1 January 2006
Landscape echoes the age of globalization. It is therefore subject to its effects, which raises multiple concerns on a global perspective. Landscape condition is no longer reserved to Western countries. All territories are subjected to excessive mutations. Rural spaces are undeveloped. Countrysides are industrializing and some are turning into museums in "Arcadia". Cities have no more limits; they generate "non-areas" as they fabricate areas. High sites are being privatized and public areas are becoming scarce. Seas and forests are overexploited and large natural areas are becoming inaccessible. Nature distorts and reinvents itself from scratch. Territories are standardizing. Subject to mobility, human displacement, social and cultural migrations, they are seeking memories and identities. These observations demonstrate the complexity of a contemporary landscape condition that speaks directly to the living environments of populations of all continents. The landscape as an affirmation of the territory’s multiple values (aesthetic, identity, environmental, etc.) becomes an issue of debate, intentions and projects so that societies become more user-friendly and sustainable.
On 29 and 30 November 2005, Beirut hosted the international conference "Living in the landscape in the Middle East." The conference gathered academic stakeholders and professionals of environmental design from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Morocco, Italy, France and Canada.