Track descriptions

For abstract submission link, please scroll to the bottom.

Abstract submission has closed on 30th of January, 2022.

We are currently reviewing 200 submissions.

  1. Evolution and reflection:  the 50 years since planning became a part of landscape architecture many things have changed – in the profession itself as well as in the world in which it operates. In this period, the nature of the challenges has shifted towards a more global scale; examples include demographic, climate, and technological processes.

    How have the different challenges influenced the development of the discipline? What have been the responses and the innovations developed? When and why was landscape architecture able to provide relevant solutions? Where do we stand now? What is the reaction of the profession to contemporary challenges?
  1. Relation between design and planning: Landscape planning and design are commonly recognized as different activities. Planning answers the questions “what, where and how much” in its attempt to optimally allocate uses to territories, whilst design answers the questions “how” in its attempt to give form to land uses. The choice of scale is one of the distinguishing features in the fuzzy transition between design and planning. Planning usually involves larger areas, whereas design focuses on smaller ones. In practice, however, it is often impossible to answer “where” without also asking “how”, and vice versa; through asking “how” we might condition the answers to “what, where and how much”.  

    In this session we will explore the relationship that exists between landscape planning and landscape design. How does this distinction affect landscape architecture? Is the division (still) justifiable – has it strengthened the identity and focus of landscape architecture, or have they faded away? Have developments in the past 50 years enlarged the gap or have they contiguously interconnected planning and design? How do we approach problem-solving at different scales? Do methods used in landscape architecture depend on scale? What can planners learn from design approaches and scales of operation, and vice versa? How do digital tools affect the ways in which we consider different scales when it comes to problem solving?   Do we need new methods to address the challenges in a globally and digitally connected world? 
  1. Teaching across scales: The methods for educating landscape architects arise from the growing distinction between landscape planning and design. In teaching, as well as in professional practice, each sub-discipline developed their own methods and tools, based predominantly on the scale in which (a planner or a designer) addressed the problems. Nowadays, the gap between planning and design is closing. Landscape architecture students must learn how to work across scales, which includes adopting methods and tools they use to become operational in various scales. Teaching students the transition between scales and defining problems that can be solved at a certain scale is one of the main challenges in educating landscape architecture students.

    How do we teach the transition between these scales? Are there specific problems to be addressed at certain scales, or should each problem be approached using a variety of scales? Do/should we link the methods we teach to specific scales? Or should we rather teach the methods that enable transition between scales? Where are the limits of scales we teach (global plan… micro design…)?  Are we, as educators, sufficiently aware of “digital scalessnes”? What innovative teaching approaches can be used here?
  1. Context matters: Despite or because of the fact that landscape architecture is a young profession, the contexts of spatial legislation and differences in the evolution of the profession in countries across Europe and beyond have resulted in various definitions of the profession and its profile. An overview of these differences is needed before attempts are made to streamline curricular.

    What specific approaches and tools have evolved as a response to this variety of contexts? What processes are behind the division of the wider discipline into distinctive schools of planning and design? How are our study programs embedded within different schools and how big is the influence of other study programs at these schools to landscape architecture curriculum?   Can consensus be reached in defining “EU Common Training Framework for Landscape Architecture” and what is the current status of the joint efforts for EU recognition?
  1. Beyond the field: Contemporary societal problems require cross-system examination and responses. It is unlikely that a single discipline will be able to provide such solutions. Conscious changes in the landscape require collaboration across sciences and humanities, especially as scales of change and uncertainties grow.

    What is the role of interdisciplinarity in landscape architecture and how can different disciplines participate with it so as to ensure that no one loses their or professional identity? Is interdisciplinarity dependent on scale and, if so, in what ways? What can landscape architects learn from other disciplines? What is “transdisciplinary” when it comes to landscape architecture?

Poster session: It is possible to submit poster presentations for each of the above themes. In addition, we encourage poster submissions for a wide variety of landscape architecture works, be it realized projects or education results. Should there be more submissions for oral presentations than available time slots, we might recommend that you prepare a poster presentation instead of a paper.

Roundtable: The next 50 years: In 2070, the world will be different than it is today, and it is very possible that quality landscape will have become a very scarce resource. At the same time, social-political systems will have changed with new players and different roles. What scenarios can be conceived about the future? What is the future we want? How do we get there, and what is the role of landscape architects in getting there: should this role be different than it is now? Who will be our clients? Do we have the knowledge, tools and means of communications to find the answer and to be heard?

This questions will be addressed in the concluding roundtable of the conference in which session chairs and keynote speakers will discuss the findings of the thematic tracks.

Submit your abstract

Submit your abstracts (up to 300 words) here:

The call for abstracts closes on 10th January 2022. Abstract submission extended now to 30th January 2022.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the end of February.

Accepted abstracts will be published in Book of Abstracts. Should there be a sufficient number of good quality presentations reflecting the conference’s main topic, we will invite the authors to write a full paper for publication in the Urban Challenge Journal Special Issue.