Nature conservation in the broad sense

In contrast to a more narrow understanding of nature conservation, Schoenichen (1942), for example, spoke of a nature conservation in the broad sense. With this, an active design of the landscape in the sense of modern landscape architecture was meant. This view of nature conserva­tion is predominantly culturally motivated, in that the cultural landscape, or the Heimat, should be designed according to the requirements of hu­mans uses, while protecting the character that is to be expressed in the im­age of the landscape. Landscape architecture in the sense of an old defini­tion of cultura as the human utilization and development of nature through cultivation and construction of the landscape is therefore a constructive exercise in the structural sense; it brings the functional and aesthetic as­pects of land use into harmony. Uses are not fundamentally ‘disturbances’ of a nature that is seen as intact, but rather activities that create culture or enrich the landscape. The beauty of the landscape should be a result of its usefulness.

This idea of connecting beauty with function goes back to an even older tradition: Heimatschutz, which Schoenichen classified as belonging to na­ture conservation in the broader sense, corresponds to the tradition of Lan – desverschonerung in the 19th century, which was not an aesthetic program as the name suggests, but rather an agriculture and forestry modernization program (cf. Daumel 1961). The field of forest aesthetics – as we will see – also belongs to this tradition. Functionality and the beauty that results from it were regarded as the expression of truth and goodness (ibid).