How might landscapes be better designed to accommodate increasing cremation practices in Europe?

Keywords: funerary landscape, cemetery landscape, crematorium, design solutions, guidelines, bereavement

Abstract

Death is one of those universal parameters of life, yet very little attention is given to it in neither the work of planning practitioners nor that of landscape research. During the 19th and 20th century’s many Western societies turned to cremation as a more sanitary, less costly and space saving way of human disposal. This paper highlights the cemeteries and crematoria as two types of facilities associated with cremation practices in Poland and in selected European countries. On the basis of analyses of contemporary funerary landscapes for cremation practices from Europe (31 objects from 9 countries) a catalog (‚pattern book‘) of design solutions was developed. Countries were selected on the basis of similarity to Poland in the aspect of the dominant religion (Austria, France, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia), convergent provisions of cemetery and funeral law (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Slovenia, Sweden), and index of average population served by 1 crematorium (Belgium). Moreover, assessment of Polish contemporary places for cremation (39 objects) was developed. To strengthen the multifaceted meaning of funerary landscape and to link it more with the landscape, design considerations and potential outcomes for improved cemetery design accommodating cremation practices and burial was developed. The funerary landscape is defined as a specific type of landscape that focuses on the phenomenological relation between death, disposal of the body in the environment and the social memory of the group participating in the remembrance of the burial.

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Published
2020-12-23
How to Cite
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Długozima, A. How Might Landscapes Be Better Designed to Accommodate Increasing Cremation Practices in Europe?. LO 2020, 87, 1-31.
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Research Article