Integrated design as an opportunity to develop green infrastructures within complex spatial questions

G. Bartelse, S. Kost

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review


Landscape is a complex system of competitive spatial functions. This competition is especially readable in high dense urban areas between housing, industry, leisure facilities, transport and infrastructure, energy supply, flood protection, natural resources. Nevertheless, those conflicts are seldom discussed and worked out in a complex and interdisciplinary way. Additional to that, ecological interests and matters are very often handled as a compensation for constructional intervention into the landscape. That leads to separate solutions concerning to the main task. In this sense there are no landscape concepts to see such tasks as a multidimensional question to combine infrastructure or housing with ecology and (landscape) design to get more positive effects in a wider sense for urban areas. It is also a question to create an ecological network with an aesthetical dimension. We want to explain some examples from the Netherlands which show how complex spatial conflicts under the synonym of green infrastructure can discuss and work out in an interdisciplinary way and lead to long-term solutions in rural and urban areas. Whereas in Germany (but not only there), people regard nature and ecology as an antithesis to urban or economic development, in the Netherlands the development of nature has become an element which unites economic, ecological and security-related (in the case of flood) interests. This is seen particularly clearly in the case of flood protection. A technocratic flood protection policy, which reacted to a flood, was replaced by an active preventative policy, connected to and determined by the causes, and including a diverse group of participants and disciplines. The search for suitable solutions was no longer related only to the medium „river“, but awakened the awareness for the landscape as a whole and the totality of its formative functions. The examples combine solutions in the field of flood protection, housing and infrastructure with the development of green infrastructures (city development Arnhem – flood protection, nature development and ecological design; Grensmaas – Restoration of a river by linking ecology and economy; Brainport Eindhoven – development of a high tech campus with an integrated natural and flood protection planning; Zuidplaspolder – housing on one of the deepest points in the landscape of the Netherlands). We would like to give a pleading for the necessity of interdisciplinary work to find out solutions for complex spatial questions. We want to make clear, that tasks in the field of housing, infrastructure, energy and so on do not only ask for one mono-functional solution, but linked to other disciplines like ecology and landscape planning and finally to aesthetical, social and environmental tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesigning Nature as Infrastructure, München, 29-30 November 2012
EditorsD. Czechowski, T. Hausck, G. Hausladen
Place of PublicationMünchen
PublisherTechnische Universität München
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventSymposium: Natur als Infrastruktur Entwerfen -
Duration: 29 Nov 201230 Nov 2012


ConferenceSymposium: Natur als Infrastruktur Entwerfen


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