Apart from a few months when I was much younger I have always lived in the same area. I grew up in a market town outside Oxford, and have lived in Oxford for the last thirty five years. Because of this the idea that landscape will inevitably change is something I have been aware of for as long as I can remember.
Up to age 11 I lived on an estate right on the edge of town, and part of my time there involved exploring fields and woodland next to the estate. Within a few years these fields and woods had disappeared to make way for new housing. I’m sure at the time I felt disappointed to a certain extent but by then I had moved a few miles away. Since I have remained in the area though, I am often passing the same area with the “new” (now forty years old) estate. Indeed at one point I lived in a house there for a couple of years. Because of this I’ve always been relatively accepting of change, and will try to be objective about anything that affects my location.
Now I live in Oxford I am very much aware of the landscape views provided by the University buildings. The fact that the institution and many of the buildings are very famous means that the views I have got used to are unlikely to change much. My own background means I have stronger links to the car factory than I do to the University, and this is something that has changed enormously over the past twenty years or so. More than half of the original factory site has now gone, replaced largely by offices. I didn’t actually work at the factory but passed it every day on my way to work. As such I only had an interest in it as a landmark; as a closed site I couldn’t get in anyway. As with my previous assignment on the old MG factory, the renewal of the site is just something that happens; neither good nor bad.