McKenna, G, Scordo, E, Shuttleworth, D, Straker, J, Purdy, B & Buchko, J 2011, 'Aesthetics for mine closure', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & A Beersing (eds), Mine Closure 2011: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 603-612, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1152_63_McKenna
There have been several historic attempts to quantify the aesthetics of natural landscapes, and many mines around the world are building reclaimed landscapes with a focus on visual appeal and/or natural appearance. There have been arguments made that form and function are closely linked, and hence mining landscapes should be fashioned to look natural; to look as though they have been the product of geomorphic change similar to that experienced over thousands or millions of years by the surrounding natural landscape, while some argue that aesthetic reclamation should be done for purely aesthetic purposes. Still others argue that preserving some of the historic / industrial features of a mining landscape is an important way of connecting humans to the land and its history, and hence preservation of historical resources can be an important element of mine reclamation.
Our paper explores the interaction of these various concepts, ideas, and philosophies, and presents examples of bringing aesthetic considerations into landform design for mine closure. It offers qualitative and semi-quantitative measures to design, construct, and evaluate aesthetics and natural appearance in mine closure, and offers a scorecard that may form a starting point for constructive dialogue.
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