Most contemporary research accounts for conflict within cemetery space, but does not consider the potentially contested and poorly understood role of cemeteries within their broader cityscape. This study draws on stories from cemetery managers across England and Wales to narrate this multifunctionality, as they hold the pivotal role which oversees both the day-to-day running of the cemetery, and its strategic role within a given municipality. The study outlines how cemeteries hold multiple functions in the cities in which they are located, specifically contributing to greenspace or green infrastructure, civic identity and local place attachment. These varying city level roles in turn impact on what is deemed (il)legitimate behaviour within the cemetery. Moreover, they raise important considerations for urban planners and policymakers who currently have little guidance on planning for new or existing cemeteries but are critical in the ongoing successful development of cities.
McClymont, K. (2016). ‘That eccentric use of land at the top of the hill’: Cemeteries and stories of the city. Mortality, 21(4), 378-396. https://doi.org/10.1080/13576275.2016.1151865