Landscape: what is it, types, examples, exercises

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Landscape it is a category of analysis of geography that helps us to study and understand space from a specific point of view. It is defined as everything that we can identify and interpret through our senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste) in a given place. At landscapes are changed over time and time, and in them material elements from different epochs can coexist.

From its various components, the landscapes can be classified as natural, which had little or no human interference, and cultural or anthropic, resulting from the transformation of human activity.

Read too: Geographic space — key concept in the study of geography

What is landscape?

The analysis and understanding of geographic space, the object of study of the geography, are made from a set of categories that allow us to apprehend the phenomena that occur from different approaches. These categories are: region, territory, place and landscape.

At first, the word landscape can be associated with everything that is pleasing to the eye. However, when we add the geographical bias, this term also encompasses perception through the senses, but it takes on a much broader meaning.

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The geographic landscape, like, can be defined as all the elements of space that our senses can capture or perceive and interpret.

The landscape represents all the components of space that our senses can perceive. In the image above, there is a landscape of the historic center of the city of São Paulo.
The landscape represents all the components of space that our senses can perceive. In the image above, there is a landscape of the historic center of the city of São Paulo.

Some definitions present the landscape as a set of elements that are visible in space, that is, everything that our eyes can see in a given place. However, the configuration of these places is made from not only people and physical objects, such as buildings, cars, poles, trees, rivers, etc., but also through the interaction between these different components, which generates sensations (such as sounds and smells), which are identified from our others senses (smell, touch, hearing and taste).

Although for those who observe it, the landscape represents the present moment, she transforms in time and it carries within itself the materialization of this temporal passage. the way the society interacts with the elements around it, the different ways of working and the techniques that represent a given period: all these aspects are expressed in landscapes, in which present and past can coexist.

One example is the centers of large cities, which most often preserve structures from earlier times (old buildings, for example, often with different functions than originally thought) with current elements, representatives of the technical period recent.

Taking into account a smaller time scale, the landscape that is observed in urban centers in the morning is not the same as seen in the late afternoon, undergoing changes throughout the day. Changes in the landscape can therefore be observed at different time scales.

Directly associated with the senses, the landscape is not identical for everyone, since the perception of places varies according to the observer. Thus, two people in the same place can describe the landscape they are seeing and feeling in different ways.

Read too: Geography categories — landscape, territory, region and place

Types of landscape

Landscapes can be classified into two categories: natural landscape and cultural or anthropic landscape.

  • Natural landscape: is one that has predominantly natural elements, these being little or not modified by the anthropic activities. Its transformation is up to the natural agents themselves.

  • cultural landscape: that formed from the transforming action of human activities and also by elements of nature that underwent modifications by the same agents or were later incorporated.

To learn more about the subject, read our specific text: Landscape çcultural and Pmassage Natural.

landscape examples

Extreme climate and inhospitable areas of the planet are examples of natural landscapes. Other examples of this type of landscape are mountains and mountain ranges, forests and nature reserves.

Natural landscapes are composed of elements of nature that have not been altered by human action.
Natural landscapes are composed of elements of nature that have not been altered by human action.

Cities, large urban agglomerations and even agricultural plantations in rural areas can be pointed out as examples of cultural landscapes, as they suffered human intervention.

Example of a cultural or anthropic landscape.
Example of a cultural or anthropic landscape.

solved exercises

1) (Enem) Carrier of memory, the landscape helps to build feelings of belonging; it creates an atmosphere that suits the highlights of life, parties, celebrations.

CLAVAL, P. Land of men: geography. São Paulo: Contexto, 2010 (adapted).

In the text, a way of integrating the geographic landscape with social life is presented. In this sense, the landscape, in addition to existing as a concrete form, has a dimension:

a) effective space appropriation policy.
b) economical use of space resources.
c) deprived of limitation on the use of space.
d) natural composition by physical elements of space.
e) symbolic of the individual's subjective relationship with space.

Resolution: Alternative E. The apprehension of the landscape is made by individuals through their senses. This gives the landscape a very subjective aspect, since the way in which the observer inserts himself and relates to that particular space varies from person to person.

2) (UEPB) “The landscape exists, through its forms, created in different historical moments, but coexisting in the current moment”.

(SAINTS, Milton. The Nature of Space: technique and time: reason and emotion. 2nd ed. São Paulo: Hucitec, 1997, p. 84)

Based on the above-mentioned author's statement, it is correct to state that:

a) space and landscape are different because space is a social production, while the elements of natural dynamics predominate in the landscape.
b) in the landscape we can observe natural and cultural elements, as well as new and old forms, which reveal successive pasts.
c) the landscape is a static form, which is why it can never reveal the social relations of the past that produced the geographical forms of the present.
d) the landscape has only a panoramic meaning, as it is devoid of social content, which allows us to contemplate the forms, but never analyze their essence.
e) the landscape as well as the territory are delimited by the visual range of those who observe them; they are, therefore, spaces delimited by power relations, whose scale varies according to the observer's position.

Resolution: Alternative B. The landscape can have natural and human-made forms and elements. These represent the materialization of the relationships between society and space in different temporal periods.

Source: Brazil School -

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