Analyzing structural and functional changes of traditional landscapes—two examples from Southern France

Analyzing structural and functional changes of traditional landscapes—two examples from... Traditional landscapes are changing with increasing speed and an important cultural heritage is becoming lost. New landscapes replace the traditional ones gradually or sometimes abruptly. This article analyzes the characteristics and mechanisms of landscape changes at a settlement level, by using case studies in the countryside of southern France where landscapes are in transition between new residential urbanization and land abandonment. Structural changes in land use, building and field patterns between two time periods are studied using aerial photographs covering a period from 1960 to 1999. The photographs were scanned to allow on screen digitalization and interpretation of selected features and details, which were consecutively mapped and analyzed in a GIS. Changes observed on the aerial photographs were compared with the population statistic and the accessibility of the place. All cases show very different and unique trajectories of change with complex interactions between different driving forces. Agricultural intensification and land abandonment act simultaneously with different forms of urbanization in the countryside. Although easily recognizable on the aerial photographs, a quantitative assessment of the changes in the different structural components remains difficult and the results can hardly be related to changes in population characteristics and accessibility. Consequently, structural and morphological changes observed on the aerial photographs lead to other interpretations of the underlying functional processes than the statistical data do. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Landscape and Urban Planning Elsevier

Analyzing structural and functional changes of traditional landscapes—two examples from Southern France

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V.
ISSN
0169-2046
eISSN
1872-6062
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0169-2046(03)00030-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Traditional landscapes are changing with increasing speed and an important cultural heritage is becoming lost. New landscapes replace the traditional ones gradually or sometimes abruptly. This article analyzes the characteristics and mechanisms of landscape changes at a settlement level, by using case studies in the countryside of southern France where landscapes are in transition between new residential urbanization and land abandonment. Structural changes in land use, building and field patterns between two time periods are studied using aerial photographs covering a period from 1960 to 1999. The photographs were scanned to allow on screen digitalization and interpretation of selected features and details, which were consecutively mapped and analyzed in a GIS. Changes observed on the aerial photographs were compared with the population statistic and the accessibility of the place. All cases show very different and unique trajectories of change with complex interactions between different driving forces. Agricultural intensification and land abandonment act simultaneously with different forms of urbanization in the countryside. Although easily recognizable on the aerial photographs, a quantitative assessment of the changes in the different structural components remains difficult and the results can hardly be related to changes in population characteristics and accessibility. Consequently, structural and morphological changes observed on the aerial photographs lead to other interpretations of the underlying functional processes than the statistical data do.

Journal

Landscape and Urban PlanningElsevier

Published: Mar 15, 2004

References

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