Narrative Cartography: Capturing a Holistic Perspective on Waterscapes


  • Nancy Couling TU Delft
  • Paola Alfaro d'Alençon TU Berlin
  • Medine Altiok RWTH Aachen



waterscapes, narrative cartography, participation, citizen science


Water territories challenge inherited, land-based methods of capturing their history. They are a vital commons, where social, technical, political and cultural interests intertwine, potentially also causing conflict. Attention is currently focused both on the ecological importance of the water cycle for human well-being and ecosystem services, as well as on the unpredictable aspects of water through the effects of climate change. This paper argues that such interconnected challenges require new tools and methods of conceptualising and visualising waterscapes. Narrative cartography developed with citizen’s input, reveals itself to be a highly inclusive methodology which can capture neglected knowledge about the past as well as propose visions for the future. This method is discussed in two different geographic contexts  through the academic projects Streamscapes in Germany and Mittelmeerland in the Mediterranean.


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How to Cite

Couling, N., Alfaro d’Alençon, P., & Altiok, M. (2019). Narrative Cartography: Capturing a Holistic Perspective on Waterscapes. European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes, 2(1), 11–36.