Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sinn - Bild - Landschaft : Landschaftsverständnisse in der Landschaftsplanung ; eine Untersuchung von Idealvorstellungen und Bedeutungszuweisungen
by Wojtkiewicz, Wera, Ph.D., Technische Universitaet Berlin (Germany), 2015, 202; 10717211
Abstract (Summary)

The aim of this dissertation was to contribute to a better understanding of the social construction of landscape in landscape planning. As a comprehensive planning system covering both the populated and non-populated areas, landscape planning contributes to realising the objectives of nature protection according to the federal law. As a starting point, it was assumed that the idea of landscape plays an important role in forming the aims of landscape planning and how these aims are achieved, with consequential concrete impacts on the development of physical space. Current research does not sufficiently address the question of how landscape planning understands or refers to the idea of landscape and which ideal types of landscapes determine planning processes. To address this, the dissertation uses a qualitative-hermeneutic approach analysing the notion of landscape–that is it examines how definitions and meanings are attributed to "landscape" and assesses which views exist on how to use and shape it. The research is based on randomly selected municipal landscape plans of various regions in Germany as well as on interviews with landscape planners.

Firstly, neither the word "landscape" nor "cultural landscape" were explicitly defined or explicated in the plans examined. A semantic analysis demonstrates, however, that they are commonly used as synonyms. Both words generally address visual and aesthetic aspects, with "cultural landscape" in particular being used for areas which are characterized by high variety of natural structures on small-scale space and by extensive anthropogenic land use, e.g. orchards, hedges, coppice and shrubs. Contemporary anthropogenic utilization of the physical landscape is generally viewed negatively. These findings demonstrate that landscape plans predominantly express a narrow, conservative notion of landscape. It also became clear that an attribution of meaning that is based on sociocultural and use-related needs play a much more minor role than ecological ones. In particular, argumentation patterns related to the protection of species and habitats are dominating. An important finding of the interviews was that attitudes and perception of landscape planners towards the meaning and the design of landscape are sometimes contradictory to those expressed in landscape plans. Although this is not reflected in the landscape plans, the interviewees often criticized the dominance of protection of species and biotopes in the plans as well as the orientation towards pre-industrial landscape ideals. This shows that the construction of landscape in the institution "landscape planning"–which includes plans as well as planners–is not necessarily in itself consistent and unambiguous. Specific factors, however, prevent planners from realising these views in their day-to-day work. The reasons given for this by the interviewees were legal requirements, methodological guidelines, established instruments of landscape planning and the composition of staff in public bodies and associations.

In light of the aim to increase public acceptance and the political enforceability of landscape planning, the opportunities and limitations of integration of contemporary landscape elements into landscape plans needs to be discussed in greater depth. This could better link landscape planning to existing societal developments without entirely surrendering its official mandate for the protection, maintenance and development of nature and landscape in the face of these. To make the links between the landscape planning understanding of landscape with the various understandings of other societal institutions as well as the everyday view of what landscape means, landscape planning should increase their awareness of the weighting between ecological, socio-cultural and use-related meanings of landscape.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hartje, Volkmar
Commitee: Heiland, Stefan, Kühne, Olaf
School: Technische Universitaet Berlin (Germany)
School Location: Germany
Source: DAI-C 81/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Landscape architecture
Keywords: Landscape planning
Publication Number: 10717211
ISBN: 9781392355923
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