Strengthening Cultural Identity
In Strengthening Cultural Identity, people identify with where they live. They feel connected with nature and landscape, and consider this an integral part of their local and regional communities and as essential to a meaningful life. From this perspective, nature is always nearby and accessible. Green in cities is well-designed and at people’s doorstep. Landscape aesthetics is important, and characteristic elements, such as hedgerows and stone walls, have therefore been renewed and expanded, and historical buildings have been restored. People prefer locally produced food; olives, beers and cheeses are considered as the best ambassadors for EU nature. The landscape can be experienced, for example, by cycling, sailing and angling. Old cultural landscapes are cherished, including in remote areas ¬– landowners receive support to preserve them. New landscapes are created, for example through redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites, and by making (former) canals more attractive. Local communities, groups of citizens, farmers and entrepreneurs, take the initiative in Strengthening Cultural Identity. Regional authorities facilitate these groups and coordinate the initiatives, as landscape is considered a public good. One of the EU roles could be to financially support local initiatives.