New perspectives and approaches in social-ecological landscape evaluation
To face the challenge of sustainable development of human settlements, an effective interdisciplinary integration has to be achieved by embodying the complexities of societies and economies into landscape ecology analyses. Such integration is getting far more complex today as landscape ecology is expanding its scope to respond to the challenges of sustainable development of human–environmental systems. In this paper we
point out the recent and novel approaches applied in landscape ecology to move beyond the traditional separation of social and ecological components in social-ecological landscapes (SELs), considering SELs as a whole co-evolving and historically interdependent systems of humans-in-nature. To meet the challenges of sustainability, landscape ecology needs to strengthen its capacity to develop spatially explicit problem solving related to landscape sustainability issues. In this respect, addressing SELs represents a more pragmatic basis for envisioning how the real world works and how we would like the world to be, as SELs represent the spatially explicit integration of social-political and ecological scales in the geographical world.
However, there is still the need to go beyond the traditional views embraced by landscape and urban planning where sustainability has been envisioned as a durable, stable condition that, once achieved, could persist for generations.