HERCULES. Sustainable Futures for Europe's Heritage in Cultural Landscapes

Tools for understanding, managing, and protecting landscape functions and values

Image project HerculesThe overarching goal of this transdisciplinary research project is to increase understanding of drivers, patterns, and values of European cultural landscapes and to use this knowledge to develop, test, and demonstrate strategies for their protection, management, and planning.
The project builds on the development and application of innovative technologies and tools for assessing cultural landscapes.

The strong involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises and non-governmental organizations provides a prototype for the empowerment of these institutions in landscape planning and management. The project cooperates closely with public and private authorities, agencies, and associations of citizens at local, national, and EU levels.

Five objectives address the key topics of the call and form the structure of the project.

  1. To synthezise existing knowledge on drivers, patterns, and outcomes of persistence and change in Europe’s cultural landscapes.
  2. To carry out targeted case studies to develop in-depth insights into the dynamics and values of cultural landscapes.
  3. To develop a typology of cultural landscapes and scale up case study insights using observations and landscape modeling.
  4. To develop visions for re-coupling social and ecological components in cultural landscapes and translate them into policy and management options.
  5. To design and implement a community-based Knowledge Hub for Good Landscape Practice and test it with land users, agencies, small and medium-sized enterprises, and citizen associations.

Project details


EU 7th Framework Program under grant agreement no 603447.

Project coordinator
Dr. Tobias Plieninger (University of Copenhagen/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

WP 2: Studying long-term landscape change

Project leaders
Prof. Dr. Henk Scholten (SPINlab/CLUE+)
Prof. Dr. Jan Kolen (Leiden University)

Prof. Dr. Gert-Jan Burgers (CLUE+, VU Amsterdam)
E-mail: g.j.burgers@vu.nl

Maurice de Kleijn MA (SPINlab/CLUE+, VU Amsterdam)
E-mail: m.t.m.de.kleijn@vu.nl

Prof. Dr. Jan Kolen (Leiden University)
E-mail: j.c.a.kolen@arch.leidenuniv.nl

Dr. Niels van Manen (SPINlab/CLUE+, VU Amsterdam)
E-mail: n.van.manen@vu.nl

Prof. Dr. Henk Scholten (SPINlab/CLUE+, VU Amsterdam)
E-mail: h.scholten@vu.nl