The European landscape reflects its agricultural legacy, but agriculture is losing its dominant position in the rural economy. The rural landscapes of Europe are in a process of polarization between intensive land use and naturalistic areas. In addition to this process, fragmentation of the landscape is also taking place. Regional distinctiveness is disappearing due to the impact of globalization on food production. If regional differences are not maintained and protected then the cultural landscapesof Europe and their biological diversity will decline and only remnants will remain. It is argued that regional differences can only be maintained through conscious environmental and ecological planning. Concepts for this, such as ecostabilization and ecological networks, have been developed in many European countries. The role of the landscape planner should be one of integrating knowledge and functions by designing new functions in existing landscapes and new landscapes with regional character.