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4 Research products, page 1 of 1

  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage
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  • 2017-2021
  • 01 natural sciences
  • Rural Landscapes: Society Environment History
  • Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage

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  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Willem F. Vletter; Rowin J. van Lanen;
    Publisher: Stockholm University Press
    Project: NWO | The Dark Age of the Lowla... (2300172486)

    Route networks are influenced by cultural and environmental dynamics. Consequently, route networks themselves often are dynamic as well. This is especially true in lowland areas, such as the Netherlands, where environmental processes (e.g. geomorphological changes, floods) probably reshaped these networks numerous times. Many of the existing route networks in the Netherlands were established relatively recently, and little is known of their historical predecessors. Recent developments in spatial modelling may improve locating and analysing these old, vanished routes. In this study we have applied two recently-developed applications for historical-route network modelling to the Veluwe (the Netherlands) in order to reconstruct the route network in the region around AD 1500. This region is not densely cultivated and is known to have a long history of routes and paths running through the landscape. The first method, network friction, uses high-resolution geoscientific and cultural data to calculate potential movement corridors and probable route zones. The second method uses a more traditional least-cost path (LCP) model based on surface, groundwater level and slope. The usefulness of these approaches for reconstructing past route networks and the general added value of these approaches was assessed by comparing the reconstructions to the few existing spatial overviews of historical-route networks in this region and hollow ways extracted from Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) data. Our findings show that the results of the first method, network-friction modelling, correspond best with the comparison data regarding known routes in the study area. However, the general results point towards the necessity of integrating the two applied methods, since a combination of these models best reflects the multiscale variability within regional route networks.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Falco Knaps; Sylvia Herrmann;
    Publisher: Stockholm University Press
    Country: Germany

    Regional identity is the shared sense of regional ‘one-ness’, distinctiveness and difference. However, it is an undervalued factor to promote development in lagging rural areas and little is known about methods to reveal its content. This paper aims to develop and apply a method to explore regional identity in rural areas. We argue that the most important cultural markers – understood as rural landscapes and heritage features, perceived as regional identity reference points – can be analyzed and used to characterize regional identity. To this end, a case study was undertaken in two rural areas in northern Germany. We conducted 55 semi-structured interviews and determined cultural markers, using a new procedure with different analysis stages (identification, collectivity, historical depth, relationships). Results revealed a broad spectrum of cultural markers exhibiting collective significance with respect to landscape, built structures, history, intangible heritage and land-use. Next to traditional cultural markers, we found modern ones, introduced after the Second World War. Partially, traditional and modern cultural markers were perceived as related. Based on this knowledge, a first characterization of both regional identities was conducted, showing differences between our study areas. While one regional identity appears to be fragmented, conflicting and influenced by modern cultural markers, the other was characterized as coherent and rooted in traditional cultural markers. However, the integration of these characterizations into further planning steps remains challenging and needs additional, regionally adapted methods. A key finding of the study is that there is no single standard method for linking regional identity and rural planning.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Elin Slätmo;
    Publisher: Stockholm University Press

    Based on concerns about food security and food sovereignty, it is appropriate to scrutinise societal measures for protecting agricultural land from conversion to other uses. Changes from agricultural to urban land use are particularly problematic, as they are largely irreversible. By analysing relevant Swedish policy, the present study investigated how the protection of agricultural land is framed as an issue of societal importance. Protection of agricultural land is enshrined in Swedish law, but its use is still continually changing to housing and other constructions. In a structured policy analysis, two questions were examined: (1) what are the societal motives for protecting agricultural land in Sweden, and (2) how do these motives influence the governance of agricultural land? The meaning of ‘national importance’, ‘suitable for cultivation’ and ‘significant national interests’ in Swedish land-use law was also analysed. The results showed that formulations in the law reflect the ambivalent discourses on agricultural land preservation and that the Swedish authorities view other land uses as more important than agriculture. The Swedish governance system is currently built on trust that municipal institutions will make satisfactory decisions concerning land and water use. However, it has been shown that these decisions have not been satisfactory concerning the protection of agricultural land, and it is important to acknowledge that the sum of local decisions can be degrading for these life-supporting resources. The present analysis revealed a looming conflict between the preservation of soils for food production, on one hand, and local participation in decision making, on the other. This raises the question of whether it is more important to defend subsidiarity or to preserve certain resources which are important for food security, such as agricultural land.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Katherine L. Turner; Iain J. Davidson-Hunt; Annette Aurélie Desmarais;
    Publisher: Stockholm University Press
    Project: SSHRC

    This paper examines reconfigurations of household economies and agrobiodiversity through the experiences and responses of rural households to local manifestations of globalisation and environmental change in the Central Valley of Tarija, Bolivia, from the 1950s to the present. Research participant narratives from seven study communities document a widely experienced regional shift from rain-fed agriculture and pastured livestock production for household consumption to market-oriented production of regionally-specialised commodities. Particularly important to this reconfiguration are changing land access and use regimes, household responses to changing opportunities, discourses and social requirements related with ‘modernising lifestyles’, market integration and dependence, changing environmental and ecological conditions, and greater availability of consumer goods and technologies. We analyse how these processes have combined to reconfigure the range of livelihood possibilities available to rural households, or their ‘landscapes of possibility’, in ways that favour transition to specialised commodity production. Patterns of change in household agrobiodiversity use, however, are entwined with threads of persistence, underscoring the contingent nature of rural transitions and the role of local agency and creativity in responding to and sometimes shaping how globalisation unfolds. Examining rural transition through the experiences of households in particular contexts over time offers insights for development policy and practice to support producers’ ability to respond to globalisation and environmental change in ways they see as desirable and beneficial to their livelihoods and wellbeing.

Advanced search in Research products
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The following results are related to Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
4 Research products, page 1 of 1
  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Willem F. Vletter; Rowin J. van Lanen;
    Publisher: Stockholm University Press
    Project: NWO | The Dark Age of the Lowla... (2300172486)

    Route networks are influenced by cultural and environmental dynamics. Consequently, route networks themselves often are dynamic as well. This is especially true in lowland areas, such as the Netherlands, where environmental processes (e.g. geomorphological changes, floods) probably reshaped these networks numerous times. Many of the existing route networks in the Netherlands were established relatively recently, and little is known of their historical predecessors. Recent developments in spatial modelling may improve locating and analysing these old, vanished routes. In this study we have applied two recently-developed applications for historical-route network modelling to the Veluwe (the Netherlands) in order to reconstruct the route network in the region around AD 1500. This region is not densely cultivated and is known to have a long history of routes and paths running through the landscape. The first method, network friction, uses high-resolution geoscientific and cultural data to calculate potential movement corridors and probable route zones. The second method uses a more traditional least-cost path (LCP) model based on surface, groundwater level and slope. The usefulness of these approaches for reconstructing past route networks and the general added value of these approaches was assessed by comparing the reconstructions to the few existing spatial overviews of historical-route networks in this region and hollow ways extracted from Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) data. Our findings show that the results of the first method, network-friction modelling, correspond best with the comparison data regarding known routes in the study area. However, the general results point towards the necessity of integrating the two applied methods, since a combination of these models best reflects the multiscale variability within regional route networks.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Falco Knaps; Sylvia Herrmann;
    Publisher: Stockholm University Press
    Country: Germany

    Regional identity is the shared sense of regional ‘one-ness’, distinctiveness and difference. However, it is an undervalued factor to promote development in lagging rural areas and little is known about methods to reveal its content. This paper aims to develop and apply a method to explore regional identity in rural areas. We argue that the most important cultural markers – understood as rural landscapes and heritage features, perceived as regional identity reference points – can be analyzed and used to characterize regional identity. To this end, a case study was undertaken in two rural areas in northern Germany. We conducted 55 semi-structured interviews and determined cultural markers, using a new procedure with different analysis stages (identification, collectivity, historical depth, relationships). Results revealed a broad spectrum of cultural markers exhibiting collective significance with respect to landscape, built structures, history, intangible heritage and land-use. Next to traditional cultural markers, we found modern ones, introduced after the Second World War. Partially, traditional and modern cultural markers were perceived as related. Based on this knowledge, a first characterization of both regional identities was conducted, showing differences between our study areas. While one regional identity appears to be fragmented, conflicting and influenced by modern cultural markers, the other was characterized as coherent and rooted in traditional cultural markers. However, the integration of these characterizations into further planning steps remains challenging and needs additional, regionally adapted methods. A key finding of the study is that there is no single standard method for linking regional identity and rural planning.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Elin Slätmo;
    Publisher: Stockholm University Press

    Based on concerns about food security and food sovereignty, it is appropriate to scrutinise societal measures for protecting agricultural land from conversion to other uses. Changes from agricultural to urban land use are particularly problematic, as they are largely irreversible. By analysing relevant Swedish policy, the present study investigated how the protection of agricultural land is framed as an issue of societal importance. Protection of agricultural land is enshrined in Swedish law, but its use is still continually changing to housing and other constructions. In a structured policy analysis, two questions were examined: (1) what are the societal motives for protecting agricultural land in Sweden, and (2) how do these motives influence the governance of agricultural land? The meaning of ‘national importance’, ‘suitable for cultivation’ and ‘significant national interests’ in Swedish land-use law was also analysed. The results showed that formulations in the law reflect the ambivalent discourses on agricultural land preservation and that the Swedish authorities view other land uses as more important than agriculture. The Swedish governance system is currently built on trust that municipal institutions will make satisfactory decisions concerning land and water use. However, it has been shown that these decisions have not been satisfactory concerning the protection of agricultural land, and it is important to acknowledge that the sum of local decisions can be degrading for these life-supporting resources. The present analysis revealed a looming conflict between the preservation of soils for food production, on one hand, and local participation in decision making, on the other. This raises the question of whether it is more important to defend subsidiarity or to preserve certain resources which are important for food security, such as agricultural land.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Katherine L. Turner; Iain J. Davidson-Hunt; Annette Aurélie Desmarais;
    Publisher: Stockholm University Press
    Project: SSHRC

    This paper examines reconfigurations of household economies and agrobiodiversity through the experiences and responses of rural households to local manifestations of globalisation and environmental change in the Central Valley of Tarija, Bolivia, from the 1950s to the present. Research participant narratives from seven study communities document a widely experienced regional shift from rain-fed agriculture and pastured livestock production for household consumption to market-oriented production of regionally-specialised commodities. Particularly important to this reconfiguration are changing land access and use regimes, household responses to changing opportunities, discourses and social requirements related with ‘modernising lifestyles’, market integration and dependence, changing environmental and ecological conditions, and greater availability of consumer goods and technologies. We analyse how these processes have combined to reconfigure the range of livelihood possibilities available to rural households, or their ‘landscapes of possibility’, in ways that favour transition to specialised commodity production. Patterns of change in household agrobiodiversity use, however, are entwined with threads of persistence, underscoring the contingent nature of rural transitions and the role of local agency and creativity in responding to and sometimes shaping how globalisation unfolds. Examining rural transition through the experiences of households in particular contexts over time offers insights for development policy and practice to support producers’ ability to respond to globalisation and environmental change in ways they see as desirable and beneficial to their livelihoods and wellbeing.