THE EVRYMENES THESSALY LANDSCAPE OBSERVATORY (GREECE)

The Evrymenes Thessaly Landscape Observatory is a think tank and support tool for the improvement and promotion of the Evrymenes’ landscape, and, basically, the strategic tool of the signatories and supporters of the Evrymenes Landscape Chart (ELC).
The MODELAND project (MED Programme), through which the Observatory has been set up, has been proved a very crucial opportunity to develop such a mechanism for the first time in the area of Evrymenes, which suffers from:
•    Old-fashioned view on development processes
•    Established non-traditional perceptions on architecture
•    Lack of protection procedures and mechanisms for the landscape
•    Lack of an integrated data-base on landscape
•    Lack of a strong area identity
•    Non aware population
The Observatory, considered also as a “monitoring & control” tool, has already managed to draw local attention on the fact that “something is going on with the local landscape….”
The involvement of the University of Thessaly in the MODELAND project (Unit for the Development and Protection of Rural and Mountainous Space & Unit of Computer Science Applications in Spatial Planning), ensures the future operation of the Observatory after the end of the project, as it can play a coordination role and increase that much scientific research on landscape issues, as much the implementation of local actions with care to the objectives of the European Landscape Convention.
The operation of the Observatory is based on the below simple organizational structure:

 

 

The four (4) thematic committees meet twice a year. Each meeting is supported from the Scientific Committee. The Scientific Committee sums up the conclusions of the meetings and directs them to the Decision Making Committee.
The eight (8) main objectives of the Observatory are divided into two (2) main categories:

STUDY/ RESEARCH/ MONITOR/ COOPERATE
1.    Conducting more detailed landscape studies for the different landscapes of the area.
2.    Setting quality specifications, monitoring their application and assigning a local quality label.
3.    Setting indicators for the landscape and monitoring their status through annual reports.
4.    Participating in European forums, official groups and Programmes.
AWAKING/ RAISING AWARENESS/ DISSEMINATION
1.    Organizing campaigns for citizens and visitors, focusing on young people and children.
2.    Organizing venues, exhibitions, annual institutionalized awards.
3.    Communicating local results to forums, websites and conferences abroad.
4.    Producing promotion and awareness raising material.
The involved actors are:
?    The signatories of the Evrymenes Landscape Chart (ELC), forming the members of the Decision Making Committee (3 members):
•    Region of Thessaly
•    Municipality of Agia – Municipal Department of Evrymenes
•    The Development Agency of the Regional Unit of Larissa
?    The University of Thessaly, providing the Scientific Committee members
?    Local supporting organizations and citizens, forming the members of Thematic Committees:
•    Communities of Stomio, Omolio, Karytsa, Kokkino Nero, Paleopyrgos. Alexandrini
•    Regional NGOs
•    Technical Chambers
•    Chambers of Commerce
•    Rural, Tourism and Sports Associations
•    Local Enterprises
•    Citizens