Changes in Land Division and Property Structure Affecting the Rural Cultural Landscape

Saija Ettanen

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


    This study finds out how the former land divisions, land reforms, and current land consolidations are affecting the rural cultural landscape. The main goal is to develop a special landscape tool for anticipating the landscape effects of land consolidations. The elements forming cultural landscape are divided in three parts; firstly the visible elements of landscape consisting of natural and human made elements, secondly the functional processes especially focusing on land divisions and property structure changes and their effect on cultural landscape, and thirdly the elements forming the values of the landscape consisting of the openness of landscape and the features indicating traditional forms of land use. The cartographic analysis of the landscape was made in order to find out the landscape effects of land divisions in the past. Additionally, the landscape effects of the current land consolidations in different types of villages were studied. The inspected village types were the river village, plain village, lake village, ridge village, hill village, tree-covered hill village and forest village. The existing area and village classifications were used to analyze the spread of the different village types in Finland and to describe the characteristics of each village type. The results of the research study conducted in the National Land Survey of Finland concerning the field property structure in Finland were used to find out if the need for land consolidations and their possibilities to improve the scattered property structure are different in different village types. As a result the study showed that land divisions in the past are significant in the current landscape as the forms of land use in the past are layered in the current landscape. Additionally it was found out that land consolidations have been conducted, are currently conducted and will be conducted mainly in the areas characterized by river and plain villages. The property structure in these types of villages is especially scattered and will continue to scatter, when the farmers acquire more land from longer distances either by buying or leasing. The village type in a land consolidation area is significant, when the landscape effects of the land consolidation are evaluated. The most significant change in all village types is the unification of field areas, which results in the increase of landscape openness. The increase of landscape openness can have opposite effects in different village types varying from the general improvement of landscape to the increase of monotonous visual image of the landscape. A landscape tool was modelled for evaluating the landscape effects of land consolidations. With this tool these effects can be anticipated and proposals for action be given for promoting the positive effects and eliminating the negative effects.
    Translated title of the contributionChanges in Land Division and Property Structure Affecting the Rural Cultural Landscape
    Original languageFinnish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Vitikainen, Arvo, Supervising Professor
    • Vitikainen, Arvo, Thesis Advisor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-5564-0
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-5565-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


    • cultural landscape
    • land consolidation
    • land division
    • property structure
    • village type


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