Landscape impacts are oft-cited barriers to changes that are otherwise agreed to be necessary, such as those implied by a transition to renewable energy sources. Many examples exist, however, of deep attachment to man-made and otherwise purely functional landscape features such as lighthouses, factories, hydroelectric dam headponds, that in some cases extend far beyond their utility. The landscape of the Tantramar Marshes, the low-lying area that links New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, presents a unique opportunity to explore how people attach meaning and form attachments to large, utilitarian infrastructure. A natural experiment is occurring in the region, by the overlap of the 2014 dismantling of the Radio Canada International (RCI) shortwave transmission towers (constructed in 1944) and the construction of 15 2.1 MW wind turbines in Amherst in 2012 by the Sprott Power Corp. In this research we propose to build on our work on the Mactaquac headpond, using interviews, archival data, and perhaps spatial analysis and social media to:
- Understand the process by which attachment is formed to man-made, functional landscape infrastructure, over time.
- Understand what drives the acceptance of and attachment to functional landscape features by locals; and,
- Build insights about how to facilitate functional landscape change without sacrificing place.