“Coastal landscapes for whom? Adaptation challenges and landscape management in Cornwall”

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Many coastal landscapes across Europe are undergoing change due to the impacts of a changing climate. In the context of coastal erosion, especially the question of physical access to the landscape for a variety of publics is becoming ever more important. Where a multitude of actors are involved in landscape management, diverging subjective and collective perceptions of these changing landscapes, hold potential for disagreement about suitable adaptive measures. Although the body of literature on the role of subjective values in processes of climate adaptation is growing the societal constructions of respective places and landscapes underlying different adaptation approaches remain under-researched. We show in this paper that how landscapes are understood by actors in environmental management matters for decision-making. In particular, different understandings of the Cornish landscape at Godrevy Headland are shown to have material implications for how issues of access, visitor management and long-term responses to climate change and coastal erosion are addressed. In the case of Godrevy, coastal erosion has required local actors to plan the relocation of a visitor car park, bringing contrasting perspectives on the landscape, its use and protection to the fore. Uncovering the individual and collective assumptions about the landscape behind these conflicting narratives, is vital for fostering inclusive policy- and planning processes around climate change adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Policy
Pages (from-to)278-286
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 11.2018
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Access, Climate change adaptation, Coastal erosion, Coastal landscapes, Landscape as a commons, Social constructivism
  • Geography