Roads and landscape

I n his reference text entitled «The wild and the artificial» (1986), geographer Augustin Berque questioned our potential to perceive nature. He exposed the vast spectrum of sensitivities, specifically as it pertains to Japanese culture. On another continent, i.e. Europe, it can be asserted that Roman roads have been a part of our shared heritage for the last two thousand years. An examination of the role played by the road in the landscape, whether hypothesized or determined, is therefore obviously a topic of study for PIARC. This working theme combines aesthetic, technical and economic aspects, in addition to revisiting the initial research catalogued in our documentary base, which also happens to date back to 1986. Thirty-five years later, this latest issue of our newsmagazine Routes/Roads offers a state-of-the-art assessment on a subject that has remained current, in acknowledging that sensitivities are bound to evolve. In this light, the roads sector has always demonstrated a capacity to adapt to the expectations expressed by both users and society.