While reading the UNESCO expectations for integrity in World Heritage Cultural landscapes, I was surprised to find that the size of the landscape in question is significant. The guidelines ask if the landscape is “of adequate size to ensure complete representation of the features and processes which convey significance?”
While this raises a host of questions, my first of which is how can we represent and protected fragmented landscapes? For example, those that have succumbed to development and urban sprawl?
Secondly, does this emphasis on size and grandeur come from the romantic notions of landscape as cultivated by artists in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries? As cultural landscapes must be understood as being tied to a specific culture, people, or cultural phenomenon, is this association limiting?