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The Relationship of Landscape and Water Perceptions to Community Engagement in Rural Southern Ontario

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Title: The Relationship of Landscape and Water Perceptions to Community Engagement in Rural Southern Ontario
Author: Spence, Kellie
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Landscape Architecture
Advisor: Corry, Rob
Abstract: Engagement is an essential component to community building. Among the factors which contribute to engagement is perception. Of specific interest to landscape architecture are perceptions of landscape and water as they reveal environmental attitudes. Rural Southern Ontario has experienced notable land use pressures for resource extraction and renewable energy. This study explores the relationship between landscape and water perceptions by rural residents and levels of community engagement in a changing rural landscape. Instruments used for this study were a photo-based questionnaire and Visitor Employed Photography. The study found that individuals who are more engaged with the community have a greater ability to interpret landscape in the context of resource extraction and are more critical in their perception of quarry rehabilitation. Findings of this study can assist rural groups by providing insight into social capital and inform landscape planning and design practices when working with rural groups to increase engagement.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/5280
Date: 2013-01
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