My thoughts on Metropolitan Trails

18th of June, 2021

Read my short review on the wonderful project “Metropolitan Trails”.


Topic and relevance


The approach of metropolitan trails is highly relevant as it considers paths / trails as important infrastructure in metropolitan regions. The trails shown on lead through areas that are usually not seen as terrain for walking, wandering or any sort of walking appropriation. Through promoting access, they are a strategic contribution to a sustainable, liveable metropolis.


Process and community


The fact, that creating the trails addresses different groups of people such as authorities, project leaders and inhabitants sets the spotlight on the process of creation. Instead of promoting a top-down design (as it is common when designing “premium” hiking-trails in Germany as an example) it supports co-creative processes with the communities along the trails. This distinguishes this project from other trail-making procedures.


It still needs to be tested and evaluated how the communities along and on the trails are linked with the international (European) community of trail-makers created by


Outcomes and impact


There are clearly visible benefits both for everyday life of citizens and for the professional realm of mobility and spatial planning. The created trails may be used for everyday practises such as walking to school or cycling to work. And they often provide missing links in the network of walking paths in the metropolis and thus are means of improving the infrastructure of public spaces.


The lessons aim at combining the physical space (route, trail) and socially constructed space (stories, narratives). This is highly important in the context of resilient planning of the metropolis as it fosters a transformative way of planning and governance.

The lessons are hands-on and philosophical at the same time and thus “talk” to different groups of people. They give advice for those who want to try things out and for those who aim at a complex understanding of the role trail-making plays in metropolitan areas.


The project metropolitan trails inspired me to use the provided material in teaching and to create European summer schools with the topic of trail-making.

Review in Bücherrundschau

18th of June, 2021

This year’s „Bücherrundschau“ by Herbert Pardatscher-Bestle mentions my book “Landschaften auf den Grund gehen” as “compelling and valuable”. Great to see that people are inspired by experimenting with walking as practise of design research and practise.


Visions and Paths to a Resilient City

15th of June, 2021

The Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin – an exemplary feature of a climate-resilient city structure? During the pandemic it provided open space to exercise, to experience the changing seasons and to enjoy being OUTside withIN the city while easily maintaining distance to others.

My virtual talk at Goethe Institut, Moskau (June 15, 2021), focuses on visions and paths to a resilient city. My suggestions are: Design resilient city structures! Implement a system of public pathways! Test utopian ideas with interventions! Develop common visions on co-creative walks!

Talk „Pathscapes. Designing Munich´s Green Belt“ at AESOP Conference Regional Design

5th of October, 2020

How can Munich´s green belt be appreciated, designed as open space, protected as biodiverse habitat as well as qualified for landscape-related recreation? At AESOP Conference “Regional Design”, I reflected on how walking workshops and co-creatively designing pathscapes can be a tool to approach this question. Taking the project “Paths form landscape” as an example, I proposed the following six strategic approaches to transformative planning in green belts:

:: Engaging stakeholders from different municipalities and with different professional backgrounds in “walking workshops” that are drivers for intensive discussions and creative thinking.

:: Focussing on linear open spaces, the resilient network of paths as a strong framework.

:: Providing room for experiments to fill the voids of this framework by individual appropriation of different groups.

:: Identifying pathscapes as starting points to build and strengthen public awareness for potentials and challenges of green spaces in times of climate change. 

:: Pushing site-specific regional designs.

:: Generating transformative knowledge through designing.

Walking Workshops in the Green Belt. Photo: M. Lampert


New publication: Tools for Designing Riverscapes Co-creatively. Walk! Find Typologies! Design Spatial Visions!

11th of June, 2020

Successfully transforming riverscapes depends on regional cooperation and transdisciplinary collaboration. Spurred on by the European Water Framework Directive, many European regions are working on improving the ecological quality of rivers and reshaping the adjacent landscapes. So, planning teams consisting of landscape architects, urban planners, architects and ecologists work on integrated strategies for designing sustainable riverscapes. To make sure that these strategies are supported by regional key actors and can thus be implemented successfully, co-creative processes are needed. Through reflecting on experiences and findings from projects of my design practice, I have identified three key success factors for successfully designing riverscapes in a co-creative manner: Walk! Find typologies! Design spatial visions! These success factors are discussed in the light of recent publications on landscape architecture research. Finally, interconnections with the topic of urbanization and locality are shown. Find the text in the book Water-Related Urbanisation and Locality!

Publication “Wege machen Landschaft” in Stadt+Grün

10th of December, 2019

Find the text “Wege machen Landschaft. Landschaftsbezogenes Wegekonzept für den Münchner Grüngürtel” written by Matthias Lampert, Börries v. Detten and me in the current issue of “Stadt + Grün” here:  It presents our findings on the vital roles of paths in the diverse landscapes at Munich´s urban fringe. (Sketch: Börries v Detten)



Walking Green Fingers to create Awareness for Climate-Resilience: Videos online

10th of December, 2019

Watch the interview on our project “Productive. Sustainable. Lively. Green fingers for climate-resilient Osnabrück”, funded by BMBF, online: (© Gröschel Branding, Berlin 2019)

Walks are key to create awareness for the potential of green fingers (radial green structures), to discuss challenges and ideas and to inspire action on resilient land use. (Photo: Hubertus von Dressler)


Presenting “Paths lead to Landscapes” in Munich

19th of November, 2019


Börries von Detten and I presented our study on paths trough Munich´s Green belt (November 13, Munich) and discussed our findings with experts from the region. One conclusion was that working co-creatively on the green spaces between the municipalities is key to qualifying quality of life in the city region. A resilient network of paths, highlighting the characteristics of the diverse landscapes surrounding Munich, can be a backbone for the appreciation and sustainable use of the green spaces. (Photo: M. Lampert)

Symposium in Munich on Paths and Landscapes

15th of October, 2019

Landscapes are made through walking and paths. Börries von Detten and Henrik Schultz present their ideas for a new concept of landscape paths for Munich´s green fringe and discuss their findings with experts form Vienna, Frankfurt and the region of Munich. Join the symposium “Wege machen Landschaft – gemeinsam für den Grüngürtel” November 13!

Transformative Science Walk in Osnabrück

30th of September, 2019

The third walk through the “green fingers” of Osnabrück, backbones of the climate-resilient city of the future, took place September 28 and brought together a diverse group of stakeholders. Representatives of associations, politicians, farmers and citizens walked the green fingers for five hours and discussed challenges, talents and ideas for the future. “A good mixture. Informative, eye-opening and fun. I got new perspectives on these green structures” commented a member of the group after the walk. There are more transformative walks up to come. Stay up to date here: