Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Landscape Democracy, Three Sets of Values, and the Connoisseur Method

Arler, Finn; Mellqvist, Helena


The European Landscape Convention has brought up the question of democracy in relation to landscape transformation, but without a clear definition of democracy. This paper conceptualises democracy in relation to three main sets of values related to self-determination, co-determination and respect for argument. It examines various methods that have been used to try to make landscape decisions more democratic. In the last part of the paper the connoisseur method is introduced. This method emphasises stakeholder participation in deliberative processes with a particular focus on place-based knowledge. It has been used in Sweden as a means of involving local stakeholders in the democratic process of defining goals and objectives of their landscapes. In the conclusion, this method is recommended despite its dependence on favourable conditions, particularly continuity and commitment, and a few suggestions about possible improvements are presented.


Landscape Convention; landscape democracy; deliberative democracy; participation; self-determination; co-determination; focus groups; citizen juries; economic valuation; preference surveys; connoisseurs

Published in

Environmental Values
2015, volume: 24, number: 3, pages: 271-298

Authors' information

Arler, Finn
Aalborg University

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

UKÄ Subject classification

Landscape Architecture

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)