Understanding the power of landscape and the architecture of the physical landscape, is inevitably correlated to the understanding of Landscape Engineering

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Thoughts about landscapes and about the role of the landscape architect are changing constantly and faster than ever before. This can be party explained by the increasing concerns for sustainability embedded in the context of a globalizing world. Proposals forthcoming of key challenges such as adaptation to climate change are leading to misfits in the traditional approach towards landscape by landscape architects. Landscape architecture in the traditional sense is not enough in order to give answers to these challenges through all different scales. Confusion about what is landscape architecture or what part of the physical environment can be count as landscape arises, due to the fact that different forces and different kind of knowledge are present on different levels or scales. To understand the power of landscape and to know which position a landscape architect can take, it is important to understand the differences in power, knowledge and scales, so this information can be used in a proper way to influence the realization of sustainable designs in the landscape. During the course ‘Landscape Engineering’ at the Wageningen University, students had to learn to work and think on three different scales: Macro– , meso– and micro–scale. The macro- scale concerns both rural and urban landscape on the regional scale. The meso – scale concerns for example an urban district and the micro – scale concerns for example the reorganization of a square. Students conducted a set of exercises in order to learn how to deal with the different powerscapes (e.g. authorities), as well as how to accommodate the varying layers and networks in the physical landscape - preconditions that need to be addressed to develop sustainable landscapes.. One remarkable finding was that the students were able to work in a good and productive way both on the macro-scale as well as on the micro–scale. On the macro–scale, they tended to think as planners and on the micro-scale they were thinking as landscape architects. On the meso-scale, however - the scale where one has to integrate the perspective of a spatial planner with that of a landscape architect - students were somewhat confused. A similar confusion that we also noticed by many professional colleagues over the course of past years. Questions like what is a ‘real’ landscape architect, what is his/her role in the development of the physical environment as well as in the decision-making processes arise and remain unanswered for many. Teaching Landscape Engineering will students learn to see the powers of landscape and work with beautiful and complex landscapes. It will also give them insight in the mechanisms and powers they will have to use to realize beautiful and sustainable landscapes in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Power of Landscape; ECLAS 2012, Warsaw, Poland, 19 - 22 September, 2012
EditorsI. Dr Dymitryszyn, M. Dr Kaczynska, G. Dr Maksymiuk
Place of PublicationWarsaw
PublisherWarsaw University of Life Sciences-SSGW
ISBN (Print)9788393588404
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventThe Power of Landscape; ECLAS 2012, Warsaw, Poland -
Duration: 19 Sept 201222 Sept 2012


ConferenceThe Power of Landscape; ECLAS 2012, Warsaw, Poland


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