• Action for Training in Land use And Sustainability
  • Client: European Commission
  • Period: 2005-2007
  • Type: Co-ordination Action

The ATLAS project (funded by the European Commission, Directorate General for Research, under the 6th Framework Programme) came to a conclusion in March 2007. A brochure was published as one of the tangible results. It shows the main project results to policy makers, public servants and educational officials interested in land use, landscape and sustainability. ATLAS studied and analysed the present state of the art of education and training in land use and sustainability. ATLAS has also produced a web based tool supplying information on relevant literature, documentation and available education and training courses (

Proposal abstract

ATLAS brings together the expertise of the leading European research, education and training institutions in the area of land use and sustainability, combining innovative research efforts and practical experiences, enabling an educational breakthrough required to meet the ambitions of the Sub-priority.

The fragmented nature of education and training provision in sustainability impact assessment for land use planning is a major barrier to the management of rapid land use change that is now occurring in Europe. As a result the Commission wishes to:

  • take stock of what educational resources exist,
  • assess their adequacy; and,
  • stimulate the development of appropriate strategies and initiatives for the future.

ATLAS will enable the coordination and dissemination of educational practice and the development of future training initiatives for policy and practice in this area throughout Europe. It will result in:

  • A baseline description (on-line data base) of the status of educational provision at practitioner's, professional, undergraduate and Master's levels, within Europe;
  • A SWOT-analysis of the extent to which this provision meets current needs, with clear recommendations for improvement; and,
  • A 'road-map' for training in land use sustainability assessment providing better European organisation of the educational provision leading to appropriate professional qualifications.

ATLAS will permit the Commission to achieve the mentioned requirements, by bringing together the three leading international networks concerned with sustainable land use management in Europe, namely LANDSCAPE EUROPE, ECLAS and Landscape Tomorrow. These networks have differing focuses within this area but together have a complete coverage of the subject. They moreover benefit from direct participation in relevant IP's like SENSOR and SEAMLESS. Improved co-ordination of their efforts on education and training will have great benefits for the effectiveness of the policies currently developed. This will open up a large number of existing educational programmes to enhance coordinated capacity building for policy makers in the field of land use management practice, design, planning and research.