Special Issue "Landscape-Based Spatial Planning in Europe"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2022 | Viewed by 217

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Bas Pedroli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Land Use Planning Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: biodiversity assessment; land use planning; landscape ecology; policy evaluation; integrated water management; land use dynamics; landscape analysis; rural development; sustainability; landscape ecology; sustainability; spatial planning; urban environments; floodplain
Dr. Juan Jose Galan Vivas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Urbanism, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: landscape planning and design; urbanism, socio-ecological systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to submit contributions to this Special Issue entitled “Landscape-Based Spatial Planning in Europe”. Many researchers claim that a landscape-based planning approach to spatial policy challenges may enhance a regime shift towards a future land system, which will be resilient to the many external pressures that it currently experiences. In this approach, the landscape is considered as a comprehensive principle, to which all spatial processes are inherently related. In this Special Issue, we consider landscape as a vehicle for spatial planning at different scales, rather than as an object of planning itself. Starting from the basic abiotic differentiation underlying all landscape processes, a landscape-based approach to spatial planning should make use of the opportunities offered by the landscapes, further differentiated by societal expectations and cultural norms (similar to those of the European Landscape Convention), instead of designing the landscape according to the economic ambitions of today's users only, which often remains the most dominant practice.

This Special Issue aims to provide a deep and complete overview of the state-of-the-art processes associated with Landscape-Based Spatial Planning in Europe and to inform scholars of the definition of future planning frameworks by international, European, national, and regional policymakers and decision-makers. Therefore, manuscripts with a sound conceptual and methodological approach, highly transferable results, and strong connections to existing planning agendas and challenges are especially favored.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Making Europe a place for everyone: promoting the development of new and deeper linkages between individuals, communities, and places as a way to construct social capital and personal bonds ‘to’ and ‘through’ the landscape in an increasingly globalized and digital world.
  2. Landscape as mediator: supporting systemic and transdisciplinary ways of thinking and using the landscape as a connector between societal and environmental challenges.
  3. Landscape knowledge for better spatial decisions: favoring the generation of knowledge, tools, and processes to effectively integrate the landscape into decision-making processes at different temporal and spatial scales.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Bas Pedroli
Dr. Juan Jose Galan Vivas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • landscape planning
  • spatial planning
  • European landscape convention
  • landscape-based solutions
  • regional planning
  • spatial policies

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Authors: Ilse Voskamp; Wim Timmermans; Onno Roosenschoon; Bas Pedroli
Affiliation: Wageningen University Research, Netherlands
Abstract: Normative scenarios for long-term (e.g. 100 years’) landscape development can be very inspiring to think out-of-the-box about landscape futures, without being obliged to define concrete policy objectives for the shorter term. It remains challenging to downscale such long-term visions. We draw upon a landscape-based planning approach to regional spatial policy, to foster a transition to a countryside resilient to various external pressures. Inspired by a national scenario study for the Netherlands in 2120, a local case study at municipality level in The Netherlands is analysed, and subsequently the opportunities for a concrete implementation at regional scale are explored. It is concluded that a shared long-term future landscape vision is a powerful boundary concept and a crucial source of inspiration for a coherent design approach to solve today’s spatial planning problems. Further, the examples studied learn that cherishing abiotic differences in the landscape enhances sustainable and resilient landscapes, that co-creation in the social network is a prerequisite for shared solutions and that a landscape-based approach enhances future-proof land use transitions to adaptive, circular and biodiverse landscapes. However, the enthusiasm for an imaginary future rapidly declines with the shorter time horizon and a more specific spatial resolution. Assessment of potential problems causing the reluctance of stakeholders to embark on a landscape-based spatial planning transition in the medium term, allows identification of eight major opportunities to overcome such reluctance.

Title: Pedestrian pathways, landscape and planning
Authors: Parker, Peter.; Larsson, Anders; Grander, Martin
Affiliation: Malmö University, Department of Urban Studies; SLU Alnarp, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning & Management Malmö University, Department of Urban Studies
Abstract: There is a broadly held perception that contemporary urban planning in Sweden is property-driven. Planning is most often initiated and payed for by private investors. Competition between municipalities for investments puts pressure on any restrictive legislation and the preservation of land and creation of public space therefore become niceties rather than necessities. A fundamental problem with this state of affairs is the lack of attention to urban and landscape scales broader than the particular development. This creates a blindness or inability to deal with issues that require a broader perspective including both ecological and social issues. In this article we are concerned in particular with one aspect of the broader urban setting namely pedestrian pathways that we consider to be both an element of landscape and a prerequisite for its appreciation. A property-driven planning cannot adequately take into account aspects of those who live and work in the areas and whose movements are not confined to the planned area. Although it is true that transportation, related primarily to roads and rail, are considered at broader scales, these are often linked to strong national policy and funding. What seems to slip the attention of planners, or perhaps goes beyond their capability to address, are issues such as issues of pedestrian connectivity and interaction, as well as access to both urban commons and the surrounding non-urban landscape. In this article we develop a counter-mapping strategy, using municipal GIS data to highlight potential pedestrian pathways connecting different parts of the city and its surroundings in three municipalities. We use selected pathways and walk-along interviews to contrast a landscape-based approach with the perspectives and reflections of municipal planners. The analysis highlights in what respects there is scope for changing planning practices based on the production of knowledge e.g. through counter-mapping and in what respects current planning processes necessarily subvert considerations of landscape and the broader urban fabric.

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