LANDSCAPE IN IMAGINATION AND THE VIRTUAL FUTURE
The final CHeriScape conference did look forwards – and inwards into imagination. The mental landscapes we inhabit are increasingly digital as well as remembered; new media is changing how people interact and even how they think, perhaps in a way similar to how landscape and heritage governed lives in the past. This digital way of perceiving landscapes is just another turn to the ELC definition of landscape as areas ‘perceived by people’. Perhaps it narrows ‘real world’ experience, but it also expands and stretches horizons. Landscape is no longer, if it ever was, only the local, the seen or walked/worked in; people ‘possess’ distant landscapes that are nevertheless familiar, and never more easily than through ‘new’ virtual media. These still-emergent technologies could enable increased democratic engagement with landscape heritage and with landscape futures. Our concluding conference thus explored how futures that grow from the past can be explored and imagined through new forms of heritage and landscape representations, and thus how present and future landscapes can be shaped and constructed.