New Cultural Landscapes

New Cultural Landscapes

Landscapes are a dynamic complex sets of relationships and interactions between natural and human factors, tangible and intangible.  Landscapes always change, some times almost imperceptibly in a human lifetime, other times there is rapid flux which we can readily see.  At times people have actively created new forms of landscape, in some cases by physically transforming them and in other cases by changing perceptions of them.

The future of cultural landscapes is explored in a recently published volume New Cultural Landscapes edited by Maggie Roe and Ken Taylor.  The volume emphasises the lived nature of the multiple relationships, values and qualities which comprise all of our landscapes.

Many of the papers in the volume highlight the active role people have in (re)imagining and (re)creating new cultural landscapes.  Exploring a wide range of issues and case studies, from: the remediation of post-industrial landscapes; the ‘rebranding of landscapes’ by an ecomuseological approach; the transformative nature of conflict on landscapes; the appropriation and use of wastescapes and disasterscapes; the role of film tourism in creating commerical and dream landscapes; landscape urban – rural interactions in developing countries; the rapid growth of New Urban Landscapes in China; through to the challenges of increasingly rapid change in landscapes due to climatic pressures.

For those of you who are interested in the lived and dynamic nature of landscapes, this academic volume, is a useful contribution to the ongoing debate about how we value, manage and enhance all types of landscape.

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You may also be interested in Resilience and the Cultural Landscape.

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Transforming a Place

Walking through a familiar place in Edinburgh, and crossing a busy noisy junction with cars and buses hurtling past, I spotted signs on a building which I had never noticed before…!

One of the signs on the right side of the building says Guse Dub.  It refers to when there was a Goose Pond at this location in 1715, which was mentioned by Sir Walter Scott in an account of his child hood memories.

I paused and realised there was another sign, Transforming a Place, on the left side of the building.  It relates to a project from 2007-2009, as part of the Six Cities Design Festival.  One element of the design festival was a place making process for this location, with a series of design workshops which explored the history of the site and its potential future uses and appearance.  The sign has been set up by The Causey Development Trust who are trying to reclaim from the traffic this small urban historic space in Edinburgh for the people: Transforming a Place.

It will be interesting to see if the work of The Causey Development Trust transforms this place for people as opposed to cars….!

The Art Of Urban Prehistory

A recent edition of Urban Realm has an interesting piece on urban sculpture by John Glenday with views from Andy Scott and David Harding.  In the piece, Great Outdoors, the legacy of public art in the new town of Glenrothes, Fife, is highlighted: something mentioned in a comment on an earlier post by Sheltering Memory.  Not least as four pieces of public art have apparently been Listed, which now affords them some protection in the planning system.  Of these David Harding’s pieces ‘Henge’ and ‘Industry, Past and Present’ perhaps most explicitly reference the past before the New Town.

More information can be found about the public art of Glenrothes in a recent publication by Historic Scotland ‘Places – Glenrothes Town Art’.  This details several trails in the town, so its certainly worth some time exploring the public art of Glenrothes.