Between European Landscape Convention and the EU cohesion policy. Landscape policy for the Three-Countries Park.

The establishment of landscape policies is a key part of the European Landscape Convention (Art. 5). Article 9 calls for transfrontier cooperation for cross-border landscapes. It is under this banner that the LP3LP project “Landscape Policy for the Three-Countries Park” is to be seen, a project developed by the 3LP group and implemented with a tri-national research group.

The Chair for Landscape Architecture at RWTH Aachen University, the Landscape Architecture Group Wageningen (WUR) and the Institute for Environmental Management and Land-Use Planning (IGEAT) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles drew up three components of a cross-border landscape policy, which has since served as a road map for the activities of 3LP and as a reference for various projects and planning efforts in the partner regions:

1. Spatial landscape framework concept with guiding principles

2. Landscape partnership with increased resources for actor-specific landscape management

3. Four cross-border strategies with link to EU policies (green infrastructure strategy, cultural heritage and accessibility strategy, complementary biomass strategy, quality production strategy)

The LP3LP project was funded by theESPON Programme (European Territorial Observatory Network). Accordingly, the focus was not only on the cross-border perspective, but also on the pan-European perspective of cohesion policy. It was a question of how a landscape approach can contribute to the European goal ofterritorial cohesion.

The researchers drew on 3 metaphors to show the potential of a landscape approach for sustainable territorial development and made a series of recommendations on linking the European Landscape Convention with the cohesion policy of the EU.

  • “Landscape as asset” > recommendation for better association of ‘value’ concepts such as landscape qualities, landscape functions and ecosystem services

  • “Landscape as place” > recommendation for more territorialized instruments such as LEADER, CLLD, Integrated Urban-Rural Development

  • “Landscape as common ground” > recommendation for building capacity with tools for cross-sector governance (e.g. adaptive landscape management)

The results have been published in scientific reports, an article and a book. They have since met with great interest both among actors in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine and in other peri-urban and trinational regions and also at a European level. If you would like a copy of the book “Landscape policy for the Three-Countries Park” in four languages, please contact us!


Duration: 2012 - 2014
Funding: ESPON Programm


  • RWTH Aachen -Lehrstuhl für Landschaftsarchitektur (lead partner, D)
  • WUR Wageningen (NL)
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles – IGEAT (B)

Three-Countries Park:  project proposal and lead committee

More Information on the project & download of reports on the ESPON website

Downloadarticle on landscape policy and territorial cohesion

Look inside the Book: click on the cover picture 

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