Theory, Methods and Public Policy
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Gary Paul Green, Steven C. Deller and David D. Marcouiller
Chapter 12: Resident-Employed Photography as a Tool for Understanding Attachment to High-Amenity Places
Richard Stedman, Tom Beckley, Marke Ambard and Sara Wallace INTRODUCTION Our understanding of resident attachment to communities rich in natural amenities has been attenuated by a schism between research focusing on community attachment and that which examines recreationist attachment to place. At the risk of oversimplifying our case, research on community attachment does not adequately address resident attachment to the physical environmental landscape, especially in communities with extraordinary natural endowments. This stands in contrast to visitor research which emphasizes the role of such factors in driving place attachment. These ends of a continuum fail to speak to the middle ground: many high-amenity landscapes are experienced not only by visitors but by residents as well. These people are likely to be strongly attached to the physical landscape but this attachment may diﬀer quite strongly from that of visitors. Community attachment research has employed a variety of approaches, including surveys, participant observation and personal interviews. This research has tended to eschew photo-based methods, such as visitor employed photography (VEP) which has been used to capture visitor perceptions of landscape. In this chapter we describe, implement and evaluate the utility of a research protocol for using a photo-based approach to understand resident place attachment to the community of Jasper, Alberta located within the bounds of Jasper National Park, Canada. We have two questions that guide this research. First, what is the role of natural amenities in attaching residents to their local community? Second, how can photographic methods, such as those we present...
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