Library Dissertation Showcase

Can cultural landscape legacies be maintained with sustainable development? Taking examples from Climate Mitigation in the West Midlands region

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2022

This study aims to investigate if climate mitigation is possible without disturbing cultural landscape legacies, which can cause place attachment. Practises will focus on rewilding and renewable energy and investigate the reason these may be rejected. The research will be broken down into 1) How important is landscape in shaping culture? 2) Is there a link between place attachment and the likelihood to reject sustainable development? And 3) What are the causes of unwanted development? These will be answered through a mixed-methods approach, using a quantitative and qualitative based survey, and using planning portal application comments whereby longer open-ended answers are coded into themes and compared across sources. It appeared attachment and shared values were more important in shaping culture than landscapes, however unspecified in many answers what this attachment was to and likely could be to place. Attachment did predict the likelihood to reject renewable energy, as did time spent in an area and age. Rewilding acceptance was not predicted by any variables. Questionnaires found renewable energy being an eyesore, and invasive was the highest cause of rejection, whereas planning application comments uncovered it was damage to the landscape character development threatens. This provides useful grounding into how best to approach sustainable development, and what criterium should be met before proposing the idea. This research makes an important contribution as focused on the West Midlands region, and there are no studies out there covering a myriad of projects and objections in this location alone and acknowledging the culture. Furthermore, findings hope to increase awareness of the influence culture holds on the acceptability of pro-environmental development, and in turn, over time increase public acceptance of climate mitigation through a change in strategy implementation.

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