Landscape Planning and Development

Profile of the Department of Landscape Planning and Development

The department for "Landscape Planning and Development" concerns itself with landscape planning as a strategic instrument of nature conservation on different administrative and spatial levels, including its societal context. An equally important focus is landscape development in urban and rural areas, which is independent of landscape planning control and results from societal developments as well as from changes in land use and the natural environment. Depending on the context, we understand 'landscape' both as a societal construct of human perceptions and discourses as well as the physical-material manifestation of the earth's surface.

Main research and teaching activities of the department

  • Further development of the contents of landscape and environmental planning to take greater account of human benefits and to promote the multifunctionality of green spaces. This concerns topics such as human health, health-promoting mobility, perception and experience of nature and landscape, and adaptation to climate change.
  • Landscapes as 'objects of reflection': Landscapes reflect consumption patterns, lifestyles and the characteristics of our economic system, i.a. concerning energy consumption. How can this correlation be utilized to promote long-term sustainable individual choices and the necessary change of the political and economic framework? The concept of sufficiency plays a central role here.
  • Relevance of digitalisation for landscape and environmental planning: Digitalisation will have an increasing impact on landscape development, be it positive or negative, direct or indirect. This applies to, i.a, the demand for resources and energy, altered spatial perceptions and behaviour, as well as altered information and communication processes. Such effects are also important for participation and democratic, fact-based decision-making in planning processes.
  • Evaluation of the management quality of German national parks: Since 2010, the department has been involved in an advisory role in the voluntary evaluation of German national parks and in the further development of the evaluation methodology.

Current and completed research projects as well as other works of the department (e.g. presentations, lectures) as well as student theses can be assigned to one or more of these focal points, but in some cases also go beyond them. Contents of these projects and theses are among others:

  • Consequences of climate change for the contents and methods of landscape and environmental planning, biological diversity and nature conservation altogether. Contribution of landscape planning to climate change adaptation.
  • The importance of urban green for human health and ecosystem services, including the possibilities for addressing human health in landscape planning.
  • Applicability of contents and methods of German landscape planning in other countries (Ukraine, Russia).
  • Understanding of the term ‘Landscape’ in local landscape plans.
  • 'Green Infrastructure', including lead management of a project for the development of the Federal Green Infrastructure Concept.
  • Landscape effects of societal developments, in particular of the energy transition.
  • Evaluation of the management quality of German national parks on the basis of quality criteria and standards.