The transition to renewable energy sources, climate change and the influx of people settling in cities all contribute to an ever more urgent need to develop new productive forms of interaction between natural ecosystems, technical infrastructure and human ways of living. How can we promote a better understanding of ecological systems and new ways in which city and nature can coexist?
These questions are central to teaching at the Institute of Landscape Planning and Ecology. Through lectures, seminars, exercises and field trips, we communicate the basic principles of urban and landscape ecology along with methods and techniques of landscape planning and design. To develop and design the city and the landscape in the context of their reciprocal ecological relationship, it is vital that students consider the interdependencies between climate, soil, water systems, flora and fauna, and human patterns of use and cultivation. Teaching at the Institute aims to tutor students in planning and design approaches that consider landscape neither as leftover space or dumping ground nor as an expensive luxury but as a productive ecosystem: What does an urban landscape look like that can provide energy instead of just consuming it, that can accommodate flood water instead of holding it at bay, that can clean waste water instead of being dependent on irrigation, that can absorb rainwater rather than channelling it away, that can cool the environment instead of causing urban heat islands. How should land-use patterns and systems be brought into a resilient, sustainable and environmentally-friendly balance? What fundamental knowledge do we need and how can we make use of methods and modern technologies based on systematic scientific research?
We provide courses for students studying the following study programmes, and as part of “Studium Generale” cross-faculty courses: