Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Karl Raitz


This dissertation is a study of the values and meanings people attach to places and why exploring those values is important in trails and historic preservation planning. From a foundation in critical humanistic geography and values based preservation literatures, the dissertation examines three rails to trails projects as case studies. Primary research questions include: how does a landscape become valued, devalued, and/or revalued through time? In what ways do different values of different people or groups intersect in rails to trails landscapes and how do they shape the landscape? How do historic values intersect with economic, social, political, and other values as these relate to landscape preservation? A subset of questions deals with the interactions between trails, historic preservation, and geography. What common ground do these three areas already share and what is the potential for further connections between and through them?

The project contributes to the geographical tradition of interpreting ordinary landscapes but also works towards bringing together the common ground of three disparate endeavors: cultural geography, historic preservation, and trails planning around the theme of “values in place.”

Included in

Geography Commons