The ECLAS conference 2015 in Tartu again demonstrated the wide spectrum of landscape research. I found it encouraging seeing that there is a growing effort in doing research on landscape as a performative process of transformation. Laurel McSherry gave a great insight in her observations along River Raritan, presenting the method of line-walking as a profound way to experience and value sameness. I presented my thoughts on path-making as a way to produce landscape both as an unconscious act of movement and as a consciously applied methodology of design research. Because it helps to dissolve the dichotomy of static and dynamic and because it causes an intertwining of space and time, path-making can become a catalyst of landscape understanding and design. It promotes the fleeting act of moving as a constituent element of landscape.
While working on the “Perspektivplan Freiburg” we, a group of landscape architects and urban planners (cityförster, freiwurf, Stein+Schultz) walked the city quite a bit. On our walks one thing stroked us in particular: The intermediate spaces. Sitting between plaices of settlement, marking the city´s edge, they are very often dominated by technical infrastructures like roads or high voltage power lines. We built on that when designing strategies and spatial visions for Freiburg: The strategy CAPTURE! improves big streets for pedestrians and cyclists. We suggest using the unused roadside greenery for new houses and backyards. One of the three spatial visions we proposed for the future development of the city is called STRONG INTERCONNECTIONS and rethinks the city along its intermediate spaces. New dense neighbourhoods and open green spaces will be developed here. Most of our ideas emerged from the walks.
IBA Thüringen presents the Norwegian “Landscape Routes” as an outstanding example for landscape development. Knut Wold will present the approach on September 9 . I am very much looking forward to be part of the panel and discuss with him the role of path-making and architecture.