Friday, April 12, 2013
ALL INCLUSIVE! Landscapes newly defined

Until a few years ago, a Berlin-like wall divided the domain of landscape architecture: into open space design on the one hand, and landscape planning on the other. Scales, methods and instruments of the two approaches lay worlds apart. Yet over the past years, slogans such as «Switzerland is a city» and «everything is landscape» blurred this divide to the extent that the overlap between the two approaches is nowadays close to 100%. The emulsion of city and countryside, of planning and projecting leads to something completely new, inseparable, which is far more than the sum of its parts.

Settlement areas and infrastructures are spreading out further and further - calling for entire stretches of land to be considered foremost as recreational spaces belonging to the respective settlements. This has radical consequences on their identity, use and form. Urbanites appropriate landscapes close to settlement areas and thus produce open space. Forests and agricultural areas cannot develop anymore according to their own logic, because they have become part of a designed habitat. The importance of landscape and open space production compared to the importance of wood and food production increases continuously. Demand for open space is rising. Agricultural aesthetics shaped by production logic are replaced by landscape ideals of urban dwellers looking for recreation.

Defining development goals for these new landscapes and achieving them through actual projects is mandatory. Rapperswil Meeting 2013 will be a place to discuss the challenges of an integrated view on space and to take a close look at good examples.