Waterways and the Cultural Landscape  book cover
1st Edition

Waterways and the Cultural Landscape

ISBN 9780367362263
Published July 12, 2019 by Routledge
286 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Water control and management have been fundamental to the building of human civilisation. In Europe, the regulation of major rivers, the digging of canals and the wetland reclamation schemes from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, generated new typologies of waterscapes with significant implications for the people who resided within them.

This book explores the role of waterways as a form of heritage, culture and sense of place and the potential of this to underpin the development of cultural tourism. With a multidisciplinary approach across the social sciences and humanities, chapters explore how the control and management of water flows are among some of the most significant human activities to transform the natural environment. Based upon a wealth and breadth of European case studies, the book uncovers the complex relationships we have with waterways, the ways that they have been represented over recent centuries and the ways in which they continue to be redefined in different cultural contexts. Contributions recognise not only valuable assets of hydrology that are at the core of landscape management, but also more intangible aspects that matter to people, such as their familiarity, affecting what is understood as the fluvial sense of place.

This highly original collection will be of interest to those working in cultural tourism, cultural geography, heritage studies, cultural history, landscape studies and leisure studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Flowing consciousness and the becoming of waterscapes

Francesco Vallerani

Part 1: Cultural Visions

1. On the waterfront

Stephen Daniels

2. Towards homogeneous waterfronts? Historical woodworking waterfronts in transition

Annika Airas

3. Salmonscapes and shipyards: Versions of heritage on the River Tyne

Peter Coates

4. "A Sign of good Neighborliness": Images of the Saimaa Canal in the Soviet Union

Elena Kochetkova

5. Women's labor and cultural heritage: Laundries, collective memory and the Canal du Midi

Chandra Muckerji

6. Contested subterranean waterscapes: lead mining soughs disputes in Derbyshire’s Derwent Valley

Georgina Endfield, Carry van Lieshout

7. The rock behind the lagoon: the Dolomites in the iconography of Venice

William Bainbridge

8. Going along the liquid chronotope: the Po Delta waterscape through Gianni Celati’s narration

Giada Peterle, Francesco Visentin


Part 2: Touristic perspectives

9. Canals: an old form of transport transformed into a new form of heritage tourism experience

Bruce Prideaux

10. Recreational countryside and the riverscape aesthetic: Northwest Croatian hydrography as a sustainable tourism destination

Francesco Vallerani

11. Experiencing historic waterways and water landscapes of the Vistula river Delta

Lucyna Nyka

12. Tourism and Scotland’s canals: a 21st Century transformation

Andrew McKean, John Lennon

13. New possibilities for tourism on the banks of the Manzanares river in Madrid

Aurelio Nieto Codina

14. The Fonséranes lock on the Canal du Midi: Representation, reality and renovation of a heritage site

Federica Cavallo, Dominique Crozat

15. Digital applications and river heritage: The inherited landscape of Venice’s historic waterways

Eriberto Eulisse, Francesco Visentin

16. Conclusion: Toward a humanistic hydrology

Francesco Visentin

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Francesco Vallerani is professor of geography at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, Italy. His main fields of expertise are human and cultural geography, landscape evolution and heritage, with special focuses on waterscapes and water-based sustainable tourism in both European and South American countries.

Francesco Visentin is a human geographer with research interests in sustainable tourism and cultural history. His research focuses on water and rural landscapes changes especially in Italy, Spain and England. He is currently a fellow research at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy, involved in some projects concerning cultural heritage tourism.




"Waterways and the Cultural Landscape offers glimpses of waterways’ future prospects, noting, for example, the potential for digital appreciation. One might hope the editors’ optimistic vision for human–water relations comes to fruition. This will only be known through greater attention to all types of waterscapes, furthering the scholastic endeavour this book initiates and celebrates."

- Hannah Pitt, Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, Wales UK


"The volume arrives with laudable punctuality an investigative topic of great interest: the relationship between inland waterways and cultural landscapes. A further aspect of particular interest in the volume is represented by the cut comparative approach, which, by comparing case studies in several European countries, offers the opportunity to reflect on the relationship between geographical typology (the way of internal water) and its territorial incarnations in different countries and regions, expression of a fruitful argumentative tension between a reading that favors affinities and another complementary perspective that returns instead the differences and uniqueness related to individual places."

- Davide Papotti, Semestrale di studi e ricerche di Geografia


Visentin refers to a ‘watery turn’ (p.246) among the many disciplines that have a bearing on this topic, making it a good time to develop our understanding of the many facets of waterway culture in the past and how it might be explored as heritage in

the present. Although it might not sit squarely within the scope of nautical archaeology, the authors and editors have put together a useful collection that is both intriguing and encouraging.

- ANTONY FIRTH, Tisbury, Wiltshire, UK