Landscape Geography

From: Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Landscape is what we see around us, our surroundings such as they have developed throughout history: in urban areas, in the mountains, by the sea, in the forests, or in our own neighbourhoods.

Landscapes are continually changing. In landscape geography we are interested in understanding what factors lead to change. These can be both human and natural. How is the landscape a result of the development of society? In order to answer such questions, we study policy, management and different human usages of the landscape.

Conflicts on how we should use our resources are increasingly solved through official planning. Landscape geographers attempt to understand such conflicts by viewing the landscape as an expression for difference.

Individuals see and experience the landscape in different ways – ‘I see something you do not see’. Why is this so? Perhaps it is because we are from different places, we have different educational backgrounds, or that we are of different genders that one person is more conscious of the environment than another. Because we experience the landscape as frames that are formed from individual perspectives such frames can make planning difficult.

Landscape is often represented through images and maps. These illustrate the landscape ‘out there’ and are common tools in public planning. However, images and maps are simplifications of reality, hence all planning is simplified. This can mean that one is not able to recognize the reality that planners are presenting since it is not one’s own reality.

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