Determining and quantifying the historical traces of spatial land arrangements in rural landscapes of Central and Eastern Europe

Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 3;11(1):23421. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-02892-x.


The article attempts to define and determine the intangible components of cultural heritage related to the spatial structure of land in a comprehensive way using computational methods. The components were quantified and a method of empirical evaluation of landscape durability was proposed for agricultural areas of significant cultural and historical value with an evident mosaic structure of fields, baulks, ponds, meadows, and forests. This method allows us to identify places more resistant to political transformation and those with greater cultural potential. The paper proposed an integrated approach to the measuring of the degree of preservation of spatial arrangements in the landscape based on a set of objects that describe the spatial land structure. The article classifies areas by the degree of preservation of rural spatial arrangements of land. The spatial analysis employed facilitated a synthetic quantification of the multi-criteria process. Three groups of factors were used: spatial assessment of land-cover type persistence (u), agricultural land structure persistence (w), and persistence of settlement buildings (z). The final results pinpointed areas in need of strategic intervention to sufficiently protect the rural cultural heritage, properly consider them in zoning planning, and ensure their sustainable development. The proposed tool can be used to monitor the degree of changes in the landscape layout structure when multiple time points are analysed as well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't