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International Concepts of Landscapes, Theory Basis

  • Dorothea HokemaEmail author
  • Hisako Koura
  • Cuttaleeya Jiraprasertkun
  • Jala Makhzoumi
Chapter
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Part of the RaumFragen: Stadt – Region – Landschaft book series (RFSRL)

Abstract

An online survey was conducted between October and December 2012 with the aim of investigating the understanding of landscape by US-American laypersons. The objective of the study was to gain a better insight into the construction of landscape. The respondents’ idea of landscape turned out to be an ambivalent combination of contemporary and traditional aspects: for US-American laypersons cultivated nature and sensible agriculture seem to be the core elements of landscape. Furthermore, cities and suburbs are connected to the notion of landscape as well.

Referring to landscape as a socially constructed term the traditionalist connotations as expressed in the survey may be astonishing because they seem to ignore contemporary living conditions. Only an understanding of social construction which recognizes also the history of ideas as a pivotal factor determining the discourse about the term may allow one to comprehend the ambivalent construction.

Abstract

This chapter discusses the concept of Landscape Literacy with reference to the concept of Good Landscape in Japan. Concepts of landscape were introduced into Japan during the 1920s, first for academic purposes, and later also for wider uses (Ueda, 2013). The Japanese Landscape Act of 2004 does not define the concept of landscape, but introduces the basic philosophy of the “Good Landscape”; this legislation indicates how the concept of “Good Landscape” might be implemented, but many relevant questions still need to be answered. This chapter presents precursory considerations for good environmental quality that are found in Japanese planning and urban development since the 1960s (Nishimura, 2003), and in this chapter Landscape Planning is also discussed as the communication process to develop Landscape Literacy as the ground for development management.

Abstract

The studies on the reading of space and places have proved that it is extremely difficult (in fact almost impossible!) to translate or even to compare English and Thai words. The fact that the terms ‘teewang’, ‘tintee’ and ‘phumitat’, the literal translations of ‘space’, ‘place’ and ‘landscape’ in Thai, are not commonly used in Thai people’s everyday life raises crucial questions of how people actually perceive and describe their spaces and places: what are those terms they use in daily life and whether their perceptions and interpretations through those concepts will overlap to some extent with the understandings of ‘space, ‘place’, ‘landscape’ in the English world.

Hence, the investigations have been conducted on how the Thais conceptualize the understandings of ‘space’, ‘place’, ‘landscape’ and ‘community’ through local vocabularies. The study illustrates that Thai people have formulated their thinking through several common terms of ‘ban’ (house or home), ‘muang’ (city or town), ‘chonnabot’ (countryside), ‘sapapwaedlom’ (environment) and a set of terms relating to the concept of community. The readings and interpretations of those terms and their embedded qualities help to explain why Western theories are often not applicable to the Thai contexts. Also values and meanings involved with such terms raise critical questions as to the application of design theory and practice.

Abstract

Accepting that a totalizing conception of ‘landscape’ is not universal but specific to Western culture, this chapter investigates the perception of landscape in the Arab Middle East. Two contrasting conceptions of landscape are proposed. The first is ‘borrowed’ from the West, introduced as part of urban restructuring during British and French colonial rule and post-colonial governments in the early twentieth century. The second is ‘rooted’ in traditional perceptions of countryside and vernacular rural valuation of natural resources. The chapter argues that the discourse of landscape should recognize both conceptions, the ‘borrowed’ and the ‘rooted’, as a necessary foundation for advancing research and practice in the Arab Middle East.

Keywords

Middle East Urban Design Landscape Planning Olive Orchard Domestic Garden 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothea Hokema
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hisako Koura
    • 2
  • Cuttaleeya Jiraprasertkun
    • 3
  • Jala Makhzoumi
    • 4
  1. 1.BerlinGermany
  2. 2.OsakaJapan
  3. 3.BangkokThailand
  4. 4.BeirutLibanon

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