University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Caius MCR/SCR research talks > The Idea of Landscape in the Unofficial Countryside.

The Idea of Landscape in the Unofficial Countryside.

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Paulina Rowicka.

The need for more homes in England has become a prominent political football in the recent election, where every party agreed we need more houses but none could agree where to build them. The calls for a ‘Brownfield building revolution,’ preferring the containment and densification of existing cities continue to create problems of quality and housing cost. On the other hand, development in the countryside through politically correct ‘Garden Cities’ face enormous popular backlash from influential lobby groups propagating a myth of the countryside being under constant threat of development, yet an emphasis on preservation continues to exacerbate issues of affordability and spatial exclusion. What is portrayed as a simple conflict between pleasant landscape ‘green’ and bad urban ‘grey’ needs to be reinvented through reconsidering how the traditional dichotomy of urban and rural could be reconstructed. This dichotomy is an acutely English problem, formed through policy and planning, which itself emerged from a unique culture concerning English land and its representation as landscape.In challenging the preconceptions of the English landscape and how we build in it, we can explore the ways ideas of landscape have shaped the way the land itself is controlled and used. In this talk we will therefore explore the almost un-English landscape of Essex. The subsequent speculations will address the question of where to build: Urban, rural or some space entirely different?

This talk is part of the Caius MCR/SCR research talks series.

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