Stories of favourite Places in public spaces: Emotional responses to landscape change

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Understanding emotions is necessary to analyse underlying motivations, values and drivers for behaviours. In landscapes that are rapidly changing, for example, due to land conversion for intensive agriculture, a sense of powerlessness of the inhabitants can be common, which may negatively influence their emotional bond to the landscape they are living in. To uncover varied emotional responses towards landscape change we used an innovative approach that combined transdisciplinary and artistic research in an intensively farmed landscape in Germany. In this project, we focused on the topic of favourite places in public spaces, and how change in such places was experienced. Drawing on workshops and interviews, we identified themes of externally driven societal and internal personal influences on the public favourite places. “Resilient” emotional responses towards landscape change showed a will to integrate the modifications, while “non-resilient” responses were characterised by frustration and despair. We argue that identifying emotions towards change can be valuable to strengthen adaptive capacity and to foster sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3851
Issue number14
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 15.07.2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by the Volkswagen-Stiftung and the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenshaft und Kultur funded project “Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation: Institutions, People and Knowledge” (Grant number A112269).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.