THE URBAN LANDSCAPE IN A SMART CITYThe concept of urban landscape represents the sublimation of urban environment and goes beyond that of public spaces by incorporating them in the environment around them. The urban landscape is thus essentially a space of a collective nature, though involving both publicly and privately owned property, which ultimately comes to form the skin of cities.TOWARDS A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE FIELD OF SUSTAINABLE URBAN MANAGEMENTAlthough not explicitly formulated in its final declaration, during the Congress the need to make experiences aimed at the urban management of the urban landscape more widely known at the international level was emphasized. In this respect the importance of mobilizing efforts towards achieving this essential goal, which is carried out by associations of cities, was also stressed, as was the challenge of incorporating urban landscape management issues in the agenda of United Nations sooner rather than later, once it has been revealed that all cities have an urban landscape that deserves to be protected.As for the Habitat III Conference, we would like to highlight that the thematic preparatory meeting held in Barcelona on 4 and 5 April, 2016 recognized the central role of public spaces in the New Urban Agenda as they are a key factor in achieving the collective aspiration of making cities and other urban settlements more sustainable, fairer, more democratic and more participatory."Public spaces are public property or private property designated for public use and are accessible and enjoyed by all citizens without restriction and free of charge. The character of a city is defined by its streets and public infrastructure which is visible in many different urban typologies, including squares, boulevards, gardens, neighborhood parks, libraries, etc.” As a result of the meeting, the so-called Barcelona Declaration emerged; at this point it is of interest to emphasize paragraphs such as the following that it includes:" We welcome in particular the recognition of the importance of public space in order to achieve sustainable development. (...)"" We recognize with satisfaction the considerable attention that has been devoted to the concept of public space in the preparatory process. (...)"" All of them coincide with the definition of public space: Public spaces are all places, including streets, public property or property of public use, accessible to and enjoyable by all, free of charge and without any vested interest. (.. .) "" The New Urban Agenda is a unique opportunity for authorities of all levels to be able to make human rights a reality for all inhabitants. (...)"" The right to the city is a new paradigm that provides an alternative framework to rethink cities and urbanization. (...)"" There is a need to preserve the character and quality of existing historical public spaces, so as to promote local identity and transmit the heritage to future generations; to improve public areas existing in the central and peripheral parts of the city, in order to improve their quality and foster a sense of belonging in communities; to design new public spaces in built-up areas and in new areas of urban expansion to increase people’s quality of life and strengthen social stability. (...) "All these statements, which we share in essence, were the object of study in an ICOUL 2017 preparatory meeting held in Barcelona on 18 April, 2016, which was attended by some of the speakers at the first conference. During the meeting, several questions were raised:Why should we limit ourselves to public space and not start talking in terms of urban landscape?Is it perhaps the case that the right to the city does not stretch beyond public space?Is it not the case that private partners jointly participate in improving the quality of the city and its image, and in promoting a sense of belonging to and pride in the city?Is it the case that the backdrop -in the classical Greek sense- to the public spaces of the city does not deserve to be protected and improved?Those attending regret that at this thematic meeting of Habitat III on public spaces, initially envisaged as an opportunity for discussion and contributions among world leaders and stakeholders in the field of urban development, the subject of urban landscape was in fact almost absent.We believe that we are in an excellent position to put forward the advantages of an urban landscape management policy that has been successfully applied in Barcelona for thirty years on the international stage. A simple reading of the recommendations that emerged from the debate on public space held in New York on the occasion of PrepCom 1 for the III Habitat Conference points out some of the possibilities of this new scenario:- We must learn from the mistakes of Habitat II, and transform ideas into action (Management).- The need to recognize the role of civil society and the importance of incentives to the private sector (Public Action).- The need for a change in language in order to try to persuade governments and the private sector to invest in public spaces is advantageous for everyone (Sponsorship and co-operation).It is precisely because of this change in language that the challenge that is set out by this modest platform has been undertaken.We understand the urban landscape as a sublimation of the urban environment, overcoming a static concept of public space; a landscape that by its very nature can never be of either a limited or exclusive nature. We also advocate that investing in the urban landscape is to invest in sustainable urban development; it is a true exercise in social responsibility, and that is advantageous for everyone.The underlying idea that inspires this proposal is that by means of the management of the urban landscape a sufficiently important impact on the environment will be brought about for the image of the city to be rebuilt and the quality of citizens’ life to be improved, regardless of the level of development which they have had access to, always based on the principle of the supremacy of the collective right to enjoy a sustainable urban environment and a harmonious landscape that is suitable for human development, over and above any particular interest or right.The present urban landscape, and what we intend to provide or improve, for better or worse, is an important part of the branding of the cityFar beyond what has been traditionally preached as regards public space, excellence in the quality of the urban landscape will allow citizens to identify better with their urban environment and to make a commitment to its preservation, as if it were an extension to their own home. By its nature, the urban landscape is indeed an extension to the dwelling; it is a collective dwelling, in short, a meeting point for citizens.City dwellers have a right to live in an urban environment in which public space, the historical heritage and the integrity of buildings’ architecture are all respected; they are also entitled to a free and more secure relationship with this urban environment. These rights are acquired through the peaceful enjoyment of a balanced, sustainable urban landscape as a result of a proper control of the excesses that may deteriorate the quality of life and security of its installations, facilities, equipment and other resources in general.In each city, in order to define the extent of these rights, mechanisms involving co-operation and engagement with citizens must be implemented, the city thus becoming a joint product of all the stakeholders. To us, providing cities with adequate instruments for achieving these objectives appears to be the best possible forward-looking, result-oriented step so as to realize the expectations brought about by Habitat II.The seed of our modest contribution to the New Urban Agenda that has emerged from the Habitat III Conference is contained in the "Charter of Cities’ Urban Landscape", adopted on the occasion of the aforementioned First International Conference on Urban Landscape (ICOUL), held in Sao Paulo in December 2015"We request that local governments should provide specific instruments for the broad-based management of the urban landscape and should lay down individual and collective responsibilities, both public and private, so as to enhance the quality of life in and of the city. Similarly they should set out the bases of the new challenges and opportunities that urban landscape management represents for cities:"We believe that the urban landscape is an essential feature in the shared living environment of our cities that deserves special attention and protection. The major problem in cities does not lie in the lack of planning, but rather in the lack of any change in people’s behavior in relation to the environment they live in and share."Or maybe it is the fact that the urban landscape is the work of humankind that justifies it being granted less legal protection than is given to the landscape which is the work of mother nature?"We believe that the preservation and enhancement of the values of the urban landscape affect key aspects of urban life. Seen from this viewpoint, the cityscape has an impact on various aspects of our daily life that affect the quality of life, such as health, education and welfare, which must be safeguarded."A harmonious urban landscape makes a city understandable and expresses the self-esteem of the government and its citizens. The specific geographic environment in which a city lies and the culture of its inhabitants produce the image and identity that make up its landscape."The urban landscape should bring out and highlight the natural and cultural heritage that guarantees the identity of each city and tells its history."This is in line with what was noted during the recent UNESCO meeting "The Historic Urban Landscape as a tool for sustainable urban development", held on 9 September, 2015, precisely in the city of Quito."We believe that the erosion of cities by the intensive use of the landscape should bring about a direct benefit for the community through tangible improvements in the landscape itself."This pronounced sensitivity towards interventions on the landscape requires a comprehensive and integrated management of its possible uses, one that reconciles maintaining its balance with the performance of its socio-economic and cultural functions. Urban landscape management requires an open, transversal and collaborative approach that accompanies the natural evolution of the city, helping to integrate and consolidate its new signs of identity."We urge governing bodies to act to improve the landscape and ensure its harmonious arrangement, promoting the safety and livability of cities, as well as promoting the citizens’ obligations and rights."The urban landscape is the result of public and private interventions on the city. These two sectors, which share responsibility for shaping the real city, must also share responsibility for its sustainability, maintenance and improvement. "We consider the active participation of citizens to be essential for maintaining the elements that make up the visible structure of the city, and for exercising the rights relating to urban landscape preservation."The optimization of the harmonious, aesthetic and civic values that the urban landscape contains is heavily dependent on the use made of and the activities carried out in cities. Any alteration to the relationships between the elements that make up the landscape can lead to instability that adversely affects citizens’ quality of life."We appeal to the different political and institutional leaders who advocate joining forces to work together for a more livable and more human city, overcoming vested interests on behalf of the common objective of improving shared living conditions in urban environments and spaces."The idea of what is aesthetic should be given priority in the right to a harmonious urban landscape. When a city is contemplated, the aspect that is above all borne in mind is functionality; however, its beauty must also be taken into account. The cult of beauty is part of human culture."We understand the urban landscape to be above all a meeting of citizens, which brings together urban planning and civility."Two points that at the same time represent two of the main ingredients for sustainable urban development:As far as ideas are concerned, we believe that New Urban Agenda should also include the essential role of broad-based participatory processes that transform the experience of citizens into public action, which we have called the co-production mechanism of the city. This mechanism must be seen as part of a new political discourse that is based on the defense of the right to the collective use of what is public, and what is private; this overcomes the spectrum of public space from the urban landscape perspective (including guidelines, criteria and objectives for preservation), finally converging in order to improve the quality of life in cities, so as to live in and especially to construct them together.As regards actions, we aspire to include urban landscape management in the New Urban Agenda as a set of interventions necessary for the promotion, protection, preservation and conservation of the quality of life of human beings living in urban environments. The urban landscape is an open system that is in constant evolution and therefore requires treatment in accordance with its dynamic nature.For all the urban inhabitants of the planet, the city is their place, their time, their life.