Let's Talk About Change : Experiences from a video exhibition confronting the public with urban and landscape transition bz revisiting the original sites of relocated historical museums buildings to view these sites in their current state
Between 1985 and 2015, settlement areas in the densely populated parts of Switzerland increased by almost one third. Whereas Switzerland still perceives itself as "Heidland" (referring to Johanna Spyri's novel), expected to attract tourists with its beautiful landscapes and charming small towns, the country has been transformed into an urban landscape dominated by conurbations. In the 2010s, several ground-braking (direct democratic) popular initiatives linked to landscape issues were launched and received the majority of the vote. The will to control further expansion of settlement areas exists and the transformation of built heritage and landscapes is present on the national political stage, but the perception of change is still difficult to express. However, dealing with landscape transition and developing local planning concepts accepted by people requires talking about change more site-specific. In 2016, the authors organised an exhibition at the Swiss open-air museum Ballenberg. It presents more than 100 historical farm buildings from all over Switzerald, which had been relocated from their original sites for various reasons, from construction of new residential or commercial buildings to infrastructure projects and original sites today cover urban, suburban and peripheral locations. Videos of the original sites of 14 selected Ballenberg buildings were produced in order to present these sites of origin as they appear today. The videos, which were presented in the respective museum buildings, confronted the visitors with historical buildings - still in existence, but relocated - and the current condition of their former sites. A special visitor's centre provided an opportunity to find out more and to discuss the topic of change with volunteers. Experience gathered from this exhibition will be presented, giving an insight into the quality of the visitors' debate initiated by the videos and reflecting on the impact of these findings in dealing with landscape transition future.
Switzerland, landscape, population increase