The Mountain and the Valley: A Planning and Conservation Approach for the Annapolis Valley
Perry, Caitlin Michelle
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The Annapolis Valley Region is home to a rich and varied landscape. Agriculture, historic sites, the Bay of Fundy Shore, and the inland forests are just some of the aspects that together make up this unique region. Yet this exquisite region is under threat from the dual challenges of depopulation and unconsidered development leading to the loss of its essential historical and environmental character. These are quintessential rural problems and feed off of one another in a vicious circle: environmental character decreases and makes a less pleasant place, so people leave for other regions; people leave for other regions and the financial resources of the region are reduced, so environmental character decreases; etc. Action needs to be taken to break such an escalating loop. However, to develop effective strategies to combat these intertwined problems, the genius locus of the region must be better and more comprehensively understood. The methods described in the work propose an image bank and cartographic analysis to break apart the qualities of the region and enable an in-depth knowledge of its entirety. This information, presented in a consistent format, allows better informed decision making for the Annapolis Valley Region’s future which will allow its people to embrace its unique combination of circumstances. This new type of database will prepare the region to chart an alternate path and better deal with the issues facing the Annapolis Valley. The proposed design scenarios utilize strategies developed around the genius locus of the region as a whole and for a set of specific case study sites. An approach of the type developed in this work is not only applicable to such individual scenarios or to the Annapolis Valley Region. It is a method that is adaptable to other regions around the world. The strategies presented are a starting point, able to be mixed, recombined, added to, and modified to address the wide range of rural situations. The commonality of rural regions in general is the great issues they face in an urban-dominated society; reconnection with genius locus will offer a path to overcoming these threats.