The Landscapes of Post-War Infrastructure

The Landscapes of Post-War Infrastructure: Culture Amenity and Heritage is a research network that is part of the UKRI project, Landscape Decisions: Towards a new framework for using land assets. This research builds upon the results of earlier projects by Dr Richard Brook and Dr Luca Csepely-Knorr about the design of post-war infrastructural landscapes. The network is also running a public engagement programme supported by UKRI follow-on-funding called Cooling Down

The network itself has united an existing multidisciplinary team of academics with new members from government agencies, the private sector, community groups and artists to consider the landscapes of infrastructure broadly, but with attention to Culture, Amenity, Heritage and Industry. We are particularly concerned with the temporal aspects of landscape and the relationships between designed space and its assimilation with perceptibly natural and traditionally agricultural landscapes; how time and use can interact with landscape to create cultural and amenity value as well as valuable ecologies; how policy helped to foster such conditions; how policy now influences the management and the development of these landscapes; how artistic and creative responses to the landscapes of infrastructure help to narrate their cultural worth; and, how to develop means of understanding their seemingly intangible values by comparing and combining research methods in the arts and humanities.

The landscapes of infrastructure can now be easily overlooked. However, at their inception the aesthetics and ecologies of these developments were underwritten by statute and policy. This project is about learning from the past using collaborative and cross-disciplinary research to inform the future of landscapes, their use, assessment, management and protection. We are specifically interested in the landscapes of post-war infrastructure as they approach maturity and are within a phase of determined change. Their maturity is relevant in three ways – ecologically; with regard patterns of use as sites of amenity; and, in relation to their symbolic, iconographic and socio-cultural value to the public

To disseminate the research to a wider audience, a second project, Cooling Down will complement the research of the network. The follow-on-funding will enable the research team to work with filmmakers, film archives, museums and local schools to create interactive games and an immersive filmic experience, both to be premiered at the Bluedot Festival in 2021.

Twitter – @PostWarInfrast1
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Instagram hashtag – #postwarinfrastructure
Link to the project pages on the UKRI Gateway to Research