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SHRUB BATTLE: Understanding the making of landscape

Depigny S., Michelin Y.. 2007. Simulation and Gaming, 38 (2) : p. 263-277.

Landscape changes in Europe's rural areas seem to generate a more visible impact. This trend raises new questions on rural management and brings about a conflict between farmers' land-use patterns and public expectations, which are often exclusively based on esthetics. The aim of the SHRUB BATTLE board game is to help tutors make future rural planners aware of the complex relationships between landscape dynamics and agricultural practices. It provides a novel illustration of vegetation dynamics. Three players each pilot a plant species. Their pawns are spread across the board to progressively shape the landscape. Opposite them, a fourth player in the role of the animal farmer implements the best grassland-management practices to fulfill a landscape purpose. The interaction between players' strategies combined with random natural or cyclical events serves to illustrate the land-use conflicts occurring in the field. This pedagogical tool can be used to instill the fundamental principles of relationships between landscape dynamics and agricultural activities. This game makes students aware of the fact that rural planning requires multidisciplinary skills and knowledge of collective processes. (Résumé d'auteur)

Thématique : Géographie; Structure agraire; Ecologie végétale; Vulgarisation; Enseignement; Economie et politique du développement; Taxonomie végétale et phyto-géographie

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