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Lithuania’s landscape management champion Utena nominated for the award of the Council of Europe

After honouring the landscape management award to Utena Region Municipality last year, the Ministry of Environment has now nominated it as a Lithuanian candidate for the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe.

Senior specialist at the Landscape Division of the Protected Areas and Landscape Department of the Ministry of Environment, Ms Giedrė Godienė says that Utena town, boasting a history of seven and a half centuries, has preserved its natural landscape structure with a coherent system of plantations, its aesthetic values expressed through modern management of parks. Since 2002, Utena has been home to four public areas totalling 50 ha: city garden (2005), Krašuona coast (2009), Dauniškis (2005) and Vyžuona (2010) parks. Two other public areas are planned to be set up.

In the process of managing the said green spaces of the town, low-value bushes and trees were cut down and new ones were planted, the shores, the old bed and the pond were cleared, the damaged relief was reshaped, a drainage system was installed in an area of 10 ha and a recreational infrastructure was developed. In addition, over 10 km of pedestrian paths, cycling and roller-skating tracks, one sports ground, three playgrounds and three parking areas, two bathing spots, an illuminated musical fountain, lavatories, etc. were built. As many as twelve bridges joined the banks of the streams. The new bridges and illuminated and safe tracks improved communication between the separate parts of the city. Spectacular spaces have enriched its panorama and became central to cultural life and active recreation. Parks in Utena are an example of environmental management not only for city residents, but also for professionals. These parks have been nominated for the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe. The full application for the award is available from the website of the Ministry of Environment at http://www.am.lt/VI/index.php#a/12668.

The international Landscape Award was set up within the framework of the European Landscape Convention. To date, it has been ratified by 37 states, including Lithuania. It is the first time that our country is contesting for the Landscape Award. The Council of Europe held such contests in 2009 and 2011. More information is available from the website of the European Landscape Convention at http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/heritage/landscape/Prix/Session2010_en.asp.

The international Panel of the contest evaluates how the presented project incorporates environmental, economic, social and aesthetic aspects of landscape management, which preservation, management and planning measures can stand as example for other countries, how the public contributes, etc.

The Ministry of Environment set up the national landscape award in 2007. The first winner was Kupiškis Region Municipality for managing Kupa valley in 2008.

Information of the Ministry of Environment

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