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Getting acquainted with their landscape

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:research by design as a tool to understand people's perception of current and future landscapes
Effective changes in the field are becoming more and more important for spatial planning under the influence of the current neoliberal policy context. The importance of citizens as spatial actors is also growing. Landscapes can be seen as arenas where the various social activities come together and compete. At the same time, they are also the result of the physical interventions associated with them and the interpretation given to them by citizens. The change in the landscape has direct consequences for the quality of their concrete living environment. In order to ensure that spatial interventions preserve or even enhance the quality of the landscape, it is necessary to fully understand how people perceive their landscape, which landscape characteristics they consider important and which qualities are linked to it. Determining the qualities of a landscape is not easy, but also finding a consensus about the way in which these qualities can be preserved or improved during spatial interventions is not easy. Not only is communication between laymen and experts sometimes difficult, but people often have difficulty explaining why they appreciate a particular landscape. On the basis of literature and case studies, the possibilities offered by design research as a diagnostic tool for investigating the perception of people when actively changing landscapes are interpreted. The depiction of possible future developments and the discussion with citizens about the effects on their living environment provide a better insight into the current, personalized landscape qualities. In addition, the methodology also provides insights into the possibilities of transforming the landscape while maintaining or even enhancing that personalized landscape quality. By using imaginative communication, the design research provides a common language so that experts and lay people can discuss the quality of the landscape as equals. Moreover, the deliberative process increases the mutual knowledge of the landscape appreciation of various spatial actors. The latter can lead to new alliances, greater involvement in the spatial interventions and an improvement in the quality of the landscape.
Journal: Belgeo
ISSN: 2294-9135
Issue: 3
Volume: 2015
Number of pages: 16
Publication year:2015