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Many coastal areas around the world are experiencing dramatic landscape changes as a result of increased tourism development and due to the 'sea change phenomenon' - the migration of affluent urbanites to small coastal towns seeking beautiful, natural surroundings. In response to these changes local residents in these places often complain that the distinctive character of their towns and/or individual neighborhoods is being lost or degraded.
This book looks at how changes due to unsympathetic development of the built environment and modification of the natural landscape are perceived to negatively impact on the character of small coastal towns. The book explores the concept of town character, and associated notions of sense of place, genius loci and place identity, as conceptualised by local residents in several coastal town communities along Australia's Great Ocean Road. Findings of a four year study involving over 1800 respondents from these communities are used to explore theoretical and methodological issues associated with the assessment of place character in the context of coastal towns that are experiencing rapid environmental change.
The book will be of interest to planners, environmental designers and scholars in both landscape studies and the relevant social science and planning fields that are interested in the sustainable development of coastal areas. The case studies and associated planning and design strategies, together with the bibliography of selected relevant literature, will provide an invaluable reference for these scholars.
1. Introduction.1.1 The plight of coastal areas. 1.2 Forces of change. 1.3 Sustainable development. 1.4 Participatory (bottom-up) urban planning. 1.5 Planning and community environmental perceptions.- 2. Notions of place character.2.1 Landscape perceptions, meanings and values. 2.2 Attributes of place character. 2.3 Environmental values and the social construction of place. 2.4 Shaping environments, shaping perceptions, shaping places.- 3. Methodological considerations in the assessment of place character.3.1 Assessing landscape perceptions and values. 3.2 Expert versus public involvement in the assessment of landscape quality. 3.3 Combining qualitative and quantitative methods. 3.4 Field methods for assessing community perceptions of place character. 3.5 Projective mapping surveys. 3.6 Photographic stimuli. Photo-rating procedures. 3.7 Focus group discussions. 3.8 Multiple photo sorting techniques. 3.9 Analytical techniques: qualitative and statistical. 3.10 Displaying and interpreting results. 3.11 Research design and execution.- 4. Community perceptions of place character: Studies along Australia's Great Ocean Road.4.1 Introduction. 4.2 Perceptions of place character along the Great Ocean Road. 4.3 Great Ocean Road towns. 4.3.1 Torquay. 4.3.2 Anglesea. 4.3.3 Aireys Inlet. 4.3.4 Lorne. 4.3.5 Apollo Bay. 4.3.6 Port Campbell. 4.3.7 Port Fairy. 4.4 A meta-analysis. 4.5 Social and cultural attributes. 4.6 Natural environmental attributes. 4.7 Loss of place character. 4.8 Community concerns and involvement. 4.9 Planning initiatives.- 5. Managing change, conserving place character.5.1 Assessing place character. 5.2 Shaping place character. 5.3 Ecological conservation. 5.4 Cultural heritage conservation. 5.5 Sustainable development of coastal areas. 5.6 Development controls. 5.7 Simulation techniques and assessment of community perceptions of proposed changes. 5.8 Monitoring change over time. 5.9 Informed planning decision-making.- 6. Future challenges.6.1 Coastal areas and conservation of place character. 6.2 Innovative planning solutions. 6.3 Community involvement in shaping a sustainable future.-