Landscape planning approaches: a comparative review

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Univerza v Ljubljani Biotehniška fakulteta Oddelek za krajinsko arhitekturo

Landscape planning approaches: A comparative review
Seminar work for the subjects of Landscape planning year 2011/12

In this seminar work I will briefly address the concept of landscape ecology as a field of landscape planning, by introducing some relevant data and researches. I will also discuss fivedifferent approaches in landscape planning. With my seminar work I hope I will achieve for the reader to understand what should still be taken in considerations regarding each approach – what are their strong and also weak points. I will discuss this theme from a research standpoint.

Ecological or landscape planning is a sub field within landscape architecture. It emphasizes spatialplanning, organization and relationships of land uses in order to obtain diverse objectives such as habitat improvement, and sustainability, it considers human activities social and economic factors (Hersperger 1994). Promoting sustainability has become an overarching principle of land-use planning (Forman 1995).

It is increasing public interest on the negative consequences of humaninterventions in landscape. As a consequence have appeared several approaches to understand and evaluate interactions between human actions and natural processes. These approaches are used a in different scales and in a wide variety of rural and urban configurations to protect and restore natural and atrophic landscapes.

Regarding different landscape planning approaches, this research seeks to discoverwhich of them represents the major theoretical-methodological planning innovation, common aspects, and why and in which circumstance should one be used over other.

Sustained design, planning and management of landscapes depend largely on how we understand, evaluate and interpretate landscapes (Ndubisi 2002). The knowledge of interactions between people and land is the basis for the framework ofLandscape planning.

Approaches to Ecological planning
There five major approaches for planning: landscape suitability 1 (LSA 1), landscape suitability 2 (LSA 2), applied human ecology, applied ecosystem and applied landscape ecology.

Landscape suitability
LSA 1 stresses methods used before 1969 and LSA2 focus on methods used after 1969. Both approaches assume that the ability of thelandscape uses, varies according to the phsycal, biological and cultural resources, that are distributed over geographical area (Lyle 1985). Its possible to determine the best use of land with lower ambient impacts ,when interactions, location and distribution of resources are correctly perceived. The result of a land suitability analysis is a set of maps, one for each land use, showing which level ofsuitability characterizes each parcel of land. (Hopkins 1977).

Landscape suitability 1 (LSA 1)
The LSA 1 defines the capability of land for a certain use and is focused on the natural features of the landscape. It uses different methods to determine the condition of a parcel of land,, and different procedures to define and evaluate an homogeneous area. For exemple the natural resourcesconservation method within this approach, focus on soils properties as restriction if they are for example used in agricultural production. The LSA1 can comprise varied methods such as the Gestalt witch is used to make judgements of suitability. Other methods used in studies such as Mc Harg’s statten Island study (1964), define homogeneous areas in the land, its suitability for land use and concludesabout environmental impact. Computed assisted methods (Steinnitz 1967) to set suitability and impacts are used to define an alternative land use.

Landscape suitability 2 (LSA2)
Theoretical and methodological improvements in landscape suitability were developed in the LSA2, in order to define the optimal use of landscape. Optimization means fitness or the “best use” of the landscape but with...
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