Planning for the Deceased
APA Planners Press – 2013 – 128 pages
Can better cemeteries make better communities? As the baby boom generation ages, demand for interment is inevitably rising. The way planners respond will have lasting impact on cities and towns.
This sensible yet sensitive guide addresses questions planners everywhere are facing. What happens to filled cemeteries? Who cares for abandoned burial grounds? What environmental regulations apply to crematoria? The authors look at public health implications, private versus public interests, and the complex web of state and federal oversight. The discussion also explores diverse religious customs and alternatives to traditional interment, from cremation to burial at sea.
Case studies show the range of creative approaches cities have adopted, from New Orleans’s above-ground tombs to London’s Necropolis railway to densely populated Hong Kong’s tradition of cremation. An appendix lists comprehensive plans that include cemetery provisions as well as state laws that govern cemeteries, funeral homes, and crematoria. Planners, commissioners, and public officials across the country will find this report a valuable resource as they plan for the ultimate future of their communities’ residents.
1. Introduction 2. The Death Care Industry 3. Strategic Points of Intervention 4. Trends in Cemetery Burial Practices and Design 5. Case Studies 6. Conclusions
Carlton Basmajian is Assistant Professor of community and regional planning, Iowa State University College of Design.
Christopher Coutts is Assistant Professor in the Urban & Regional Planning Department, Florida State University.
Dwight H. Merriam, FAICP, heads the land-use group for the law firm of Robinson & Cole in Hartford, Connecticut. Patricia Salkin is Professor of Law and Director of Albany Law School’s Government Law Center.