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Cultural Regions and Landscapes.

The definition of a cultural landscape is consciously planned but it is meant for human utilisation or is invested with a cultural value by a group of people. The example is that of a rural landscape of Amish and another instance is that of the community of persons related to the people living in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

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The aquatic life of the rivers sites is based on the human needs for water consumption.

Thus the communities tend to inhabit the riverside and are leavened with the impact of the nearness of the water resources, which are properly husbanded for irrigation. It is premised that landscaping is either natural or artificial (done by humans) based on the availability of river site, mountainous area and availability of water through lakes, ponds and green lands.

“Landscape is not merely the world we see; it is a construction, a composition
of that world. Landscape is a way of seeing the world." D. E. Cosgrove 1984, p.
13. (2)

Now I dilate upon some salient features of Cultural Regions and Landscapes:-
 

  1. Environmental scheme cannot cover a river's water quality apart from the lands it drains: the insight that drives watershed planning.
  2. The quality of a river is not based only on the purity or turbidity of its water but also flora and fauna being nourished nearby.
  3. The land management essentially involves property owners and other estate proprietors, their interests and land management, leasehold or freehold rights pertaining thereto.

It is an established fact that great civilizations in the ancient times were sited near rivers as the communities need water for their sustenance. The Indus and Nile civilizations are noted for their inhabiting near the rivers. When the communities occupy the land then the demarcation, ownership and transfer of landed rights arise and the landowners also resort to landscaping the land for the benefit of the communities.

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It is stated that the main elements of the original historical landscape have disappeared. The progress of the city as a   tourist center warrants endeavors to modify and refurbish ancient heritage edifices and re-orient the city's dwellers towards work in the services sector. An absolute milieu should also be fashioned to magnetize the coming tourists.  The guardianship and adept use of the historical and cultural heritage also desiderates restoring, conserving and incorporating into modern life the historical   landscapes. Landscapes have always been regarded as an important segment in the lives of old   cities. Castles, palaces and churches were generally located on hills, providing a good outlook and underscoring their important place. Lakes, ponds   and parks were also a quintessential part of historical landscapes.

  It is axiomatic to state that the old parks have been conserved in many cities. But most such parks have undergone a metamorphosis. Several buildings and irrigation dispensations within them have been annihilated, and distinct types of trees and bushes have been planted. It may be added that a random sampling of Heritage Areas has been undertaken. Many persons who are at least conversant with heritage areas in the United States have listened to three "national heritage passageways" directed by Congress and provided by the National Park Service: the Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal outside of Chicago, with a wide variety of transportation and communication tracing its history from the earliest European exploration of the region. The Blackstone River Valley in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, considered the earliest genesis of the American Industrial Transformation. The Delaware & Lehigh (D&L) Canal National Heritage Corridor, which traces the Industrial Revolution’s repercussions on exceedingly integral cultural scenery in eastern Pennsylvania, including a 150-mile follow along both rail corridors and canal towpaths from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol.  The corridors have rivers at their hearts in the Illinois, the Blackstone, and in the case of the D&L, both the Lehigh and the Delaware_ and all three cater to the needs of these rivers.

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Conclusion:

 It may be concluded that Landscapes are normally defined as natural or cultural. It is a historical definition, but practically only some landscapes in economically advanced territories have avoided some degree of human changes.

Normally historical heritage places are situated in the heartland of the particular country. Their incorporation should not only replicate the historical design of   the city, but also be absorbed in the city activities. The renovation of the ancient heritage landscapes and edifices is very difficult, as the modern and latest techniques, machines and operators rarely get co-coordinated and hence financial allocations are hard to come by to the local bodies. This entails litigation and court cases but the renovation notwithstanding is being undertaken and accomplished of the heritage buildings.

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I quote Michael Cozen from his book. The Making of the American Landscape, Michael Conzen, ed., (N.Y. Rout ledge, 1989) (3) for the sake of ending my article by way of summing up of the whole assignment:

“Ecology brings in the human element, for environmental awareness includes peoples' regard for their own relations with nature, and as such has attracted" wide interest across disciplines. This leads to the recognition of a cultural landscape -- terrains so altered by human settlement that the locations have significance above and beyond the material conditions of existence -- Chaco, Rome, Si'an, Jerusalem, Baghdad and London, for example.”

The present day environmental awareness is aiding in the revival of public interest in the cultural landscapes and landmarks. The past is revivified through the modernization of the ancient heritage by way of déjà vu.   

Citations:

1.           ." D. E. Cosgrove 1984, p. 13. (1)

  1. Towards a National Landscape by Hildegard Binder Johnson 127-145.

 3.  The Making of the American Landscape, Michael Conzen, ed., (N.Y. Routledge
1989).

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Other References:

2. Doppelt, Bob, Mary Scurlock, Chris Frissell, and James Karr. 1993. Entering the Watershed: A New Approach to Saving America's River Ecosystems. Washington, DC: Island Press.

3. Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. 1994. Potomac River Visions (text draft dated 5/27/94). Rockville, MD: ICPRB.

4. McMahon, Edward T. and A. Elizabeth Watson. 1992. In Search of Collaboration: Historic Preservation and the Environmental Movement. Washington, D.C.: National Trust for Historic Preservation. Information series.

5.   National Coalition for Heritage Areas. 1993. Statement of National Need (dated 10/4/93). Washington, DC: NCHA.

6.   Potomac River Greenways: A Shared Agenda. Annandale, Va.: Potomac River Greenways Coalition, 1995. Unit 9: The Canadian urban landscapes Unit 9: The Canadian urban landscapes

 


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