Place, Culture and Landscape After the Christchurch Earthquake

Simon Swaffield

“Place, culture and landscape all provide continuity to our lives. Continuity of biophysical settings, of people and activities, of values and memories; in short, our sense of who we are. Yet communities become most aware of the importance of such continuity only when it is threatened — whether incrementally, for example, through globalisation; deliberately, through redevelopment; or dramatically, through natural disaster or conflict. At these times the impermanence and contingency of taken-for-granted places and their wider landscape setting is revealed, and the protocols and cultural practices of managing change, both intentional and imposed, are tested and not infrequently found wanting. Yet new possibilities of place, culture and landscape also emerge, to which formal government and wider processes of governance must adapt…”