Call for Abstracts

Our call for abstracts has closed on January 31.

Results will be announced before March 31. Registration will open in April.

>>> Download call as PDF – or read further below on this page

We will publish a book of abstracts and selected short papers via the publishing house of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. This will be part of the TELOS Landscape Economy publication series.

Conference details:

  • Doctoral Colloquium & ERASMUS Intensive Programme: Saturday September 7 – 13, 2024, more information
  • Conference Excursion Day:  Sunday September 8, 2024 all day
  • Conference: Monday – Tuesday September 9 – 10, 2024, ECLAS General Assembly: September 10
  • Venues: Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Faculté d’Architecture La Cambre Horta & CIVA Brussels, Belgium. CIVA Brussels is the Centre for Information, Documentation and Exhibitions on the city, architecture, landscape and urban planning in the Brussels-Capital Region.
  • The conference includes a multiplier event of the Landscape Economy ERASMUS project (TELOS)
  • There will be an online option for those who need

Scientific Committee

This is a collaboration of the ECLAS Executive Committee, the TELOS ERASMUS Team, team members of ULB, Faculty of Architecture, and various invited academics. Visit the Scientific and Organisational Committees of ECLAS 2024.

Regenerative Landscapes. Designing the Transition

ECLAS 2024 will discuss the capacity of landscape as an approach and a method for system design and innovation in a climate change scenario. Thinking and acting with a landscape perspective opens up opportunities for innovation. This design potential evolves at the boundaries of sectors and interest groups, and seemingly competing values and goals. Unlocking this transformative capacity is more urgent than ever. Landscape can act both as a conceptual framework and as a medium for activating this capacity. The ‘why?’ is clear: We are operating beyond the capacity of our planet. Six out of nine planetary boundaries have been crossed (Rockström et al, 2023).  We need to move back into the safe operating space.

We invite you to share teaching, research or practice perspectives of past, present and future regenerative landscapes. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2024.

Cross-cutting questions

All contributions should address the following cross-cutting questions. Depending on the nature of your theme, not all questions might be addressed at the same level of depth. 

Regenerative Landscapes: How might we define them? Please present and discuss the theories and discourses that are shaping your understanding of this concept.

Regenerative Landscapes: How do they work? Here we would like to hear about examples of regenerative systems and models. These can be existing practices but also studio work, prototypes, or research.

Regenerative Landscapes: Why do they work?  How about evidence: Why is the model you are presenting regenerative? What is supposed to be regenerated? How would we know? Which evaluation approach is needed? You can also share your theoretical thoughts on this.

Thematic Tracks

Within this cross-cutting framework, we suggest seven chaired thematic tracks plus an open track.

Energy Landscapes

Track Chairs: Maria Beatrice Andreucci (La Sapienza University, Rome), Dorothee Apfel (Nürtingen-Geislingen University), Anders Larsson (SLU), Dorota Wojtowicz-Jankowska (Gdansk University of Technology), Sven Stremke (WUR)

Thematic outline: Our transition towards decarbonisation in a climate change scenario mainly depends on relying on renewable energy production. The integration of this productive layer into multiscale landscapes needs to be embraced by landscape architects and other planning and design disciplines as it competes for space against  many other critical  functions, such as biodiversity, agriculture, housing, and transportation. 

We will thoroughly  discuss the integrated and multidimensional theme of energy efficiency/productivity/flexibility within the landscape system, as a practical and evidence-based response to the challenge of ever increasing land use conflicts, related to renewable energy infrastructure and ongoing urbanization. This includes innovative approaches emerging at local level such as Positive Energy Districts and Circular Cities.

Our discussion will touch upon the systemic relationships between multi-scale energy landscapes and local system change in our direct living environment. We will address both the material and the socioeconomic dimensions of the different types of energy landscapes. We will further explore the implications of the energy transition for education and practice, and explore potential directions for future research initiatives.

Mobility Landscapes

Track Chairs: Didier Vancutsem (ULB), Claire Pelgrims (ULB), Gabriela Rembarz (Gdansk University of Technology), Nina Vogel (SLU), Cristina Imbroglini (La Sapienza Rome), Francisca Lima (The University of Edinburgh)

Thematic outline: Our ever growing need for mobility stems to a large extent from the spatial separation of the urban functions. While we have been following the modernist paradigm of the Charter of Athens over decades, production and resource-provision have taken up global dimensions. So we find ourselves today in an environment where people and goods are permanently moving between locations.

This certainly creates a lot of benefits and opportunities, allowing people to participate economically, socially and culturally. On the other hand, our current mobility systems consume far too much energy and space, in addition to reinforcing and creating new social inequalities. The impact of mobility systems on landscape development and landscape quality is still to some extent underestimated in landscape architecture.

In this session, we want to explore possible transition pathways towards sustainable mobility, building on the possible interactions between sustainable mobility infrastructure, public spaces and green-blue infrastructure. Potential exploration could concern the difference of systemic and spatial development within dense and more sprawled environments, the contemporary interest to work with existing built environments and focus on retrofitting those; or examples that display the interdisciplinary approaches by connecting e.g. stormwater management, biodiversity, health and mobility planning on a streetscape level.

Will discuss the role of landscape architecture to co-shape interdisciplinary processes in (re)developing mobility systems and spaces.

Foodscapes

Track Chairs: Meryem Atik (Akdeniz University), Roxana Triboi (LE:NOTRE Institute), Jeroen de Vries (LE:NOTRE Institute), Arati Uttur (LE:NOTRE Institute), Ibrahim Yilmaz (Akdeniz University), Sandra Costa (Birmingham City University)

Thematic outline: Food has shaped the relationship between humans and their landscapes since the beginning of mankind. The strong links between people, food production and landscape got lost in the transition to modern urban societies. Like many other economic systems, foodscapes operate today in a network of global material flows. This includes a loss of awareness and skills for the limited natural resources on which our food depends, especially soil and water. A transformation of the food system, both locally and globally, is urgent as it responds to multiple crises related to biodiversity, climate, water, health, and food security.

Establishing local and regional food systems is very important for reducing carbon footprint, enhancing biodiversity goals, increasing climate resilience, and fostering social cohesion. Understanding landscapes and its cultural heritage as foodscapes bears great opportunities for reconnecting people to nature and promoting responsible consumption. In this session we want to discuss the relevance of foodscapes in landscape architecture and other spatial planning disciplines. We will share case studies and research outcomes.

Abstracts should present possible transition pathways (case studies, research) and reflect on the mechanisms of the system change, such as transdisciplinary and participatory processes. We further invite contributions that are discussing innovative approaches to education, research and professional practice in this field.

The Hidden Landscapes of the Global Value-Added Chains

Track Chairs: Karolina Krośnicka (Gdańsk University of Technology), Dirk Funck (Nürtingen-Geislingen University), Samaneh Nickain (WUR), Kelley Shannon (KU Leuven)

Thematic Outline: Spatial planning disciplines, including landscape architecture, focus on the specific local territory of a region, town or commune. This territory is the main reference for analysis, goal-setting and strategy building. But what about all the landscapes along the global value-added chain, invisible from a local perspective? Do we consider them in our approaches? The material flows and supply chains moving in and out of our contemporary urban landscapes stem from a global network of ‘other’ territories. Our consumption patterns and global supply chains put a lot of pressure on these ‘other’ environmental and social systems. In this session, we want to discuss the opportunities of spatial planning disciplines to support system change towards more sustainable and responsive global value chains as a prerequisite for sustainable consumption. 

While this discourse is well established in other disciplines (e.g., economics, sustainability studies, or international affairs), it seems to be almost nonexistent in spatial planning and design. Radically new collaborations and thinking across disciplines, methods, and knowledge domains are needed to move the discussion forward. Looking at given frameworks, the session is particularly about designing a circular economy and incentives to rethink consumption patterns in general (less, slower, more regional).

The session will take the format of a moderated discussion and some co-creative actions to advance our ideas for education, research and professional practice. However, we also invite you to submit abstracts covering, amongst others, theoretical reflections, good practices or educational approaches on the topic that is outlined here.

Beyond Cheap Nature

Track Chairs: Veli Ortacesme (Akdeniz University), Juanjo Galan (Politechnic University of Valencia), Stefanie Schur (Nürtingen-Geislingen University), Beata Dreksler (American University of Beirut)

Thematic outline: The protection and enhancement of ecosystems has been at the core of landscape architecture since its beginnings. Designing with and for nature at the interface of society and the environment is a fundamental value of the discipline. In this session, we want to explore opportunities for accelerating the regeneration of nature. Since we have already extensively crossed this planetary boundary, protection is not enough. The task is to regenerate the foundation of any life on the planet. This is about soil, water, air, flora and fauna. All of these fundamentals are overexploited today. And they continue to do so as capitalist systems are built on the idea of ‘cheap nature’. 

Since the appearance of the EU’s Green Deal, there has been a lot of discussion about green growth, in the sense of decoupling economic growth from the exploitation of natural resources. The idea is obviously to justify yet another growth agenda. But how about concepts that argue beyond growth, such as degrowth? What if we defined growth not any more by GDP, but by the degree of regenerated nature? 

This session invites theoretical reflections about possible new approaches for regenerating nature. We would like to explore ideas that go beyond protection and impact mitigation as facilitators of the classical growth agenda. Approaches that rethink the economy as we know it. Which innovative operational models for regenerating nature are already out there? And which models might we still need to invent? What can we learn from other disciplines, cultures and our own history to address this fundamental task?  How can we transform this knowledge into models and proposals for regenerative landscape design, planning and management?

Heritage and Identities: Activating Cultural Capital

Track Chairs: Ursula Wieser Benedetti (CIVA, JoLA),  Magdalena Rembeza (Gdansk Tech), Katarzyna Zielonko-Jung (Gdansk Tech), Lei Gao (NMBU), Alex Mexi (USAMV Bucharest), Eszter Bakay (MATE)

Landscapes are ideal platforms for regenerating cultural heritage in an integrative way. This includes articulating and activating the identities of local communities. Ideally, fostering cultural capital generates social capital, and vice versa. The potentials are huge and manifold, as are the challenges. Heritage can be defined at national level and managed within a fixed institutional framework. Likewise, cultural values and their material or immaterial manifestations can evolve within local communities from bottom-up.  Alternative ways of managing cultural assets can emerge within these communities, for example through NGOs, cooperatives, social enterprises or other forms of collective action. Understanding heritage from a landscape perspective opens many opportunities for creating synergies and added-values at the interface of tourism, recreation, nature protection, agriculture, education, health and well-being. In this session, we want to explore innovative ways of activating and preserving cultural heritage. You may share good practice case studies and research findings, as well as educational approaches for enhancing social innovation in this field.

Democratic Landscape Transformation

Democratic Landscape Transformation: Special session led by the Open Landscape Academy (OLA) ERASMUS Team. Meet the OLA team.

Thematic outline: The goal of this conference is to explore how we might activate capacity for the transformation of unsustainable landscape systems. Much, if not all, of this capacity is embedded in people: in their values, knowledge, resources, decisions and concrete actions. Therefore, it is important to look deeper into the underlying motives and power structures that are determining our landscape realities. What prevents people from acting? How might we address these wicked situations where power and interest conflicts dominate and entry points for change are hard to be found? In the light of these challenges, community-based approaches, partnerships and co-creation are more necessary than ever, but across sectors, there is limited capability for cultivating truly participatory approaches.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, as every community and their landscapes are unique. But what seems certain is that such transformative processes require a deep self-reflection and a profound relation to ourselves, as a foundation for any collective action.

Are we prepared for radically new ways of engaging with our landscapes and the communities they embrace? Are we aware of what this comprises, how it feels and which values and competences really matter?

Open Theme

The seven thematic tracks have been designed with the idea of providing an integrated discussion about regenerative landscapes and the role of landscape architecture and related disciplines in designing the transition. 

Do you have a perspective on the topic that is not fitting well to any of the seven themes?

Then this ‘open theme’ section is the right place for you. However, make sure you are referring to the conference overall theme and responding to the three cross-cutting questions.

Key Conference Dates & Timeline

  • 01.11.2023: Call for Abstracts opens
  • 31.01.2024: Call for Abstracts closes >>> closed
  • 01.02. – 31.03.2024: Review process
  • 01.04.2024: Announcement of acceptance
  • 01.04. – 30.06.2024: Short paper submission
  • 15.04.2024: Registration opens
  • 30.06.2024: Registration deadline for presenters
  • 20.08.2024: Registration deadline for non-presenting participants
  • 07. – 11.09.2024: Doctoral colloquium and ERASMUS Summer School for PhD Students
  • 08.09.2024: Excursions Brussels Region / Antwerp / Namur
  • 09.-10.09.2024: Keynotes and parallel sessions
  • 10.09.2024: ECLAS General Assembly, TELOS Multiplier Event

New European Bauhaus

ECLAS, ULB and IFLA Europe are members of the New European Bauhaus. The New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal to our living spaces and experiences. This conference aims at supporting networking and knowledge creation for the New European Bauhaus.