Welcome to the city of Ghent and to University College Ghent. We are honoured to host this important 2018 event on European landscape architecture education and research. The conference will be hosted by the School of Arts of the University College Ghent and is curated and coordinated by the educational programmes in Landscape and Garden Architecture and in Landscape Development, and the Research Unit Landscape Architecture. We welcome you to Belgium, a small country in northwestern Europe. The northern part of Belgium, Flanders, is one of the most densely populated regions in Europe. With seventy percent of the Flemish population residing in an urban-rural complex, network urbanity and fragmented multifunctional open spaces are omnipresent. The strong urban-rural overlap and its related multi-functionality make the region a fascinating laboratory for research and practice in landscape architecture. The conference is held in Ghent, a historic yet young and energetic city in the north of Flanders.

On occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the First World War armistice, commemorated in 2018, this year’s edition is held in Belgium. This large-scale conflict inspired choosing the conference theme ’Landscapes of Conflict’. The ECLAS Conference approaches ‘landscapes of conflict’ in a multi-faceted way. We aim to spotlight places, moments and methods where conflicting interests and issues meet and intensify each other. Through which argumentation, expertise, knowledge and practices do landscape architects recognise, interpret and manage conflicts? When, where and how do they intervene? We investigate how opportunities can arise within or through conflicts and how this may lead to cooperation and integration. Welcome!