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What matters to people? Exploring contents of landscape identity at the local scale

Loupa Ramos, Isabel, Bianchi, Paulo, Bernardo, Fátima, Van Eetvelde, Veerle
Landscape research 2019 v.44 no.3 pp. 320-336
case studies, focus groups, issues and policy, landscapes, metropolitan areas, planning, stakeholders, Portugal
Planning policies are drivers of landscape change and affect people’s identity related to landscape. An improved understanding of landscape identity can provide insights, with a view to steering policy and planning. The concept of landscape identity is useful to explore the interaction between people and their surroundings, making identification of the ‘content’ of identity a pivotal issue. This paper aims to understand the contents of landscape identity in relation to future planning at the local scale. The case study of the municipality of Palmela (Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal) uses a qualitative approach (focus groups with community stakeholders) to collect the meaning of the contents of identity. The results show that there are multiple local landscape identities. Some contents of identity unite, whilst others divide the community of Palmela municipality. Acknowledging the relevance and the role of each content of identity provides knowledge that can be crucial for future planning decisions.