Unraveling a region's sociocultural characteristics and its interactions with surrounding landscapes

Christophe Rogolle, Elke Rogge, Veerle Van Eetvelde

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresPaper


    During the last decade, there is a growing interest for transdisciplinary landscape research, with a tendency to involve the broad public by means of several participative techniques and methods. However, despite the fact that a lot of new information can be gathered through a participative approach, often a limited part of this knowledge is taken into account in landscape policy or spatial planning at the local and regional scale. While experts look at the spatial reality of a certain region, they often pay less attention to the social reality, which can also have a major influence on landscapes and their spatial qualities. We believe that by connecting this social reality to the spatial reality, landscape and spatial plans can be designed in a renewing and more creative way. With our research we focus on rural landscapes and policy and want to define the social aspects that have an influence on landscapes and spatial quality. Furthermore we want to unravel whether these aspects can generate an added value for future landscape planning. This paper focuses on a case-study area in the region around the city of Roeselare (Province of West-Flanders). In this region, the food producing and processing sector is a prominent player in the agricultural sector and has a major influence on the rural landscapes. Especially the vegetable processing companies which are located amidst the rural area, affect the landscape quality. In order to gather lay knowledge and nuanced opinions about the landscapes and rural areas around Roeselare, 48 persons were interviewed. Three main groups of respondents are defined: farmers, representatives of the food processing industry and inhabitants of the study area. During the interviews the respondents were asked for their opinion about their living environment and more specifically about the landscape quality. The ad verbatim transcribed interviews are thoroughly analyzed in the data analysis program NVIVO 9, using the techniques of grounded theory. The results of these interviews were quite surprising. Besides some expected physical arguments (rootedness), also some underrated and consequently hardly used social arguments (bondedness) which determine the people’s attachment to their region are mentioned several times. In the analysis we try to scrutinize the way these social aspects have an influence on landscapes and spatial quality.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2012


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