Who is the designer of landscapes?
Who is the designer of landscapes? Is it the landscape architects? The works of architects, urban planners, traffic planners, engineers or farmers have at least just as much impact on landscapes. The apparition of landscapes have always been the result of human economies and cultures, within the given framework of a terrain. Anybody living in a landscape is part of it and the landscape design is a results of the whole society. Real change in a landscape can only be brought by the whole, not by the ideas of individual designers or planers. And let’s be glad about this, otherwise there would not be the fascinating complexity and beloved multitude of medieval historic centers. There would not exist the historic cultural landscapes rich in structure and diversity, with a charmingness far beyond of what a thinking human mind could possibly plan.
Maybe the self-organizing complexity, given the right preconditions, is a better designer than a single individual could ever be? What can we learn and adapt from system theory, cybernetics and system engineering for a positive development of our landscapes? How can we make use of the self-organizing intelligence of ecological systems? How can we best activate a landscapes self-healing powers?
In times where the very survival of humanity is threatened, we cannot afford a disregard of our environment anywhere. In times of desertification, land consumption, speeding urbanization and biodiversity loss, every square meter of land is significant and earns attention. No inch of land is more or less important than any other. Whether we may be call it landscape, first, second or third nature. Whether it is mega cities, suburbs, towns, rural areas, agricultural lands, waste lands or nature conservation areas. Let’s take care of every piece of land, regardless to its purpose, its history or its cultural label. How can we fit human systems into ecological systems? How can we join human use with ecological benefit? How can we design human infrastructure in tune with its environment?