I’ve been thinking about this post since I found it a week or so ago. It’s sparked off my previous research into the role of land in a person’s sense of belonging. It has strong resonances in Australia, where land, and profoundly different (contrasting or contested) relationships to it, has determined Australian colonial history and, I think, the way different communities feel they belong.

So in the context in which I’ve been thinking – I’ve always used the term land, not landscape so much. It’s a complicated idea in a city space – where so much about a Western sense of place is demonstrated above the land, shaping the land underneath like an act of control (certainly not entropy). Paul Carter talked about the propensity of Western cultures to live ‘above the land’. I think the term ‘landscape’ really holds that notion of being physically above the land.

After working in an historical city archive and my research into Indigenous and non-Indigenous belonging – I’m often left wondering what’s beneath my feet when walking in a city, feeling that that’s where the meat really is. I’ve met Sydney city dwellers who think they’ve learned how to see where historical waterways once were, although I’ve struggled to see what they do through all the urban development. Nonetheless, I’ve always connected with people who want to know and think about what’s in the land, underneath the pavement. Sydney’s Tank Stream is a great example of this- which is now a cultural tourist attraction, although not well known and with very limited access.

I think the other key aspect to this is physical experience, in the body, of walking over, through land, following historic paths, feeling the land physically, via all the senses. Again – a complicated experience in a city scape, but not irrelevant, just different.

I’m not sure if these are the directions in which your thinking. Obviously Australia is a very different case to the places you’ve been considering so far. But I’m fascinated with your blog and look forward to where your ideas and research lead you.