Cultural Landscapes, A Definition

By Kristi Sherfinski

Oct 11, 2021

The National Park Service defines a cultural landscape as “a geographic area, including both cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domestic animals therein, associated with a historic event, activity, or person, or exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values.”

There are four types of cultural landscapes: 

  • A Historic Designed Landscape, which is significant as a work of art designed to a recognized style
  • A Historic Site, which is associated with a historic event, activity, or person
  • A Historic Vernacular Landscape, which expresses cultural values, social behavior, and individual actions over time in a specific location
  • An Ethnographic Landscape, which contains a variety of natural and cultural resources that are associated with the people who interact with them: for example: New Orleans neighborhoods

Is your property a part of a cultural landscape?

Interesting porch designs in a New Orleans neighborhood.
Second story railings on a streetscape in New Orleans.
Shutters on windows as an architectural feature.