Energy landscapes in a crowded world: A first typology of origins and expressions

Martin Pasqualetti*, Sven Stremke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


One of the main drivers of landscape transformation has been our demand for energy. We refer to the results of such transformations as "energy landscapes". This paper examines the definition of energy landscapes within a conceptual framework, proposes a classification of energy landscapes, and describes the key characteristics of energy landscapes that help to define an over-arching typology of origins and expressions. Our purpose is to inform scholarly discourse and practice with regard to energy policies, decision-making processes, legal frameworks and environmental designs. We exam the existing literature, provide a critical perspective using imagery from the USA and Europe, and combine the disciplinary perspectives of geography and landscape architecture. We propose three main characteristics that contribute to the development of a typology: (1) Substantive qualification: General types of energy landscapes distinguished by dominating energy source; (2) Spatial qualification: The appearance of energy landscapes, ranging from distinct spatial entities to less recognizable subsystems of the larger environment; and (3) Temporal qualification: The degree of permanence of energy landscape ranging from relatively dynamic to permanent. Addressing these and a growing number of associated questions will promote more thoughtful protection of the landscapes we inherit while paying closer attention to the relationships between ourselves and the landscapes that surround us.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-105
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Early online date10 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Geography
  • Landscape
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Transition

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