Paludal Playscapes: Wetlands as heterotopic ludic spaces

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Wetlands are amongst the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. Globally our ability to mitigate and adapt to anthropogenic climate change is now closely tied to these paludal waterscapes. This paper uses empirical data to offer insights into how different user groups engage with, and value, wetlands recreationally. Understanding the drivers of human use, and diversity of engagement practices, in wetlands can enable the development of targeted strategies to support long-term, wide-scale wetland adaptations in response to climate change. The data highlighted that English wetlands have been purposively repositioned as ‘ludic’, wellbeing spaces, wherein wetland users are encouraged to spend time, and money, on these sites in widely different recreational ways: for tourism; family time; commemoration, creativity and, unintentionally, delinquency. Utilising the Foucauldian concept of heterotopias, this paper evidences that these wetland ludic activities enable the flourishing of other-selves and support alternative imaginative possibilities of sustainable futures
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Feb 2021


  • Wetlands
  • lagoons
  • ludic
  • play
  • Venice
  • English


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