PRIORITIZING PLACE: An Argument for a Revised Cultural Landscape Selection Process. A Portland, Oregon Case Study.
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Methods of selecting cultural landscapes by current leading organizations are successful, however, this paper argues that an expanded definition of ‘cultural landscape’, a less restrictive landscape age requirement, and local criteria should be included in the process. These additions strengthen cultural landscape selection outcomes and ensures that landscape selections reflect the unique local identity of a place. This study analyzes the stages integral to selecting cultural landscapes for preservation purposes within the United States by three highly regarded organizations and an associated program. These stages include identification, evaluation, and prioritization of cultural landscapes while the organizations and programs featured are: the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places program, The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s What’s Out There Weekend program, and the Society of Architectural Historians’ Archipedia program. This project compares and critiques each program and synthesizes findings to create a location-based method of cultural landscape assessment. To apply the proposed process, and to highlight the relationship between project outcomes and target audiences, a publicly accessible educational guidebook of Portland, Oregon is created.