Landscape is a vital, synergistic concept which opens up ways of thinking about many of the problems which beset our contemporary world, such as climate change, social alienation, environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and destruction of heritage. As a concept, landscape does not respect disciplinary boundaries. Indeed, many academic disciplines have found the concept so important, it has been used as a qualifier that delineates whole sub-disciplines: landscape ecology, landscape planning, landscape archaeology, and so forth. In other cases, landscape studies progress under a broader banner, such as heritage studies or cultural geography. Yet it does not always mean the same thing in all of these contexts. The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies offers the first comprehensive attempt to explore research directions into the many uses and meanings of ‘landscape’.
The Companion contains thirty-nine original contributions from leading scholars within the field, which have been divided into four parts: Experiencing Landscape; Landscape Culture and Heritage; Landscape, Society and Justice; and Design and Planning for Landscape. Topics covered range from phenomenological approaches to landscape, to the consideration of landscape as a repository of human culture; from ideas of identity and belonging, to issues of power and hegemony; and from discussions of participatory planning and design to the call for new imaginaries in a time of global and environmental crisis. Each contribution explores the future development of different conceptual and theoretical approaches, as well as recent empirical contributions to knowledge and understanding. Collectively, they encourage dialogue across disciplinary barriers and reflection upon the implications of research findings for local, national and international policy in relation to landscape.
This Companion provides up-to-date critical reviews of state of the art perspectives across this multifaceted field, embracing disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, cultural studies, geography, landscape planning, landscape architecture, countryside management, forestry, heritage studies, ecology, and fine art. It serves as an invaluable point of reference for scholars, researchers and graduate students alike, engaging in the field of landscape studies.
London: Routledge, 2012. 296-307 p.