Through basic and applied research, the Cultural Landscape and Land Use working group is dedicated to the morphogenetic and perceptual analysis of human-environment relationships, which are particularly influenced by global, regional and local changes in society. A better understanding of these relationships is crucial to ensure the continued existence of mountains as livable spaces with their natural and cultural spatial characteristics in the long term, thus promoting sustainable development. The focus of interest is on physical, demographic, and cultural processes, as well as associated consequences for human land use and their interactions with cultural landscapes.

The interdisciplinary application of quantitative and qualitative methods on different scales as well as the diachronic observation of longer periods of time generate system and target knowledge about the genesis and future development of cultural landscapes and land use in mountain regions and enable the derivation of practice-relevant recommendations for action for decision makers, for example in cultural institutes, agricultural holdings, tourism destinations, and protected areas. The transdisciplinary application of co-creative methods also generates target knowledge together with non-scientific stakeholders.

Beyond the European Alps, the working group also deals with extra-Alpine mountains in the Global North and South in the sense of comparative mountain research. Its members act as contact points for the cultural landscape and land use relevant networks of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL), the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI), and the Commission on Mountain Studies of the International Geographical Union (IGU).