James Johnson 2014

University of York, UK

Greener graveyards: the adaptive re-use of urban burial grounds

This paper is intended to look into the possibility of the adaptive re-use of closed and disused urban burial grounds as public green spaces, as well as the possibility of expanding the use of an active burial ground to include use as a green space. This will be done by engaging with previous work on the subject, ranging from the pioneering suggestions made in John Claudius Loudon’s seminal book of 1843, to the use of burial grounds as green spaces today by local authorities and community groups. The potential environmental, community, and social benefits and reasons for such an undertaking will be examined. This will be through the use of established surveys and personal fieldwork. In order to bring to light the practicalities of such an undertaking, a number of case studies from around the north of England will be used to illustrate both the problems that may be encountered in a preserved or disused urban burial ground, such as disrepair or poor maintenance, and some of the many examples of sites already being put to good use in new ways.


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