Scammonden: Landscape Co-production in the Motorway Age – Richard Brook

Scammonden: Landscape Co-production in the Motorway Age


The rapid expansion of post-war infrastructure in Britain brought new emphasis to the landscape architectural profession, no more so than in the development of its motorways. In this paper I will examine one short section of the Lancashire-Yorkshire (M62) Motorway at Scammonden near Huddersfield. Scammonden was the world’s first dam-motorway hybrid and the six-lane carriageway travels across the top of a reservoir dam. The adjacent Scammonden Bridge was the longest single-span non-suspension bridge in the world when it was built. ​The site was complex in its topography and environment during the construction phase, but was no less politically complex in its approvals, covenants and multi-agency production. Using archival sources I will show how the entire landscape composition was bound in legislation and co-produced by designers, engineers, civil servants, politicians and contractors. Using Zeller’s (2010) conception of the ‘dual – physical and discursive – construction of landscape’, the net result, 40 years later, will be considered in terms of its consumption – technologically constructed and invisible or culturally designed and objectified. I will explore the idea of infrastructural landscapes as co-produced objects realised through such means as design-engineering-construction and ​policy-legislation-statute.

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