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Difference between natural and cultural landscapes

Landscape is a concept that we use differently depending on the field of study with which we are working, however, it always involves the same actors: a subject who observes it and a subject who is observed. The landscape is a terrain that, due to its spatial, visual and physical qualities, becomes an object that deserves to be observed.

The landscape is any area of ​​the earth’s surface that, from the interaction that different factors have caused in it, have given it its own characteristics and offer a visual reflection of that space. But there is not only one type of landscape. Do you want to know the difference between natural and cultural landscapes ? Keep reading the following AgroCorrn article and we will explain it to you.

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  1. Difference between natural and cultural landscape
  2. Natural landscape: definition and geography
  3. Cultural landscape: definition and characteristics

Difference between natural and cultural landscape

Our planet is enormously rich and varied, in all aspects, and obviously it is also so in landscapes. Next, we are going to talk more in depth about this phenomenon, the different types of landscape and the factors that intervene in its formation and transformation.

Landscapes represent large (or not so large) tracts of land that are formed by physical and natural elements that, either due to their peculiarities or characteristics, capture our attention and represent the geographical expression of a specific region .

Traditionally we understand that the factors that most influence the landscape are vegetation and relief , since they are the ones that are most easily perceived. For example, relief is the one that exercises control over temperature and precipitation, and vegetation is the visual element that is most and best perceived. However, for centuries, man and his action is also an inalienable factor in the formation and transformation of landscapes.

When we observe a passage, in it, we can see reflected the differences and the variety of climates, reliefs and ways of life of different human societies, throughout the world and throughout history. That is why we speak of natural landscapes and cultural or humanized landscapes . Do you want to know their differences? In the following sections we explain each of them.

Natural landscape: definition and geography

All landscapes are different, the view offered by the top of a New York skyscraper is not the same as looking around us in the Sahara desert. Beyond the natural differences that may exist, there are spaces in which the intervention of man is maximum and others in which the action of nature is totally preserved. That is the difference between the natural landscape and the humanized or cultural landscape.

Although decades ago a large part of the Earth was made up of natural landscapes, today it is more difficult to find a place where man has not intervened and modified it. However, it is still possible to find places where human intervention is minimal or non-existent , those are precisely natural landscapes. Thus, we could establish the definition of natural landscape as that territory that has not been modified or altered by the action of man, that has its own characteristics as a result of the action of climatological, geological and natural factors. Today, natural landscapes are found in high mountainous areas, the two poles, certain coastal areas, the tropical forest.or deserts. They all have in common that they are areas of difficult access or that the conditions are so extreme that human life is unviable.

As we have just explained, the natural landscape is one that has been formed without human intervention, that is, it only consists of natural elements. Here we explain the components of the natural landscape :

  • Area : that is, the space of land that is within specific limits. For example, the Niagara Falls are in a specific area of ​​the border between the United States and Canada, and the Amazon rainforest in a delimited, although extensive, area of ​​South America.
  • Relief : they are all the forms and accidents that we find on the earth’s surface. Some examples of relief are mountains, mountain ranges, valleys or plains.
  • Water : we all know what water is, this combination of oxygen and hydrogen that makes life possible on our planet. As it could not be otherwise, being the main component of the earth’s surface, it is very important in the formation of the climate, since it is essential for both flora and fauna.
  • Climate : They are the atmospheric conditions of a specific area. Here, we include both temperature, wind, pressure or precipitation.
  • Soil : It is the upper area of ​​the earth’s surface, that is, the layer of the crust with which we are in contact. This is formed by the rocks that are decomposing, either by the action of water, wind, living beings or by changes in temperature. In the same way, depending on the type of soil, a type of vegetation will grow or not.
  • Minerals : they are the inorganic matter found in the different layers of the earth’s crust, some examples are silver, copper or gold, but we also find minerals that are not metallic, such as salt or sulfur.
  • Flora and fauna : that is, both the plants, trees and shrubs and the animals that live in a specific geographical area. For their part, these depend on the climate and the characteristics of a landscape to be able to inhabit it, but in turn they influence and transform them.

Cultural landscape: definition and characteristics

But although the natural landscape may be admirable to contemplate and of immeasurable beauty, most of the time it is too hostile for human beings to live in it. This is the reason why humans have been modifying these landscapes to adapt them to our needs and to be able to survive: this is how the cultural landscape is born. Construction of houses, roads and electrical networks, agriculture and other actions have modified the natural landscape to turn it into a humanized landscape .

Here we explain the components that make up a cultural landscape :

  • Population : that is, any person who lives on Earth, the human groups that live on this planet. However, the population is not distributed in a homogeneous way, but is concentrated in certain points with more density than others. Thus, most of the population gathers in cities, being the places where the cultural landscape stands out the most.
  • Housing : covered buildings made for people to inhabit. There are many styles and forms depending on the population and the place they occupy, since they adapt to the materials, climate and use that can be given to them. For example, a house built in a tropical area is not the same as a house in mountainous areas.
  • Production : they are all those elements built or created by the human being with the will to transform certain natural elements in order to adapt them to their uses. An example of them are factories, where a product is transformed from raw materials until it is converted into a different product that has different uses.
  • Communication : everything that has been built to connect people, towns or countries, that is, railways, roads, airports, ports, power lines, telephone cables, etc.

If you want to read more articles similar to Difference between natural and cultural landscapes , we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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