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You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 10, 2015 - Number 3 » STONES: FUNCTIONALITIES AND SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES

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Universidade Nova de Lisboa, FCSH, CICS.NOVA, Av. de Berna, 26 – C, 1069-061 Lisboa, Portugal, am.firmino@fcsh.unl.pt


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Stones play an important role in the construction of landscapes. Stones are a relict and a testimony of ancient or modern territorial processes that dictated their genesis and hold records of past climate changes that give us evidences about the development of the Earth. Stones are also one of the most common materials used by humans in different contexts. This paper illustrates the potential of stone landscapes as catalysts for territorial change and sustainable development even in remote areas experiencing community problems. The results presented here stem from a project carried out at e-Geo (Centre of Research in Geography and Regional Planning, now CICS.NOVA) – HOPE (Hope on People’s Efforts), within the Municipality of Almeida (North Portugal). The ultimate aim of the HOPE project is to promote the area in sustainable touristic terms, providing evidence of the granite landscapes not only as a scenic resource but also as a basis for future innovative initiatives, such as a geopark for children, since many of the monoliths look like animals. An interpretation centre could be built, supplying information about the stones and the minerals extracted, such as wolfram which was intensively exploited in the area during the Second World War. These projects could target additional categories of people as tourists which could benefit from the infrastructure locally available. The creation of a specialized hub for tourists with specific needs in the municipality of Almeida could demonstrate new opportunities for local and regional development, including the local community in the process of achieving sustainable development.

Keyword: Stone Landscapes, geoparks, rewilding Europe, sustainable development

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