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Perceptions of landscape continuity and change

Heatherington, Catherine M. (2015) Perceptions of landscape continuity and change. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Interest in derelict, underused and neglected (DUN) sites has grown in recent years in both the academic and public domains. This interest is not only theoretical and landscape professionals are experimenting with new ways of designing landscapes on DUN sites. This research finds that designers incorporate the histories of these sites into the developed landscapes through their uses of new and recycled materials, through symbolic and metaphorical references and by revealing the relationships between material, spatial and temporal layers and processes. However there has been little research into the visitors’ perceptions of such developed DUN landscapes. I show that their responses to these landscapes are not always straightforward and predictable. They are often contingent and influenced by imagination and memory. The temporal and material layers in the landscapes are valued for the ways in which they juxtapose, what visitors perceive as, the natural and the cultural worlds. Individuals’ responses are dependent on external factors such as prior knowledge and experiences, and on perceptions of the wider landscape as well as on immediate sensations and observations within the site. I argue that these diverse ways of perceiving the landscapes contribute to a sense of continuity. However continuity in this context is not about permanence or a desire for things to remain static. For some it can be understood as a sense of the passage of time that does not necessarily exclude the possibility of future change. I suggest that an understanding on the part of professionals of these varied perceptions and responses can inform the design of the relationships between the semi-natural and cultural layers and enable a better understanding of the effects of creating temporal and material palimpsests in former DUN landscapes.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: derelict continuity change brownfield memory anticipatory history materiality quality
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Landscape (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.641030
Depositing User: Catherine M. Heatherington
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2015 09:05
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:10
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8433

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