Projecting landscapes of death

Publication year: 2011
Source: Landscape and Urban Planning, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 12 June 2011

Christopher, Coutts , Carlton, Basmajian , Timothy, Chapin

Projecting the space needed for the disposal of the dead is often overlooked as a planning function, but the permanence of allocating land to cemetery use makes it critical to long range land use planning. There is very little contemporary guidance for planners on the variables which should be considered when projecting the land use needs of the dead. In this paper we present a method that illustrates the complexities of projecting landscapes of death. We then apply this method to the case of Palm Beach County, Florida, a county of over a million residents, many of whom are elderly,…

 Highlights: ► Interment of the dead has the potential to become a national land use problem. ► A 30 year picture of local demand for burial space is developed. ► Projection variables: deaths, cremation, burial migration, and existing capacity.