Landscape Reparations -- A developing concept

Edward H. Sebesta's picture

The concept of landscape reparations is now part of public protests.

In this case landscape reparations is being mentioned as part of renaming Lamar St. which goes in front of the Dallas Police headquarters to Botham Jean Boulevard. Botham Jean was killed by a police officer who mistaking his apartment for hers barged in and shot him dead. 

I think the concept in reality precedes me. I have theorized about it and I gave it a name. I think also it needs futher development. I am focused on how the landscape is named as a white landscape. I think there are other issues in landscape reparations.

This is my podcast. I am going to have to revise it because I haven't incorporated how red lining affects the names given to streets.

I am going to be publishing some papers as a cultural geographer and historian in which I discuss the naming of the landscape. I think others will have different insights. As historians we can contribute to re-imagining the landscape. 


Landscape reparations is definitely an interesting concept for the field of toponymy.

In the early 2000s, I wrote an article about the renaming of a street in Chicago from that of a white farmer/settler to a Polish-American hero. There was a big fight about it, one that lasted 19 years.

Although it is primarily narrative rather than theoretical, perhaps it would be helpful to you in some way:
“The Street Formerly Known as Crawford,” Chicago History (Spring 2001): 36-51.


I have your paper in my collection of papers and I found it to be very interesting. It turned out that one of the leaders of the opposition to changing a name here in Dallas was an immigrant from Poland and I told him about your paper. It didn't have an effect on his opposition. Sorry about the delay in reply.