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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 [16] Veersalu, T., Kabin, V., Sepp, K., Roose, A., Järv, H., 2012. Zoning of the coastal area of Lahemaa National Park. Estonian University of Life Sciences. [17] Palginõmm, V., Veersalu, T., 2009. Zoning of the coastal area of Saare county. In: Kont, A., Tõnisson, H., (Eds.) Effects of the climate change on the coast of Estonia. Research results of ASTRA project. Tallinn University, Institute of Ecology publications 11/2009 Tallinn, pp. 128-146. [18] European Commission, 2006. Natura 2000 in the boreal region. Luxembourg, Office ofr official publicatioins of the European Communities, ISBN 92-894-9982-6 [19] Agora project community, 2007. Sustainability check, http://www.yepat.unigreifswald.de/agora/87.0.html 126

Andrea Früh PERCEPTIBILITY OF THE CULTURAL VALUE OF THE GREEN BELT MONUMENT ABSTRACT PERCEPTIBILITY OF THE CULTURAL VALUE OF THE GREEN BELT MONUMENT Andrea Früh University of Bayreuth Global Change Ecology within the Elite Network of Bavaria Universitätsstraße 30, 95440 Bayreuth The nationwide nature conservation project German Green Belt preserves a unique chain of habitats along the former inner German border. However, besides the relevance for nature conservation the socio-political character of the former border line as a living monument of Germany´s history should be enhanced in the future. To achieve this aim it is necessary to provide an emotional, experiencedriven access to the memorial landscape for the population. An analysis of experienced value of the Green Belt is required to assess the perceptibility of this unique landscape, assisting regional decision makers through the provision of strengths and weaknesses of the perceptibility of the Green Belt. Against the background of the testing and development project `Experience Green Belt´ this study investigates the perceptibility of the old border between East- and West Germany. A novel assessment method was developed to analyse the quality of perceptibility of the memorial landscape Green Belt. The assessment was based on accepted valuation principles to determine landscapes perceptibility. Additionally, it integrates new aspects of commemorative studies. In the first instance the landscape was evaluated by means of preliminary defined indices with regard to its natural scenery and subsequently in terms of the perceptibility of the former border. The landscape perception assessment (LPA) was applied to four characteristic sections of the Green Belt. Each section was separated in spatial units that are homogenous in their appearance and configuration. After evaluation of each spatial unit, the complete characteristic of the boarder section was monitored as a whole and subsequently evaluated. Based on this, a profile of strengths and weaknesses for each section was produced. The results illustrate regional differences between the sections in regard to the perceptibility of the former frontier area. The findings of the assessment approach were used to shape an overall concept and consequential future development goals for the memorial landscape Green Belt. Because of enormous rebuilding processes at the former frontier area, the experience value is already lost in many places. A sensitive adjustment of regional intrinsic characteristics and requirements appears to be essential for generating touristic value of the memorial landscape German Green Belt and for preserving the perceptibility of the historic heritage. The protection of the Green Belt does not only support wild life, it conserves natural and cultural heritage and it delivers a vivid instrument that keeps Germany’s history alive. 1 INTRODUCTION For almost 40 years an impenetrable barrier divided Germany into two political, ideological and geographical parts. From the Baltic Sea to the Saxo-Bavarian Vogtland a rigorous inner-German border stretched nearly 1,400 km through the middle of the country. More than twenty years after the reunification, the former border fortifications such as metal fences, barbed wire and border patrol paths are hardly perceivable at this historically portentous stripe. In many places it seems like history is of little importance and the “grass of forgetfulness has already grown” [1]. As a result of the “forbidden” zone of the cruel border, however, nature was granted a reprieve for decades. Therefore, this area remained comparatively undisturbed and did not undergo cultivation changes or land use intensifications. Along the former inner-German 127

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