Ever since its inception, Landscape Architecture has striven to contribute towards the creation of a wider spatial cohesiveness, in terms of both towns and cultural landscapes – with programmatic concepts for the social, ecological and aesthetic purpose of open spaces (Open Space Theory), with spatial structural concepts for the distribution of green areas and open spaces within the town (Open Space Planning) and with plans for the aesthetic and ecological augmentation of land use and infrastructure in the cultural landscape (Landscape Development).
Whereas in the 19th century town and open spaces, landscape and built-up areas were regarded as a holistic entity, 20th century 'green planners' concentrated on maintaining quantitative and functional standards for open spaces. Their concepts aimed to depict open spaces as an autonomous system whose purpose was to curb inward and outward urban growth. This led to an increase in the proportion of open spaces. What it failed to achieve was the prevention of landscape urbanism (i.e. land and resource-consuming suburban sprawl) and the landscaping of built-up areas (i.e. the dissolution of urban districts).
With the advent of the 21st century, town, regional, traffic, infrastructure and landscape planners realized that simply by enhancing their own specific fields of interest, when pursued as isolated goals, they were unable to create acceptable social, ecological or aesthetical conditions. They turned their attention to open spaces and landscape to provide the structure for new urban social environments.
- Open spaces as a fundamental qualitative framework for the revitalization of the European city (permanence, public access)
- Landscape as a principle for the qualification of suburban districts (landscape urbanism)
- Landscape as a principle for the integration of new land uses and infrastructures (energy revolution, climate change)
The professorship investigates and teaches the conceptual, formative shaping of open spaces and landscapes.