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Theoretical Foundations for an Integrated Assessment Framework in Landscape Research

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Author(s): ROMAN LENZ

Journal: Romanian Review of Regional Studies
ISSN 1841-1576

Volume: III;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Indicators | Sustainable development | Environment | Assessment science | Landscape research | Systems approach

ABSTRACT
It is stated, that ecological theories like the one of organizational levels in living systems, if combined with a general systems approach, can be useful also for understanding and manipulating social systems and its “hidden socio-cybernetic processes”.Especially in relation to trans-level phenomena affecting different organisational levels, different research approaches have to be introduced, showing that descriptive-observational (which also means more holistic) and quantitative-experimental (which also means more reductionistic) approaches are complementary. Therefore, to include all relevant information in delineation and description of systems at any integration level, a ”staircase” or ”scaling” of research steps appears to be the most useful approach. This combines comparative and quantitative research and is related to the various organisational levels and, also, takes into account that there are continuous transitions between observations and experiments, and between structures and processes.Landscape management, already traditional, deals with practical problems and concepts for solutions. Hence, specific efforts like translating the scientific models and indicators into models and indicators people can understand as well as evaluation procedures of the scientific outcome into a social and political context have to be provided. This approach is problem as well as data and knowledge driven and similar to general systems approaches.To conceptually overcome these gaps of interfaces for integration, translation and communication between science and society we have worked out an Environmental Impact Assessment Multi-level Approach. It is a combination of the multi-level scaling and integration approach, and the environmental impact assessment concept.
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