Community identities as visions for landscape change

William P. Stewart, Derek Liebert, Kevin W. Larkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Residents' felt senses of their community can play substantial roles in determining visions for landscape change. Community identities are often anchored in tangible environments and events of a community, and have the potential to serve as visions for landscape planning processes. Photo-elicitation is applied in this study to connect community-based meanings to environments and events. Twenty participants took photographs of landscapes just outside the southwest fringe of the Chicago metropolitan area and were interviewed while viewing their photographs. Analysis of interview texts focused on meanings of environments that connected participants to their community, and were organized into three overlapping themes: (1) places to learn about community landscapes, (2) places to enact community, and (3) places to improve community landscapes. These meanings are explicitly connected to landscape features through participants' photographs and could form the basis of visions for landscape change within strategic planning processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-334
Number of pages20
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 15 2004


  • Empowerment
  • Human dimensions of holistic landscape ecology
  • Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
  • Photo-elicitation
  • Stakeholder perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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