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ENV4260 - Cultural landscape, environment and sustainability in Italy

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Nigel Tapper and Rebekah Brown


Overseas Summer semester A 2009 (Off-campus Day)


This field-based unit is taught on location in the National Park/World Heritage Area of Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. Identified by UNESCO as an environment and cultural landscape worth preserving, the region is under immense pressure due to rural depopulation, abandonment of agricultural lands, landscape instability, and burgeoning tourism. Problems of integrating tourism and agricultural objectives, while minimising negative environmental and cultural impacts, will be explored and possible solutions for regional sustainability proposed. The unit provides unique opportunities for interaction with staff of the National Park and various local and national authorities.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the range of complex environmental, social and economic interrelationships that shape a particular region and to be able to differentiate a 'cultural' landscape from a 'natural' landscape.
  2. Understand the criteria and processes that lead to the designation of a World Heritage Area and to be able to identify, describe and interpret problems of sustainability in the context of a region of truly global significance.
  3. Have gained practical experience in problem formulation and solution using field-based techniques of survey and analysis, along with appropriate presentation skills.
  4. (In the case of Level 4 students) have developed specialised skills in research/project formulation, appraisal, budgeting and implementation strategies.


Field-study journal (1500 words): 35%; Group oral presentation (20 min): 20%; Essay (Level 3) or Project Report (Level 4) (2500 words): 45%.

Contact hours

8 day intensive, involving lectures/seminars, tutorials and field work.


18 points of Geography and Environmental Science, European Studies, Tourism or permission of the Head of SGES. Other interested undergraduate and level 4 students will need to obtain permission from the Head of SGES

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