Social Constructs of Fuels in the interface 2

House on the rural-urban interface

People live in landscapes. They assign value to these landscapes and the elements in those landscapes. Importantly, the things that people value as amenity, for example the trees and the associated natural features, also comprise the risk. How people manage the land and perceive the risk of fire depends on these alternative values.

Researching the social construction of risk in the landscape will involve the study of people living near or in the natural bushland environments.

This pilot research project applied the process of ‘place mapping’, a new approach for fire and land management agencies, to gain a better understanding of how communities in rural/urban areas perceive native vegetation in the context of their landscape. Examples include assisting agencies to understand why communities might oppose fuel reduction burning, and why they may not undertake fire mitigation measures that are encouraged by agencies.

Results showed the place mapping process can provide community members with a mechanism through which to communicate their perspectives on the landscape. It further showed place mapping is an additional tool fire and land management agencies can use to better work with communities to take action to reduce bushfire risk.

Researchers have developed a place mapping process and guide for how to engage with your community about fire management. See the guide, along with short videos with the researchers and workshop participants about how the approach works and what to expect at www.bushfirecrc.com/fuels-and-risk

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Place mapping can help agencies & communities discuss fire risk
Fire Note 121 describes a pilot research project that applied the process of ‘place mapping’, a new approach for fire and land management agencies, to gain a better understanding of how communities in rural/urban areas perceive native vegetation in the context of their landscape.
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Understanding how people view their surroundings— including nearby bushland—as part of ‘home’ helps researchers better address community risk and bushfire education.