Renewable Energy and Landscape

coordinated by Annalisa Calcagno Maniglio, University of Genova
and Anna Laura Palazzo, University of Roma Tre
Florence, 6 November 2012

Call for Papers

The next UNISCAPE seminar will take place the 6th of November 2012 in Florence hosted by the Presidency of the Tuscany Region on the theme “Renewable Energy and Landscape”.
This occasion, as others in the past, wants to offer the opportunity to develop among experts and research centres of the Universities that are part of UNISCAPE, the necessary reflections on contemporary issues at a European level. Main focus of this seminar is to analyse and reflect on the positive and negative effects and impacts that may arise from the introduction of renewable sources in the landscape. They are often delicate and complex solutions that give centrality to issues regarding the balance between environmental sustainability, social acceptability and economy and also the need to investigate the relation between the costs and benefits of the projects.

Therefore, we invite all the experts of the countries part of  UNISCAPE, the experts of this sector and the Public Authorities that are interested to reflect on the issues related to renewable energy and the “landscape”, presenting case studies and researches on the problems connected to their balanced and sustainable planning and management. The introduction of renewable energy sources in the landscape is in many respects called to measure itself everywhere with the traditional spatial planning tools. However, there is a clear need to define margins of flexibility and sustainability to the tools already available or that are being established in different countries depending on the expected performances rather than pre-established conditions.
The gradual depletion of fossil reserves and the increasing demand for energy, have led industry to a rapid transition to sustainable energy production through the use of advanced technology, low environmental impact, natural resources such as sun, wind, water  and biomass.
We define as renewable those sources of energy available that renew themselves in the short term – including solar, photovoltaic and wind energy, biomass for co-generation of heat and electricity, as well as waste incineration. Depending on the incentives, these resources could provide a significant contribution to answer to the demand for energy.
Among all renewable energy, wind power and photovoltaic installations are currently the most known and used: they are spreading over the countries in areas with different geographical characteristics, “land marking” the various landscapes that meet the growing needs of the energy companies.
It would be appropriate for landscape experts, technicians, research institutions and NGOs to question themselves about the most feasible implementation of photovoltaic power stations, and about wind farms with low environmental and landscape impact finding the most appropriate ways of locating the necessary equipment for the energy transmission and distribution in the landscape.
The wide diffusion in the landscape of these new solar and wind power plants challenges the scientific community to seriously reflect on the methods for a rigorous identification of more suitable sites to accommodate wind turbines and solar plants and to establish the rules for appropriate procedures for granting incentives for installing them in the landscape: in order to avoid for example an undifferentiated
location of solar panels on agricultural soils or of wind turbines on hills and mountains. Therefore  we encourage a constant cooperation between industry and research for the development and testing of pilot projects and guidelines to identify the most suitable, necessary and urgent regulations and licensing procedures to be adopted for these plants. Procedures in this sense are in many countries at the moment
fragmented, incomplete or even in existent. They would require a collaboration between at least the Ministries of Economic Affairs, and of the Environment, and the Local authorities.
On the 11th of April 2012 in Rome, 30 important and well-known Italian intellectuals signed an appeal to the Italian Prime Minister, promoted by Italia Nostra, Friends of the Earth, the Mountain Wilderness and  other environmental NGOs, to ensure that the next Italian regulations on renewable energy that will be issued conform to a rigorous baseline, preventing excessive installations that, particularly with regard to
wind energy, have already contributed to the devastation of vast landscapes located in exposed positions, affecting not only landscape quality but also important environmental values.
Those who are interested in participating to the seminar are invited to send by the 30th of September 2012,  an abstract to UNISCAPE’s Office (, following these criteria:
Language: English
Font: Times New Roman 12
Format: Ms Word
Structure of the text: Title- Authors- Institution and contact information
Keywords: Max 5
Abstract: characters (spaces included) Max 1500
The abstracts (or a selection of the extended versions) will be published in I Quaderni di Careggi.

Participationto the Seminar is free, kindly register sending an e-mail before the 1st of November.

c/o Villa Medicea di Careggi
Viale G. Pieraccini 15 – 50139 Florence
Tel. +39 055 4221535