Second International Congress on Urban Landscape


Second International Congress on Urban Landscape
Mon, 12. June 2017 - Wed, 14. June 2017



The urban landscape as a new paradigm in sustainable urban development.New challenges and opportunities for cities.

Public space is only that which is in public ownership.
Private space, insofar as it is open to collective enjoyment, expands the concept of public space, and the two are united in the new concept of urban landscape.

That is why, when in the field of public management we limited ourselves to intervening on public space, we are failing to do so as regards some of the essential elements that constitute the urban environment.

One of the main conclusions of the First International Congress on Urban Landscape (ICOUL), held in Sao Paulo (Brazil) in December 2015, was to work on consolidating urban landscape management as one of the essential elements of the local agenda, because of its manifest ability to influence improvements in the quality of life in cities.

The First Congress also emphasized the need to disseminate urban experiences aimed at sustainable urban management from the urban landscape at the international level and to carry out the challenge of incorporating urban landscape management into the United Nations’ agenda, once it has been shown that all cities have an urban landscape that deserves to be protected.

This challenge has been met by the inclusion of a commitment to "more attractive and livable urban landscapes" in the New Urban Agenda emerging from the United Nations Habitat III Conference, held in Quito in October 2016.

During the Second International Congress on Urban Landscape, to be held in Barcelona between June 12 and 14, 2017, it is aimed to answer some of the questions that are raised in cities that seek to improve the urban environment through managing the urban landscape:  

Why limit ourselves to recognizing the role of public space as a facilitator of the socio-economic function of the city, when that role really belongs to the urban landscape?

Why does the right to the city seem exhausted in public space?Is not private property also involved in improving the quality of the city, its image, and in promoting a sense of belonging to and pride in the city?

In the Second Congress, the urban landscape will be considered as a sublimation of the urban environment, as a way of definitively overcoming a static concept of public space, a landscape that by its very nature can not be limited and exclusive.

It will also be argued that investment in the urban landscape is a real investment in sustainable urban development, and an exercise in social responsibility. Finally, the Second Congress will serve to recognize the role of civil society and the importance of incentivizing the private sector for the improvement of the urban landscape.

There can be no doubt that every city is perceived through its urban landscape, through the way in which the population uses urban spaces. Therefore, from the point of view of managing the urban landscape, the important point is not their mere existence, but the degree to which people relate to these spaces and make use of them. If the urban landscape is not perceived, directly or indirectly, it does not existThe Second International Congress on Urban Landscape aims to make a modest contribution to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda arising from the Habitat III Conference.


1.- To recognize the urban landscape (not just public spaces) as a real facilitator of the socio-economic function of the city, and to reaffirm the central role of urban landscape management in the UN's New Urban Agenda.

2.- To disseminate among municipal governments the need to intervene in landscape improvement, in order to ensure the smooth management of cities and promote their habitability and security, as well as the obligation to inform and citizens’ rights. We consider the active participation of citizens to be essential both in maintaining the elements of the outward structure of the city and in exercising the right of urbanity for the preservation of the landscape.

3.- Smart cities are right, but they also need intelligent citizens. The ethics of aesthetics must prevail within the right to a harmonious urban landscape. At present, thinking about the city is mainly undertaken from the standpoint of functionality, but its beauty must also be borne in mind. The cult of beauty forms part of human culture. The urban landscape involves perception and use. And perception is the result of the balance established in the city between natural, architectural and social relations.

The Second Congress intends to play a significant role in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda for the following reasons: - We must learn from the errors of Habitat II. The time has come to transform ideas into actions.- We must recognize the role of civil society and the importance of incentives for the private sector. It is necessary to propose new mechanisms for the joint production of the city, and to carry them out among all the parties involved.- Language must be changed to try to persuade governments. Really intelligent investment is in the urban landscape, the paradigm of the urban environment, the skin of cities.The fact that the Second Congress is to be held a few months after the Habitat III Conference offers an excellent opportunity to learn from past experiences and share future experiences in cities around the world that have made a commitment to sustainable urban management that takes into account the urban landscape.