The basic problem is to what extent we can know past and mainly invisible landscapes, and how we can use this still hidden knowledge for actual sustainable management of landscape's cultural and historical values. It has also been acknowledged that heritage management is increasingly about 'the management of future change rather than simply protection'. This presents us with a paradox: to preserve our historic environment, we have to collaborate with those who wish to transform it and, in order to apply our expert knowledge, we have to make it suitable for policy and society. The answer presented by the Protection and Development of the Dutch Archaeological-Historical Landscape programme (pdl/bbo) is an integrative landscape approach which applies inter- and transdisciplinarity, establishing links between archaeological-historical heritage and planning, and between research and policy. This is supported by two unifying concepts: 'biography of landscape' and 'action research'. This approach focuses upon the interaction between knowledge, policy and an imagination centered on the public. The European perspective makes us aware of the resourcefulness of the diversity of landscapes, of social and institutional structures, of various sorts of problems, approaches and ways forward. In addition, two related issues stand out: the management of knowledge creation for landscape research and management, and the prospects for the near future. Underlying them is the imperative that we learn from the past 'through landscape'.