The institute's field of work consists of the two units Planning and Designing Urban Landscapes as well as Landscape Analysis an Modelling

All research, planning and consultation activities at the Institute are undertaken by two units working in close collaboration:

1. Planning and Designing Urban Landscapes

The Planning and Designing Urban Landscapes unit focuses on the characteristics and the development of urban landscapes based on a fundamental comprehension of ecosystemic processes.
Urban landscapes are the result of anthropogenic activities in interaction with natural processes. They create a constantly changing context which is further shaped by a multitude of stakeholders. Understanding the logic of the landscape, its processes, stakeholders, structures, qualities as well as its limitations, provides the foundation for the formulation of new strategies and designs.
Various planning and design approaches are employed that, starting from a combination of complex, context-specific and application-oriented initial conditions and natural and engineering facts, work towards a solution in a series of logical, iterative decision-making steps. The planning and design methods used encompass both analytical and intuitive means of comprehension. 

Within this overall approach, particular attention is given to two key aspects: on the one hand, the ongoing development of planning and design methods as contextual, trans-disciplinary and application-oriented forms of creating knowledge, and on the other hand the development of practical strategies for shaping urban landscapes and infrastructure systems.

 The work of the unit focuses in particular on the following:

Basics: Understanding natural and social processes

  • Basic understanding of the interaction between biotic and abiotic factors 
  • Reflections on the management, use and design of space in consultation with stakeholders

 Thinking in different scales: from the object to the region

  • Understanding and developing buildings, cities and open spaces in a spatial context
  • Large-scale and object-related planning, design and implementation strategies

Integration: Multifunctional planning and design strategies

  • Multifunctional design of landscape and open space as infrastructure
  • Integration of infrastructure systems in cities and landscape
  • Process-oriented landscape planning approaches in architecture and urban planning

2. Landscape Analysis and Modelling
The Landscape Analysis and Modelling unit compiles and processes data and information on landscapes for the planning and development of landscapes as dynamic spatial and ecological systems. This includes not only naturally- and culturally-derived structures and processes (including material and energy exchanges) but also the sustainable and societal use of ecosystem functions and services (soil, water, air, biota, culture, experiencing landscape). Within this overall approach particular attention is given to two key aspects: on the one hand, the elaboration and planning-relevant application of quantitative methods – especially landscape modelling – and on the other, continuing the Institute’s tradition of focussing on application-oriented species and biotope conservation.

The work of the unit focuses in particular on the following:

  • Developing methodologies for landscape-related planning
  • Surveys of landscape-related use, conservation, risk and conflict potential
  • Developing methods for implementing nature and open space conservation objectives, including target species concepts and biotope networks
  • Development of methods for assessing nature- and landscape-related development aims and use options (e.g. urban development or biomass uses), for example for alternative and strategic environmental impact analyses, landscape planning and intervention regulation, but also for regional concepts
  • Geodata analysis, data and model integration e.g., linking (socio-)economic regional models with landscape ecology system models, modelling-assisted scenario techniques and geodesign
  • Devising and applying models for land use development itself as well as its ecological and human-ecological consequences
  • Devising and applying models for vegetation development and bioconnectivity.

Institute for Landscape Planning and Ecology

Keplerstraße 11, 70174 Stuttgart

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