This summer’s essential holiday reading is the latest Landscape Journal, the first issue to take an in-depth look at seascapes.

Landscape Summer 2011
Landscape Summer 2011

Struggling to read with the sun glinting off your iPad? No matter – this summer’s hot pick is a print edition.

Our Summer issue of Landscape explores the idea that we should treat the land and sea as a continuum. The seascape is more than just a view, says Ian Houlston, associate at LDA Design, in our lead feature. Rather, it is, like landscape, about the connections between people and place. It provides the setting for our everyday lives and its character can vary dramatically from one place to another. To appreciate seascape in its fullest sense, we need to look beyond our perception of it as a glistening expanse of water stretching out from the shore.

Far from being separate realms, onshore and offshore environments are bound together by many of the same natural and cultural processes, and time has wrought physical and cultural change upon the seascape, just as it has on land. Now, 60 years on from the Town and Country Planning Act, we have the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, and the potential to plan and organise our marine activities in a coordinated fashion. There are opportunities for landscape architects who are willing to embrace the concept of seascape and apply the skills that they have developed for understanding terrestrial landscapes to coastal and offshore environments.

Seascape is arguably where the process of change can be most evident and in our Opinion piece, coastal engineer Gregor Guthrie and environmental consultant Paolo Pizzolla argue that it is often coastal change that creates the landscapes we value.

We turn the spotlight on three recent projects, all winners of LI design competitions, spearheading the renaisaance of the great British seaside, with profiles on Worthing Splash Point, Southend Pier Head and Dover Esplanade. Followed by a stroll along the much-maligned essex coast with author and academic Jules Pretty in our Essay.

Ruth Olden causes a splash as she makes the case for landscape intervention to create public bathing spaces in the UK. And honorary editor Tim Waterman looks at how the approach to land from the sea has been documented in literature.

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