The Institute of Landscape Planning and Ecology was founded in 1966 at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design by Professor Dr. Walter Rossow. As one of the most famous landscape architects of his day, he had a lasting influence on urban design in Germany with his call for “landscape to become the law”. To this end he developed new landscape planning methods that posited a landscape-oriented approach to development and which became a mandatory part of the architectural studies curriculum at Stuttgart University. His research activities, conducted together with his staff, resulted in some of the first landscape plans which were introduced as pilot and model projects for various municipalities in Germany.
In 1975, the department was taken over by Professor Dr. Giselher Kaule who headed the department until 2010. In cooperation with many national and international partners, he successfully steered the orientation of the Institute towards fundamental research into nature conservation and ecologically-oriented planning methods. Together with several other institutes at the Faculty for Construction and Environmental Engineering he founded the “Master of Infrastructure Planning“ programme in 1983, the first English-language, internationally-oriented postgraduate degree course of its kind in Germany. He was instrumental in establishing the Institute as part of an interdisciplinary network of partners, both within the university as well as with the University of Hohenheim and other partners throughout Germany.
Since 2010, the Institute has been headed by Professor Antje Stokman, who together with her vice-director Dr. Hans-Georg Schwarz von Raumer, has developed two collaborative units covering the fields of “Landscape Planning and Ecosystem Design“ and “Landscape Analysis and Modelling”. She has made it her objective to continue the work of her predecessors and the tradition of the Institute in a new form. For example, the initiation of a German-Egyptian study programme – IUSD – and the subject of “Geodesign” are both new initiatives based on existing work at the Institute. The Institute’s strong links to other institutes and universities are likewise being further intensified, as are links to professional practice in the fields of nature conservation and landscape planning.
After Professor Antje Stokman was appointed to the chair for “Architecture and Landscape“ at the HafenCity University Hamburg, the Institute is now in a transitional phase with the substitute Professor Dr.-Ing. Jan Dieterle since July 2017.