LANDSCAPE PARK

Southeast Regional Park is a natural area whose natural resources, both biotic and abiotic, are under enormous pressure from human activities that take place in the area. This feature is best reflected in the landscape, a commodity that can be used like any other resource.

When thinking of the landscape is necessary to do so from a dual perspective. On the one hand as a study of a resource, a commodity that can be exploited and the need to conserve, and secondly as a source of information to get a proper land management.

The landscape does not come out of nowhere, on the contrary it is the result of the combination of different causal factors, geomorphology, climate, biotic elements, and water. A combination that reflects the processes that have been developed over time and is incised by natural disturbances and especially, the changes have been introduced human activity.

The landscape is born of human contemplation and every landscape is "interpreted" by each viewer who looks up and sees, and therefore differs according to the eyes that are watching it. This perception that each observer has the landscape is clearly influenced by their learning (educational, cultural), so the landscape can be considered as the sum of many observations, not a single scene provided by a single observer. This reality is further conditioned by time, a landscape is not the same in winter or summer, at dawn or dusk.

From the union of a perception of landscape from the causal factors linked to the perception of the observer, is born an integrative approach of this resource. This vision must add historical and cultural nuances that determine a landscape as we know.

The slightly more than 8.000 km2 that now make up the Community of Madrid are due in part to its location on the Iberian Peninsula, a position that determines their specific natural characteristics, based on the potential use of historical and current soil result also the character of its inhabitants, its historical development and its development in recent decades, largely conditioned by its function as capital of Spain. The Community of Madrid has developed a distributed Landscape Mapping the territory in 175 units, of which 20 are present in the Southeast Regional Park, these units were grouped by river basins. For these units model was applied to analyze the visual quality of the landscape based on the basic components of this resource: physiography, vegetation and uses, surface water and man-made incidents. The resulting value is called the intrinsic visual quality is modified by the diversity of environments across the altitudinal variability and the existence of natural and cultural values, it relies on three types of factors: biophysical, socio-cultural and visual. The first function of topography and vegetation, the latter in terms of the probability that the unit is seen by observers and the last to be responsible for measuring the surface of the unit seen from different set points, called control points .

This study establishes a high value for the landscape units of the Community of Madrid, 59% of the units have high values of visual quality. For the landscape units that are established in the territory of the park, this study establishes a mean value of visual quality medium / low. The higher values obtained by the units that are located on the right bank of the Jarama, between the mouth of the Manzanares River and San Martín de la Vega, and also presented average values of slopes areas of the left. Half of the units have values medium / low or low. No doubt the environment surrounding this protected natural space conditions the perception of the landscape by the observer. This mapping has led to the first step prior to conducting a thorough study of the characteristics of park scenery, study needed to meet a larger scale the factors that determine its operation and establish a proper management.

Southeast Regional Park is structured around the Manzanares river and, particularly, Jarama river valleys. An area traditionally occupied by activities linked to agriculture, which has been changing over recent decades by various actions which would alter the landscape: the growth of consolidated urban areas, urbanization diffused from the urban fringe to rural areas, new urban settlements, theme parks and department stores, mining exploitations, and the construction of major infrastructure transport (motorways, railways high speed). This pressure to be found on their edges, the landscape, an element not being waterproof, is conditioned by these actions.

From a visual standpoint it should be noted on the one hand the elements that frame the space and other elements related to human activities, both closely linked to each other.

The dominant natural element is the great masses of gypsum elevated by tectonic and eroded by water courses.The type of cut could be subdivided into two large in El Piul and Casa Eulogio, located on the right bank of the Jarama and Henares cuts on the left of it, and one short in Titulcia, Soto Bayona, on the left bank of Jarama.

These sections were obtained from the broader view of the park and especially the river valleys. These meadows are highly humanized, occupied mainly by crop and by mining activities have left a large number of gaps of different sizes and characteristics.

In this first evaluation is necessary to add a comment on the many elements that act as a visual barrier to the observer or the observed point, these barriers are the result of human activity and is especially significant in the north of the park, meaning northern Part of this space between the northern boundary and the highway A-3 (Madrid-Valencia). This area is crossed by numerous infrastructure, local and county roads, major highways (M-45, M-50, R-3 and high-speed railway line Madrid-Barcelona), electricity distribution lines of high tension, and the impact sound it makes to the landscape placed under the approach path of aircraft that are preparing to land in Madrid-Barajas Airport, between the towns of Mejorada del Campo and San Fernando de Henares.

Another factor to consider is the strong pace developer of some municipalities in recent decades. The pressure of urbanization reached the very limits of the park and some buildings in Rivas-Vaciamadrid are placed on top of the cliffs. Outside this space, but very close to their limits there are some constructions that are real milestones in the landscape, some examples are cement structures Morata de Tajuña that are visible from virtually anywhere in the park, or the newly built theme park in San Martín de la Vega, with a vertical pull of 100 feet.

In conclusion to this brief visual analysis approach or the Park, we must mention the existence of a number of backbones of the territory from a landscape point of view that are the rivers that run through the area and the cliffs and hills that enclose these channels, lakes and valleys, occupied by agriculture and mining, these axes are crossed by major infrastructure predominantly linear in the east-west.

It is, in short, a space with a unique landscape features, which could be studied from different approaches, where human occupation dating back to prehistoric times, where the activities related to the man developed in the past century make him a most affected areas within the Comunidad de Madrid. However, the survival of privileged enclaves from the geomorphological point of view, botanical, wildlife, etc., Or the combination thereof, and its contrast with the surrounding landscape makes it unique enclaves be of great value.

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