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Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4386-4415; doi:10.3390/su6074386

Energy Transition: Missed Opportunities and Emerging Challenges for Landscape Planning and Designing

Landscape Architecture Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Received: 6 April 2014 / Revised: 6 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

Making the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy seems inevitable. Because energy transition poses new challenges and opportunities to the discipline of landscape architecture, the questions addressed in this paper are: (1) what landscape architects can learn from successful energy transitions in Güssing, Jühnde and Samsø; and (2) to what extent landscape architecture (or other spatial disciplines) contributed to energy transition in the aforementioned cases. An exploratory, comparative case study was conducted to identify differences and similarities among the cases, to answer the research questions, and to formulate recommendations for further research and practice. The comparison indicated that the realized renewable energy systems are context-dependent and, therefore, specifically designed to meet the respective energy demand, making use of the available potentials for renewable energy generation and efficiency. Further success factors seemed to be the presence of (local) frontrunners and a certain degree of citizen participation. The relatively smooth implementation of renewable energy technologies in Jühnde and on Samsø may indicate the importance of careful and (partly) institutionalized consideration of landscape impact, siting and design. Comparing the cases against the literature demonstrated that landscape architects were not as involved as they, theoretically, could have been. However, particularly when the aim is sustainable development, rather than “merely” renewable energy provision, the integrative concept of “sustainable energy landscapes” can be the arena where landscape architecture and other disciplines meet to pursue global sustainability goals, while empowering local communities and safeguarding landscape quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy; sustainable energy landscapes; landscape architecture; operational design; strategic design; climate change mitigation; transition management; Güssing; Jühnde; Samsø renewable energy; sustainable energy landscapes; landscape architecture; operational design; strategic design; climate change mitigation; transition management; Güssing; Jühnde; Samsø
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

de Waal, R.M.; Stremke, S. Energy Transition: Missed Opportunities and Emerging Challenges for Landscape Planning and Designing. Sustainability 2014, 6, 4386-4415.

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