Place Identity with a Historic Landscape – An Interview-Based Case Study of Local Residents’ Relationship with the Austrått Landscape in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonHeritage & Society. 2018, 1-18. 10.1080/2159032X.2018.1553425
This article examines local residents’ identity with historic landscapes through the case study of the Austrått landscape in Norway, where cultural and natural heritage are under pressure from increasing local development. In order to understand what the place means to local residents, i.e., how local residents perceive the landscape and how they attach themselves to the landscape, the theory of place identity was applied, which has two dimensions: identity with the place and identity of the place. Local residents were approached by interviewing local farm owners, and by holding a workshop with local interest groups. The findings indicate that local residents have a good understanding of what constitute the qualities and values of the historic landscape; they have a deep attachment to the place, mainly through activities and frequent use, and they expressed a wish to have balance between preserving the past and developing the future. The conclusion argues that, when overseeing a historic landscape that also has a close relationship with local residents, it is crucial to involve these people at all stages of the process, from knowledge generation and evaluation to planning and management. Having local residents actively involved can help ensure the lasting integrity of the qualities and values of historic landscapes, and sustain local residents’ identity with the place.