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Department of Spatial Planning


The Research Group Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning puts ecology into a spatial planning context. Our approaches are therefore interdisciplinary and focussed on landscape function assessment on different spatial scales. Research activities comprise different modelling methodologies as well as development of strategies for sustainable land use systems including the whole range from natural or cultural landscapes to impacted or devastated areas.

Research of LLP comprises activities on different spatial scales:

  • Local level (with reference to specific projects or local authorities)
  • Regional level (with reference to specific landscapes, regions or federal states)
  • National level (Federal Republic of Germany)
  • International level (especially international scientific networks or co-operations with focus on Europe, Asia and USA)

Our research is focussed on following topics:

  • Cultural Landscapes
  • Effects of Climate Change on Ecosystems
  • Concepts for Sustainable Land Use
  • Effectiveness of Planning Instruments and Programmes and their Evaluation
  • Further Development of Landscape and Environmental Planning (including EIA, SEA)
  • GIS-based methods in environmental planning
  • Use of new media in planning (especially Internet technologies)
  • Participative planning instruments
  • Validation and Development of Landscape Function Assessment Methods, Visual Landscape Assessment, Land Valuation
  • Open Space Planning Research
  • Soundscape Research


Graphic Research LLP © Gruehn 2007​/​TU Dortmund

The Chair of Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning sees itself as an actor on different levels of research. These include the local level (with municipal or concrete project reference), the regional level (Ruhr area, state of North Rhine-Westphalia), the national level (Federal Republic of Germany) and the international level (with a focus on Europe, Asia, USA). International cooperation within the framework of research networks is becoming increasingly important.

The following research foci exist:

  • Validation and development of landscape ecological and planning methods, in particular for the assessment and optimisation of landscape functions and the landscape image;
  • Spatial and landscape-related climate impacts;
  • Concepts for sustainable land use;
  • Cultural landscape research;
  • Empirical impact research and evaluation of environmental planning and funding instruments;
  • Further development and effectiveness of landscape and environmental planning instruments (including EIA and SEA), in particular also participatory planning instruments, procedures and methods, also using new technologies;
  • Open space research, open space policy, land budget management;
  • Effects of open spaces on land values.
  • Effects of open spaces on property values.