5 years ago

The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

Stefanie Maack, Tuuli

Stefanie Maack, Tuuli Veersalu, Henri Järv, Asnate Ziemele CULTURAL HERITAGE PILOT PROJECTS AT THE BALTIC GREEN BELT settlement has been constrained to fishing villages lining the coastline. Today the fishing villages are increasingly transforming into recreational and summer holiday villages. The National Park is an important tourist destination both at the national and international level as the distance to the capital Tallinn is only approximately 35 to 40 kilometers. Visitation infrastructure, including nature and teaching trails, is already welldeveloped. Camping and campfire sites for public use have also been set up.[8] The former eras have left marks in the landscape such as numerous preserved landing places, lighthouses, churchyards, old cemeteries and cromlechs, stone fences, manor complexes, etc. Within the Baltic Green Belt project 357 objects of cultural heritage were investigated on the coastline of Lahemaa National Park, most of which were not considered as objects of cultural heritage before[9]. 2.2 Problem Lahemaa National Park is located in the territory of two local governments – Kuusalu municipality� and Vihula municipality. Both municipalities have a valid comprehensive plan[10], which treats the national park as a recreational and tourist area with distinct local holiday sites converging near popular sandy beaches. The local governments aim to develop environmentally friendly tourism. Realising the tourist potential is only possible in collaboration with the national park and its administration. Upon drafting their comprehensive plans (at the beginning of 2000-s), the local governments on the territory of which the national park is located, have come across several disagreements and dissatisfaction resulting from strict restrictions subject to the (somewhat outdated) protection rules of the national park and the concurrent burocracy. Problems are rooted in conflicts between Estonian laws of that time. Rapid changes in society have led to significant changes in legislation, i.e. Estonia joined European Union in 2004, which caused remarkable changes in legislation as well. It has yet been impossible to solve such problems within the planning process.[11] One specific example are strict and for owners quite costly architectural requirements. In Lahemaa most of such problems are caused by requirements to protect rural architecture considered with high cultural value. At the moment 447 buildings all over the Lahemaa National Park territory are protected as National Heritage objects.[12] The inhabitants have expressed the feeling of living in the national park as museum exhibits. 2.3 Objectives and approach Lahemaa National Park protects the cultural heritage in a very complex manner, which does not occur only by protecting material objects, but includes also intangibles such as preservation of traditional land use, building traditions, settlement structure and toponymy, handicraft skills, heritage landscapes, semi-natural communities etc. In some other, much broader coastal area zoning Lahemaa as a whole would probably qualify as one “protected area”. Traditionally, internal zoning of a protected area aims at determining zones under different protection rules in order to preserve the values of nature. The zones may include e.g. strict nature reserves, natural and maintainable conservation zones and limited management zones. [14] The purpose of present zoning of Lahemaa National Park was somewhat different than usual: the zoning of the coastal area[15] was laid out to encorporate not only protection but also planning principles. The aim was to focus on cultural landscapes by studying land use 118

Stefanie Maack, Tuuli Veersalu, Henri Järv, Asnate Ziemele CULTURAL HERITAGE PILOT PROJECTS AT THE BALTIC GREEN BELT consistency and allocation of protected objects including cultural heritage objects and seminatural communities. Three different types of areas were distinguished: (1) areas which meet the economic and social needs of modern men, (2) areas where it is possible to practice a so called traditional ways of living (i.e. fishing, farming) and (3) areas where it is possible to combine both (i.e. tourism farms). The objective of the study is interesting because the framework conditions have substantially changed since the original completion of the comprehensive plans. Several relevant legislative documents have changed, and the national park protection rules are currently being updated. Additionally, more detailed data are available: The inland objects of cultural heritage were investigated after completion of the comprehensive plans, from 2007 to 2009. Coastal objects of cultural heritage were assessed just recently within the Baltic Green Belt project. A literature based analysis about the architectural heritage and settlement structure of Lahemaa has been issued lately. Comparing these new data with the planned land use set by comprehensive plans reveals situational changes, new links, relationships and possibilities. The final goal is to give recommendations for terms of development (use) by zones in a way, which enables to maintain cultural heritage in a more complex manner and more integrated with spatial planning and conservation. 2.4 Activities and outcomes: Zoning The current, new zoning is regarded as a way to match the coastal area’s planning structure with the planning situation. The former is shaped by the opportunities of the society and the needs and intentions of the local community. The latter is shaped by both natural and anthropogenic characteristics of the territory. The current zoning methodology is largely based on a recently completed analysis and database of Lahemaa’s historic land use[9]. The project illustrates the traces left in the landscapes by different eras and the effect of historical land use on the development and allotment of today’s landscape units. Additionally important input was provided by the Baltic Green Belt database of cultural heritage objects and studies about settlement structure. The zoning in progress follows the traces of consistency in land use. The output of the zoning is an explanatory report and digital map layers (fig. 2). Upon zoning, three conceptual zones have been regarded. The coastal water zone’s baseline is the regular water line and it extends seawards up to the imaginary line connecting the utmost points of the islands, islets and peninsulas, measured from the coast. The coastal sea zone (not displayed in fig 2.) relates to fishing; it extends seawards from the coastal waters. The coastal land zone extends from the regular water line to the inland border of the zoned area (3 kilometres from the regular water line). [17] Within the coastal land zone, smaller subzones can be distinguished, for which specific use recommendations shall be formulated during further work: 1) Natural landscape zone 2) Secondary forest zone (formerly cultivated landscapes) 3) Farmland zone (cultivated landscapes) 4) Coastal zone (cultivated landscapes) 5) Dispersed settlement zone (cultivated landscapes) 119

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