The ECLAS Conference 2016 took place from 11-14th of September 2016 at the HSR Hochschule für Technik in Rapperswil, Switzerland and was organised in cooperation with hepia Genève.
220 participants from 30 countries joined the conference under the theme “Bridging the Gap”.

The event was opened by Hermann Mettler, principal of HSR Rapperswil and followed by welcome speeches of Martin Klöti, president of canton St Gallen, Erich Zoller, mayor of the city of Rapperswil-Jona, Simon Bell, ECLAS President as well as the OK members Michael Jakob from hepia Genève and Peter Petschek & Dominik Siegrist from HSR Rapperswil.
Five keynote speakers introduced their approach to “Bridging the Gap”:

  • Chris Reed – Assoc. Prof. in Practice of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University, Boston/US
  • Paolo L. Bürgi – Landscape Architect, Studio Bürgi, Camorino/Switzerland; adjunct professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania; professor, Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia and Politecnico di Milano in dialogue with Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia/US
  • Noel Kingsbury – Freelance Garden and Planting Design, United Kingdom
  • Jörg Rekittke – Professor and Deputy Dean, Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture and Design, RMIT University, Melbourne/AUS
  • Matthias Stremlow – Federal Office for the Environment FOEN, Rural Areas Section, Bern/Switzerland

 120 presentations were held by participants in parallel session of the following sub-themes:

  • Landscape Design
  • Construction/IT
  • Landscape Planning
  • Planting Design

Side events included a visit to the ENEA tree museum, a poster session, the heads of schools meeting with dinner, a conference dinner as well as optional excursions.

Please find here the Conference Proceedings (Dropbox - no login required) as well as some impressions of the ECLAS Conference 2016.
We would like to thank ECLAS, HSR Rapperswil and hepia Genève, our sponsors, (media) partners, welcome and keynote speakers as well as all participants for making this great conference possible!
ECLAS 2016 Organizing Committee



Welcome to Rapperswil and HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil. We are very honored to be able to host the main landscape education and research event in Europe in 2016. The Department of Landscape Architecture and the Institute for Landscape and Open Space of the HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil is hosting this conference in partnership with the Department of Landscape Architecture of the University of Applied Sciences Geneva (hepia).

We welcome you to Switzerland, a small country in the middle of Western Europe, which has always maintained close relations with its neighbouring countries. Thus, while Switzerland is a place with a rich national landscape architecture tradition, also landscape architects from abroad continuously contributed to the profession in Switzerland and left a heritage of lasting value. With the four national languages ​​German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Romanic as well as many other languages ​​from all over the world, bridging the gap between languages ​​and cultures poses an everyday challenge to the people of this country. This also applies to the cooperation between the two universities of applied sciences Rapperswil and Geneva, with one teaching in German and the other one in French. The conference venue Rapperswil is a historic small town at the upper lake of Zurich, half an hour away from the city of Zurich. The campus is located in a unique place right on the lake with views of the Alps. A visit to the old town of Rapperswil is well worth as is a trip to Zurich, which sees itself as the smallest cosmopolitan city.


Conference Theme

Landscape architecture, design and planning are constantly confronted with the issue of boundaries and gaps – with linguistic and cultural boundaries, with contradictions between teaching and research, and with competition between universities of applied sciences and universities. At the same time, educational institutions in landscape architecture provide opportunities to overcome boundaries and gaps through the instruction of modern working and communication technologies, the application of inter- and trans-disciplinary methods and cross-cultural cooperation in education and research. The host institutions HSR in Rapperswil and hepia in Geneva are universities of applied sciences, where education is of foremost importance. Thus, current experiences and developments in teaching are the focal point of the ECLAS Conference 2016. In addition, excursions to Zurich and its surrounding communities as well as the Alps will allow an insight into the current state of landscape architecture in Switzerland.

Welcome to Rapperswil!