggered a wave ofcontemporary Muslim anti-Jewish sentiments in Europe, particularly in France,influencing Jews to immigrate or invest in real estate in Israel, including in theoccupied territories. This flow of global capital and prospective immigration helpedand justified an ideological drive to seize more land from Palestinians and to developJewish settlements which in turn have a dramatic impact on the landscape.The Landscape of the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the West BankIn this paper I focus on one area, the landscape of the occupied Palestinian territories(oPt) of the West Bank. This landscape which has been under Israeli occupation formore than 40 years has gone through significant change. The changes that arehighlighted here in particular are the outcome of the last decades violent clashesbetween the Israeli military and Palestinian resistance to the occupation during theperiod known as the second intifada and its aftermath (20002008).14 This is alandscape resulting from tightened Israeli military security measures coupled with anideologically driven expansion of Jewish settlements.15 Against these global drivers itis vital to understand landscape as a container of both tangible physical elementsand non physical ones. I hence use the situation of an area of political conflictover resources in order to illustrate how landscape change shaped by the globalLandscape as a Driver for Well-being 521Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014geo-politics and ideologies has flow-on effect on the everyday well-being of localcommunities who are caught in between.The ELCs principles imply that landscape is a holistic framework, an ecologicalsystem, a multi-dimensional and inclusive entity of components dependent on eachother, and one where the whole is more than the sum of the parts. One may contendthat the effects of forceful global drivers on human beings, particularly in extremeconflict situations, are not necessarily related to landscape change. NeverthelessI argue that an interpretation of the relationship between impacts on physicallandscape and their effects on humans adds another moral dimension to a landscapeconvention that could mitigate such effects. A right to landscape hence becomes ahuman right to well-being. These ideas will be elaborated on in the final discussion.Landscapes are primarily thought of as spatial but a temporal dimension is alsoinherent in the concept. As recognized in the ELC, landscapes are never static three-dimensional objects; they are complex and dynamic entities that evolve and changeover time and may be affected in various ways. In this case a specific striking exampleis the hill landscape of the West Bank of the oPt. Unchanged for centuries it has gonethrough significant transformation in only a few decades with Israeli settlementsincreasing over time (see Table 1). The time factor is thus a significant aspect in termsof both physical change and in its cumulative impact on the Palestinian population.The landscape change in the oPt is hence presented within a three-dimensionalframework: planes, lines, points (or nodes) keeping in mind the fourth dimension oftime as an underlying component that causes exacerbation of non-physical effects onwell-being.16Typology of Spatial Elements of the oPt LandscapePlanes. Planes are used here to describe areas that have a predominant twodimensional spatial character. In terms of landscapes that affect livelihood ofPalestinian inhabitants these include: Israeli residential settlements with theirconsiderable infrastructure and surrounding security buffer zones (see Figure 7)military bases, as well as closed military training areas and Israeli declared naturereserves forming territory from which Palestinians are barred. Palestinian authorRaja Shehadeh (2007) comments on his initial positive response to the notion thatIsraelis were setting aside land for nature conservation but later realized most natureTable 1. Jewish settlement in the West Bank and East JerusalemYearNumber of Jews settledin the West BankNumber of Jews settledin East Jerusalem1972 1182 86491983 22 800 76 0951993 111 600 152 8002004 234 487 181 5872006 282 400 184 057Sources: Israel Centre Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, Foundationfor Middle East Peace.522 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014reserves were to be inaccessible to Palestinians.17 Through these legally defined areasPalestinians are excluded from large areas of the West Bank. In 2007 these planefeatures covered almost 35% of the West Bank territory (OCHA, 2007).Lines. Line elements consist of a variety of barriers such as fences, trenches andwalls (Figure 8). Also significant as line features are the main roads in the region.These run between settlements and from settlements to Israel, servicing the Israelimilitary and Jewish settlers. Palestinian traffic is however largely excluded from theseroads by strategically placed point features such as earth mounds and roadblocks,and by fences and other barriers running alongside the roads.Figure 7. Plane element: Israeli settlement in the occupied territories. (Photo courtesy 8. Linear element: Fence. (Photo courtesy of as a Driver for Well-being 523Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014The most obvious line feature is the Separation Barrier also called the SecurityBarrier or The Wall (Figure 9), a combination of razor-wire, fence and concretewall that stretches, winds and twists its way through the West Bank separating Israelifrom Palestinian, Palestinian farmers from their land, and Palestinian communitiesfrom each other.The Barrier is planned to be 707 km long. By July 2010, 61.4% had been built and8.4% was under construction (OCHA/WHO, 2010). There is no legal objection tothe structure itself, striking as it is in the landscape, but the International Court ofJustice has given an opinion that it is illegal under international law wherever itsroute lies in Palestinian territory (OCHA, 2007, 2008b).18 The route of the barrierextends long fingers into Palestinian territory (see Figure 11). It encloses areas ofstrategic value to Israel such as high topography and proximity to existing Jewishsettlements; it also appropriates indispensable resources such as water and fertileland. In March 2009 published plans of the barrier indicated that more than 80% ofits route is illegal and, when finished, it will enclose 10.2% of West Bank territory.This enclosed territory becomes contiguous with Israel and is separated from the restof the Palestinian lands. Palestinians are largely excluded from a further 10.2% ofthe West Bank land that lies between the existing and planned Separation Barrierand the 1949 Armistice border.19 About 50 000 Palestinians living in towns andvillages in this closed military area20 are or will be when the barrier is built in theirarea, required to obtain permission from the Israeli army to continue to live in theirown homes or to cross into the remainder of the West Bank.Some degree of movement between the enclaves is permitted by the developmentof fabric of life roads. The Israeli army has created a system of underpasses, sunkenroads, and tunnels whereby Palestinian traffic on secondary roads can pass from oneenclave to another by passing under the major roads that connect the settlements.The Palestinian roads always pass under the settlements roads, never over them,mirroring symbolic power of Israeli control over the landscape and its inhabitants.Figure 9. Linear element: The Separation Wall. (Photo courtesy of S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014Each underpass, while offering a degree of connection is also, in Palestinianperception, always threatened by the possibility of instant closure by the Israeliarmy.Nodes. Point features or nodes within the landscape are the passive earth mounds,gates, roadblocks and the actively manned checkpoints. The passive features work toexclude Palestinian vehicles from certain routes and roads and to direct and controltraffic flows toward the checkpoints staffed by IDF soldiers or private securitycompanies (Figures 10a and 10b). By doing so, the movement of Palestiniansbetween each of the encircled areas is controlled, and at times of closure it can beprevented completely.The staffed checkpoints form stations where the identification of Palestinianswishing to travel can be checked and recorded, the people and their baggagesearched, and security prevented individuals can be turned back. At someFigure 10 (a and b). Nodes: Checkpoints. (Photos courtesy of as a Driver for Well-being 525Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014checkpoints an Israeli-issued permit is required in order to be allowed to cross, atothers blanket restrictions are imposed based on locality of residence, age and/orgender. There are many checkpoints where Palestinians are only permitted to pass onfoot and must rely on public transport to travel further. In April 2008 there were88 permanently or semi-permanently manned checkpoints and 520 passive elements(OCHA, 2007, 2008a, 2008c).All of these elements form a physical system, integrated with the legalistic permitregime that controls Palestinian movement from one enclave to another, into EastJerusalem, or into Israel. Palestinian travel eastward into Jordan is also governed byIsraeli control points, fences, and patrols on the Jordan River.In terms of the temporal dimension the area controlled by settlements, by militaryareas, Israeli nature reserves and enclosed by the Separation Barrier has increasedover time.Effects on Well-beingThe above-described spatial features of planes, lines and point elements, havecreated a fragmented landscape for the Palestinian residents (Figure 11). To movebetween the isolated parts of this landscape necessitates detours, travel on secondaryroads, use of public transport, Israeli issued permits, and it requires time. The statusof checkpoints changes continually and whether or not an individual will bepermitted to pass through will often depend on the whim of the soldier in charge.Palestinians have learned that the physical features of their landscape areunderpinned by uncertainty. The temporal element is one of gradually increasingrestraints and growing fragmentation of landscape and lives.Constraints due to inaccessibility. The sense of claustrophobia surrounding thoseliving under such constraints is well articulated by Raja Shehadeh when describing aget-away from the town of Ramalla into the open landscape in his book PalestinianWalks: We felt euphoric. Being stuck in Ramallah, surrounded as it was withcheckpoints at every exit, the experience of open space, with no walls, no barriersand a wide open sky, made us giddy with joy (2007, p. 147).Apart from the immediate impact on freedom of movement the system offragmentation and constraint means that rural people often have limited or no accessto their land. Land, and especially land on which olive trees grow, is an essentialunderpinning of Palestinian identity. Many Palestinian farmers can look out on theirancestral land but can have limited or no access at all to it. They see the landscapemodified, forested, or exploited as it is appropriated through confiscation or otherlegalistic processes.21In consequence the landscape has been modified: land uses were changed by thenecessity of families to convert their agricultural practices to low intensity, low-yieldcrops that can survive the lack of daily care required of intensively grown crops.Revenue from such crops was lower as a result (OCHA, 2008b).Many in the working population, not only the farmers, are separated fromlivelihood and income, whether due to further reduction of permitted access to betterpaid work in Israel or through simple inaccessibility of work places or markets whereproduce could be sold. While faced with a diminishing income due to exclusion from526 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014Figure 11. The fragmented landscape of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (adapted fromOCHA, 2007).Landscape as a Driver for Well-being 527Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014livelihood, most of the population experience an increased struggle to access servicessuch as education, health and other social services that might relieve their stress.Rytter et al. (2006) detail the impact of closures on access to hospital emergency care.Pregnant women living in enclaves seek residence in West Bank towns near hospitalsas much as a month before their due delivery dates so as to ensure that their access tosafe delivery services will not be stopped at a checkpoint (OCHA, 2008b). The IsraeliHuman Rights organization BTselem (2008) reported an incident of a baby stillbornat a checkpoint in September 2008. Other death incidents due to delays atcheckpoints have since been reported as the Barrier continues to be the main hurdlefor movement that affects access to essential health care (OCHA/WHO, 2010). Inaddition, access difficulties reduce the effectiveness of an important source of socialsupport in Palestinian society which relies on a network of the extended family. Thisvital tool of traditional support is breaking down as mothers are unable to assisttheir married daughters with childcare and sons can no longer find work to helpprovide for the family.Psychological effects. The crowding, the constraint on access, the daily humiliationand stress of checkpoints and military raids, and the perpetual uncertainty, alongwith the breakdown of normal social support, leave an enduring psychological effecton individuals (El Sarraj & Qouta, 2005; Giacaman et al., 2007; Srour & Srour,2006).In addition to the individual psychological tax there is a psycho-social cost ofprotracted conflict that affects both Israeli and Palestinian populations (Bar-Tal,1998, 2007). The landscape that to Palestinians is a representation of theircontinuous oppression (see for example Figures 9 and 10b) reinforces a prismthrough which society members construe their reality, collect new information,interpret their experiences, and then make decisions about their course of action(Bar-Tal, 2007, p. 1446).Environment and human health. The changes to the landscape also have impacts onthe local ecology and human physical health. The expansion of Jewish settlementsand infrastructure to support them (Figure 12) often drove deforestation. Large-scale excavations and construction of roads carved into the hilly terrain causedecological disturbances affecting destruction of local flora and fauna habitats (Isaac,2000).Sewage from settlements has been dumped onto neighbouring Palestinian landand in several cases waste waters seeped into groundwater polluting springs used byPalestinians (ARIJ, 2008; UNEP, 2003). Stagnant waste waters in valleys have beenknown to carry infectious diseases and an increase in illnesses such as hepatitis Aand diarrhoea has been reported by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in 2008(ARIJ, 2008). Solid waste generated in Israel has been discarded in the oPt (Isaac,2000), and several polluting industries who were not allowed to continue theirhazardous waste practices within Israel have relocated to the oPt (UNEP, 2003). Inaddition to the impacts upon the ecology and hydrology of the area, such affectsalso impact upon well-being both directly, through quantitative measures such asdisease, and indirectly, as in the qualitative indicators such as mental health andstress.528 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014Palestine and a Landscape ConventionGlobal drivers continue to impact the landscape of Palestine in multiple complexways. Changes in world politics and the 2008 election of a Democratic USadministration have also relieved some of the above described restrictions onmovement for Palestinians. International pressure on the State of Israel to ceasesettlement expansion is but one more example of the way in which global politicaldrivers might affect the landscape.The situation in the Middle East is still, however, volatile. One may argue that itwould be difficult to imagine that the political forces that instigated a dramaticlandscape change and its drastic humanitarian ill effects could be influenced by alandscape convention such as the ELC. Is Believing that the landscape is a keyelement of individual and social well-being and that its protection, management andplanning entail rights and responsibilities for everyone (Preamble to the ELC 2000)enough to promote landscape protection, management and planning (ELC Article3) in conflict areas?Violations of human rights have not ceased to exist since the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted more than 60 years ago bythe United Nations general assembly. The Geneva Convention has not eliminatedabuses all together. Yet, can we imagine a world without such axioms? The UDHRand conventions such as the Geneva Convention have become a point of referenceand a political measure to stigmatize abusive actions of states; sometimes publicopinion and international bodies have been successful in exerting political power toimprove situations. Human rights organizations are constantly addressinghumanitarian abuses in the West Bank of Palestinians. Their struggles do notalways yield results but in their absence, the state of well-being of Palestinians, bothin material terms and intangibles such as human dignity and hope, would be worse.My description of the landscape of the West Bank was portrayed within a spatialdivision into Plane, Node and Line elements keeping in mind the cumulative effectFigure 12. Expansion of settlement necessitates major earthworks. (Photo courtesy as a Driver for Well-being 529Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014of the temporal dimension. Landscape, nevertheless, is a larger whole, more than thesum of its parts. This concept which I have illustrated through the Palestine case isa major contribution that the ELC can offer: an understanding of landscape as aholistic and underlying component of well-being. A recognized internationalagreement to protect the landscape will introduce such a concept. A de-legitimizationof landscape abuse, I argue, can add another crack in the wall of oppression, andbecome a further mechanism to assist in a struggle against human rights abuses.Conclusions and DiscussionTwo cases were presented here to illustrate both how global drivers have had majorlandscape consequences, and how, in turn, a landscape convention might itselfbecome a driver for common good, aimed at enhancing well-being throughlandscape protection. In the first case, change was imposed on an everyday ordinarylandscape without the social consequences of global drivers being taken intoaccount. The second plots the landscape expressions of the hardships inflicted on apopulation under military occupation within a violent conflict context. In both cases,I hypothesize, there is a potential to utilize a landscape convention.A big step forward introduced by such a convention will be the move fromenvironment, an objectified term, to landscape as an umbrella concept of anintegrated entity: landscape as an entity that is imbued with meaning and comprisesan underpinning component for ensuring well-being and dignity of communities andindividuals (Egoz, 2010). Implementation of a landscape convention would have tobegin with this explicit understanding and a strong use of landscape related languagein policy documentation (Roe et al., 2008).If landscape, through the ELC, becomes a mainstream political concern (Olwig &Mitchell, 2009) in international discourse about justice and power, it holds thispotential of itself becoming a driver. In this respect the ELC is a visionary documentthat foresaw the need for what political philosopher Michael Sandel (2009) termsThe new politics of common good, politics that foster deeper moral and spiritualvalues in our public life. The landscape as we understand it in the ELC is commongood. In the light of our global climate change crisis the need to surpass nationalboundaries and focus on landscape as a universal agent for well-being is imperative.In his 2009 Reith Lecture series, Sandel called for a rejuvenation of democraticdiscourse and the building of institutions for civil society to transcend nationalboundaries and challenge existing paradigms. Olwig argues that the idea of aconvention in itself encapsulates public discourse:The Res Publica is a political community shaped through discourse andthe core of its power is thus essentially invisible because it depends upon aprocess of agreement about things that comes about through deliberation thekind of deliberation that takes place through a convention, for example (2009,p. 201).If a convention is the embodiment of public discourse and landscape is commongood, it is apt then that in the context of the impending threats of climate change it isa landscape convention that initiates this type of public democratic debate about530 S. EgozDownloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 2014a world protection and management of landscape. Although the ELC does notspecifically address global drivers (Primdahl, 2007), the Conventions moralauthority is a potentially powerful force to drive public engagement with discoursesabout landscape and introduce the power of the holistic nature of the concept as theframework to address the complex challenge of global drivers.Notes1. I first presented this analysis with Tim Williams at the Militarised Landscapes conference, Universityof Bristol, 3 September 2008.2. International attention became focused on New Zealand and its landscape through the success of thefilm The Lord of the Rings increasing the numbers of overseas visitors contributing to the boost in thecountrys economic prosperity.3. Legislation regarding capital gains tax on home sales is open to interpretation. The law defines taxableproperty upon sale as that which was built or bought with an intention for sale. Proving intention iscomplicated, thus this leaves the door open for speculation houses to avoid taxation.4. The Resource Management Act (RMA) combines in one piece of legislation law relating to theenvironment (land, water, air, pollution control) that had previously been spread through more than60 statutes. The Act moved away from the concept of direction and control of development towards apermissive system of management of resources focused on the control of adverse effects of land-useactivities on the environment. This approach is piecemeal and does not address cumulative effectsof landscape change such as for example urban sprawl and the protection of land having high valuefor the production of food. Under the RMA, regional authorities are autonomous, responsible onlyto comply with national policy directives, of which there have been few. This has resulted in widevariations between regional, and subsequently local, plans.5. Interview 35, Prebbleton study (Egoz & Seiber, 2005).6. Since the focus was on how the change affected an existing community, the new residents in the recentsubdivisions did not partake in this study. The perspective of newcomers on whether the newlandscape has met their expectations may be a topic for a different study.7. This enabled the gathering of experiential information as well as personal opinions and viewpoints ofinterviewees. Data gathering was driven by a quest to explore a variety of views and sample size wasdetermined by theoretical saturation the point at which additional data no longer contributes tothe development and refinement of understanding (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Resident names weretaken from public domain property-valuation database information. In addition, word of mouthsnowballing was used when some residents recommended others to the interviewer. In contrast to asurvey-type questionnaire that will process statistical data, this form of data analysis of unstructuredinterviews is meant to paint a picture of a social situation. It provided a wider range of opportunitiesto gain an understanding of the grassroots dynamics that went on in Prebbleton. Such a perspectiveis important and can set a foundation for further research questions.8. At the outset, it is worth emphasizing that when people lamented loss of community they often made itclear that they had nothing against the people in the new subdivisions; established residents feltthere was no reason to blame the new residents for the process. The problem was in the planningprocess that was viewed as short-sighted.9. The gates are not locked but still signify separation from the existing community, something which isfurther instilled by the distinctive naming of the residential enclaves which sets them apart fromPrebbleton.10. New Zealand-Aotearoa is a bi-cultural society including settlers and Maori, the Indigenous people ofthe land. Their rights are anchored in the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi with the British Crown, howevertensions regarding resources including land ownership are ongoing. Influences on planning issues arethus vital to the well-being of Maori.11. For more on the debate around the RMA, see Jacobsen (1999), May (1997) and Memon and Perkins(2000).12. At the outset, one can argue that New Zealands main strategic asset is its extensive land for foodproduction and that global economic forces do get involved; for example, the 2010 attempt of Chinato purchase a significant stake in the NZ dairy industry.Landscape as a Driver for Well-being 531Downloaded by [Northeastern University] at 22:12 10 November 201413. According to Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, Paragraph 6. Deportation andtransfer of persons into occupied territory.14. To understand the context of the evolution of the oPt landscape see a review of the four commonlyidentified major periods in the history of the occupation in Egoz and Williams (2010).15. One prominent feature of Israeli occupation in landscape, law and social interactions, is the illegalsettlement of Jewish Israeli civilians in the territories. These settlements were strategically planned andlocated, and their expansion is managed, according to long-term political and military agendas (Segal& Weizman, 2003; Weizman, 2007).16. It should be noted that in addition, Israeli domination of the Palestinian landscape extends vertically from sovereignty of airspace to control of underground water aquifers (Weizman, 2007).17. The Oslo agreement of 1996 divided the West Bank into three categories of control:- Area A was to be in total control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for civil affairs and security/law and order.- Area B would be under PA control for civil affairs and Israeli control for security.- Area C, which included 60% of the land area, would be under total Israeli control.Water resources and population registry were excluded from PA control in Areas A and B. Mostnature reserves are in area C under Israeli control into which Palestinians have been forbidden freeaccess since 1996.18. The construction of a separation wall that would allegedly prevent suicide bombers from enteringIsrael began in 2002 during the second intifada (uprising) that witnessed a bloody vicious circle ofviolence, most dramatically suicide bombings within Israeli cities and Israeli military brutalretributions on the Palestinian population.19. The route of the wall generally follows the 1949 armistice line, called The Green Line. Nonethelesswhile The Green Line is just over 320 km, the planned contorted route of the wall is 707 km, morethan twice the length.20. These figures do not include the population in annexed East Jerusalem.21. In a study of 67 communities in the northern West Bank that have lost direct access to their farmlandby the building of the wall, only 20% of farming families had permits to pass through the gates in thewall to work their land or bring in the harvest (OCHA, 2008b).ReferencesARIJ (2008) Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories (Jerusalem: AppliedResearch Institute). Available at 26 October 2008).Bar-Tal, D. (1998) Societal beliefs in times of intractable conflict: The Israeli case, International Journal ofConflict Management, 9, pp. 2250.Bar-Tal, D. 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