Strategies for the Vernacular Landscape of Cedar Key

Cedar Key Visconti

Cedar Key offers a charming and eclectic character like no other. As the community experiences coastal change, including from sea level rise, it is vital that the qualities that make Cedar Key the place it is are not lost and that the ways of life of the people are maintained. Adaptive planning should be carried out in a way that is sensitive to a community’s lifestyle and valued qualities.

Claudia Visconti, a recent graduate from the University of Florida’s Master of Landscape Architecture program, worked with residents of Cedar Key to determine what they valued most about their community and how these factors could be maintained or evolved in the face of sea level rise. Claudia’s thesis consisted of onsite analysis and participatory processes that allowed her to gain an understanding of many aspects of the vernacular landscape of Cedar Key. Vernacular landscape is defined as “a cultural landscape that evolved through use by the people whose activities or occupancy shaped that landscape” (The Cultural Landscape Foundation).

A three feet (one meter) sea level rise “bathtub model,” based on elevation, was used to project inundation of Cedar Key and a study area expanding five miles outside of the community. Existing physical site conditions and the sea level rise projection model allowed opportunities for relocation to be identified. Claudia engaged in a “grass roots”-type effort to show the community how these relocation opportunities can maintain or assist in the evolution of their valued spaces, places, activities, and characteristics. From these findings and her developed methodology, Claudia explains the transferability of her research to subsequent communities interested in adaptive planning that is sensitive to the vernacular landscape of a community. Claudia’s research can be used to begin the discussion of how adaptive planning can work to maintain or assist in the evolution of the ways of life of the people and their community. For more information on this topic, Claudia’s thesis document is available here: TerminalProject_ViscontiC.

Important places Visconti

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