Why? How? Where?
One of the activities that Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche devotes to the knowledge, management and design of landscape, is the Outstanding Places initiative which began at the end of 2006, asking all residents, explicitly and simply through a yearly call for proposals, to report and describe the place (or places) in the province of Treviso that they consider particularly significant, and to explain why.
Understanding the point of view of the individuals and communities who live and work in these places, with their day-to-day needs, their diverse social and cultural backgrounds, their aspirations and their sentiments, while encouraging society as a whole to partake in this type of reflection are the main objectives of this project, strongly inspired by the principles of the European Landscape Convention (in Italy law of 9 January 2006, no. 14).
This is genuine collective research in which the high number of respondents, all passionately active since the very first edition get involved and accept an open exchange of ideas with specialists and those in the know, providing indispensable information and materials to further the awareness of the needs, languages and preferences of the community.
The Outstanding Places project, in all of its facets, has sparked growing interest which can be seen through the large number of people participating directly in the reporting campaign, as well as the number of people who visited the exhibitions (over thirteen thousand) and took part in the various public meetings pertaining the initiative and always designed to foster thoughts on the universal person-place and community-place bond, thus contributing to improving the conditions for safeguarding and promoting the appreciation of our places, for the quality of our life and our well-being, and for the future prospects of new generations.
For the sixth edition of the initiative (2012), the call for proposals and the reporting form were updated by adding a request for a pro-active reflection, summarised by the new title ‘Outstanding Places’. How we experience them, how we would like them. This approach was used to address the often widespread need of the participants to express their ideas and aspirations for the reported sites, relying on the willingness of respondents to answer more complex questions and to consciously reflect on potential prospects, with the aim of a hoped-for “stewardship” by civil society of the reported heritage.