Assessing, planning and developing landscapes has political and social dimensions. These are related to issues such as democracy, justice, participation and power. The chair group “Landscape Planning and Communication” therefore addresses social scientific aspects of planning and decision-making processes – primarily in the area of landscape planning, spatial development and nature conservation.
In conceptual terms, this implies the application of theories, methods and findings from political and communication sciences to empirical planning research. Key methods include discourse theory, governmentality and neo-institutionalist governance theories in combination with qualitative methods. Another focus lies on the potentials of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in supporting participatory approaches towards landscape assessment and planning.
Currently, the chair group deals with the following topics:
- Participation and communication in planning processes, e.g. in regard to digital methods, the re-activation of landscape planning at the local level or the relations between spatial planning and populism in energy policies at the regional level
- Social-ecological transformations and global justice in the context of nature conservation and landscape development, including the implications for identities and subject positions of planning professionals
- Competing concepts and principles of nature conservation and landscape development, for instance with regard to controversies about economic terms such as Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital.
The chair group is also responsible for all GIS courses in the Faculty of Architecture, Urban Planning, Landscape Planning.