The performance of landscape concepts in spatial planning : branding, bonding and bringing about

J.E. Hagens

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Spatial planners are expressive people. They often use landscape concepts, being metaphors that refer to landscape ideas and planning principles. Examples are Green Heart, Nature Pearls and the Camelisation of landscapes. Such landscape concepts seem ‘innocent’ but are ‘guilty’ of powerful effects. The power of a landscape concept is rooted in its colourful, rhetorical and multiple nature, in combination with the drives and political practice of its users. Accordingly, the first part of this study provides a theoretical or philosophical reflection on the use of landscape concepts in spatial planning, including views of Foucault, Deleuze and Latour. The effect of a landscape concept can be subtle and unexpected. For example, media indirectly couple assumptions about 'good planning' to the concept of National Landscape, i.e. the limited ideal of open landscapes. Using a concept also provides opportunities: it can be used for bonding people and promoting landscapes. For example, the concept Waterpark in a vision for the Dutch IJmeer region was a flexible and informal concept. This allowed the organisations involved to identify with the concept and bundle interests, although it was a temporarily success. The second part of this study provides more insight into Dutch regional planning practice and the use of landscape concepts. Finally, this study discusses the benefit of a 'will to connect' by planners in contrast to a 'will to control'.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • van der Valk, Arnold, Promotor
  • van der Knaap, Wim, Co-promotor
Award date30 Nov 2010
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789085858041
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2010


  • physical planning
  • landscape
  • landscape architecture
  • netherlands
  • integrated spatial planning policy
  • landscape analysis
  • landscape planning


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