Memorializing the Buyout Landscape

Authors: Elyse Zavar*, University of North Texas
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: buyout, disaster, landscape, memory, flood, hazard
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon A3, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Floodplain property acquisition permanently alters the landscape, shifting the land use from residential to open space. These buyout sites experience loss twice – once during the initial flood, and then again through the resulting property acquisition – yet the vast majority of the sites do not display any physical markers to commemorate these losses. Engaging with the critical landscape tradition, I examine memorials, or the lack thereof, at floodplain buyout sites acquired in the United States between 1993-1998 by focusing on the experiences of four communities that did erect memorials. Building from the existing literature on disasters and memorials, I analyze the memorial narratives to illuminate the ways people engage with the impacted landscape and explore what is being commemorated.

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