Heritage contestation in matterscape, mindscape, and powerscape

Maarten Jacobs*, Floor Huisman, Maria de Wit, Roy van Beek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Landscape heritage is frequently contested as perspectives on heritage and landscape may vary across stakeholders. The present article makes a novel contribution by examining pathways to landscape heritage contestation. We propose a distinction between (a) heritage as object in matterscape, being the physical landscape out-there, (b) heritage as meaning in mindscape, being the landscape as experienced by a subject, and (c) heritage as political act in powerscape, being the landscape as rules that organise behaviour. Contestation, then, might originate in matterscape, mindscape, or powerscape. We illustrate these pathways to contestation upon analyses of semi-structured interviews among stakeholders of Schokland, The Netherlands, a World Heritage site. Findings reveal contestation about matterscape pertaining to the issue whether a water system leads to wet spots on adjacent agricultural land, about mindscape pertaining to the beauty of new nature developed around Schokland, and powerscape pertaining to the rules associated with the World Heritage status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1053
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number8
Early online date8 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2023


  • Contestation
  • heritage
  • heritage management
  • land use planning
  • landscape
  • landscape design
  • ontology
  • perception
  • Schokland
  • world heritage site


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