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Title: Landscape restoration and rehabilitation : a geocultural design approach
Authors: Bianco, Lino
Keywords: Architecture -- Environmental aspects
Restoration ecology -- Malta
Quarries and quarrying -- Malta -- Gozo
Issue Date: 2017-03
Publisher: International Journal of Environmental Science and Development
Citation: Bianco, L. (2017). Landscape restoration and rehabilitation: a geocultural design approach. International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, 8(3), 174-181
Abstract: The visual impact of open-pit mineral workings along sloping terrain generates conspicuous scars extending to the surrounding landscape. Such irreversible developments permanently alter the original landform. This is more pronounced in areas of high landscape value. The aim of this paper is to put forward the case for a contextual design of a restoration scheme grounded in the geophysical and cultural elements making up the landscape character and thus complimenting it. This is demonstrated through a case study of Gozo, a picturesque sister island of Malta, known as the island of Calypso after the legendary Homeric nymph, where such quarries have significant visual impact. Based on site contours derived from historical survey sheets and making reference to vernacular cultural features within the surroundings, a restoration and rehabilitation of a disused quarry based on a geocultural approach to landscape design was developed. Prior rehabilitated to sustainable agrarian parcels of land, the site contours were re-introduced together with field boundaries to pre-mineral operational status. This approach is a rational solution derived from rural vernacular architecture and ensures a landscape design solution which reinstates the scenic quality and the aesthetic experience of the area.
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