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Relph, Edward (1944–)

  • By: David Seamon
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Throughout his professional career as a geographer, Edward Relph has explored the nature and importance of places, landscapes, environments, and other taken-for-granted geographical dimensions of peoples’ everyday lives. His books include Place and Placelessness (1976), one of the earliest and most accessible phenomenologies of place; Rational Landscapes and Humanistic Geography (1981), a powerful explication of philosopher Martin Heidegger's notion of appropriation as a potential vehicle for a lived environmental ethic grounded in respect and care for the natural world; and The Modern Urban Landscape (1987), an exploration of why modern cities look the way they do. The empathetic effort to see, describe, and understand everyday places and environments as thoughtfully and as thoroughly as possible is at the heart of Relph's geographic research and writings.

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