19-21 October 2016

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Alnarp Campus, Malmö, Sweden.

The aim of this conference is to reposition the relationships between city and landscape, as reflected in the practice and academia of various disciplines. To this end, we seek to revisit the academic discourse concerning Landscape Urbanism, and to engage with subsequent ‘isms’ as well as looking beyond, in order to enrich and broaden the urban discourse.

This international cross-disciplinary conference, organised by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), aims to contribute new and alternative formulations of the relationship between landscape and urbanism by reassessing Landscape Urbanism. The time is ripe to dig deeper into the concerns motivating the cascade of ‘isms’ that have proliferated over the last decade: landscape urbanism, ecological urbanism, infrastructural urbanism, process urbanism, biourbanism, etc. To advance a theoretically sound and practically relevant discourse – rather than launch yet another superficially modified urbanism – we invite participants to take stock of Landscape Urbanism and its closely related theories to identify their strengths, weaknesses and potentials.

The conference will bring together advocates and critics of Landscape Urbanism, as well as scholars whose research complements its ongoing discourse. We look forward to welcoming participants from around the world; we are inviting academics and reflective practitioners from disciplines such as landscape architecture, urban and landscape planning and design, architecture, cultural geography, cultural studies, as well as subject areas in the arts and humanities.

Hosted by a landscape architectural institution the conference proposes to discuss Landscape Urbanism from a landscape perspective, re-engaging landscape as a “lens” to understand and develop its theory and practice. In an attempt to tackle the complex ecological challenges that our contemporary built environments face under conditions of global change, some strands of Landscape Urbanism have tended to overemphasize scientific and technical solutions, neglecting aesthetic, cultural, social and political dimensions. The conference aims to address that oversight, to identify reductionist tendencies and to understand the motives behind them, seeking to contribute to alternative concepts.




We invite papers and projects that contribute to historical reflection, theoretical sharpening, and practical applications across three major themes, one wildcard session and one practice-meets-academia-session:

  1. Ecology as panacea?

Contributors to this theme are invited to explore the role and multiple meanings of ‘ecology’ in Landscape Urbanism, analysing and discussing, for example, the (implications of the) largely unwittingly produced multiplicity of concepts of ‘ecology’, the aesthetisation of ecology and the ecologisation of aesthetics, potentials and dangers of the ecosystem service approach, as well as the relationship between (landscape) ecology and (green or hybrid) infrastructure.

  1. The aesthetics as pejorative?

Contributions in this thematic strand are invited to think through the fate and status of the notion of the aesthetic in Landscape Urbanism, exploring, for instance, whether Landscape Urbanism is truly indifferent to aesthetics or simply advancing a new aesthetic, (mis)understandings of the notion of the aesthetic revealed by its explicit rejection, and the role of diagrams, and/or images and representations in Landscape Urbanism.

  1. Contextual bias/ enriched by context?

Contributions to this theme are invited to discuss interpretations and applications of Landscape Urbanism beyond North America. We seek papers that challenge and enrich Landscape Urbanist discourse, for example: from a postcolonial perspective, by either discussing how it can be renewed both for and from the margins, the ‘Global South’; or by illuminating discourses similar to Landscape Urbanism which have been developed in other countries and cultures in the ‘Global North’.

  1. Wildcards!

Furthermore, we welcome papers that contribute to historical reflection, theoretical sharpening, or practical application of Landscape Urbanism but that do not fit any of the above outlined thematic foci. Topics could include pedagogical issues, compare theoretical with practical issues, or critically chronicle the historiography of Landscape Urbanism.

An additional theme will shed light on the relationship between theory and praxis, research and design:

  1. Practice meets academia!

With this section we open up for practitioners’ presentations of projects and urban transformations inspired by Landscape Urbanism in all possible ways, as well as for design critics’ and researchers’ investigations ‘within’ or ‘upon’ such projects. In practice landscape architecture, urban planning and management tasks are often mixed up. Offices are increasingly offering cross-sectorial services. Does that suffice to call the result “Landscape Urbanism”? Is the addition leading to something that is more than the sum of its parts, in practice?



There is an open call for papers and projects for conference sessions 1 to 5. Submissions are welcome from researchers, design critics, and reflective practitioners. Please submit your abstract (400-600 words for paper sessions, and/or maximum one A4-page with images and supporting text for projects) before 15 March 2016. Please identify with which themes you feel your submission is most appropriately allied. Submissions for each type will go through a review process.

There will be two types of sessions: paper sessions for themes 1 through 4, and project sessions for theme 5:

Paper sessions will allow each presenter 20 minutes to present his or her research. This will be followed by a moderated general discussion of 10 minutes.

Project sessions invite practitioners to present their built or drawn work (contemporary or historical) and design critics to share their interpretations of such work. 20 minutes’ presentations will be followed by a moderated general discussion of 10 minutes.

Accepted abstracts will be published on-line and printed for the conference. All authors of accepted abstracts will be offered to publish their papers in conference proceedings on-line. A selection of papers will be reviewed, edited and published in a volume after the conference.




December 2015 Call for papers and projects

15 March 2016 Submission of abstracts

15 June 2016 Notification of acceptance

15 July 2016 Conference registration

1 September 2016 Submission of papers and projects

19-21 October 2016 Conference



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Associate Professor of Urban Studies, Department of History, University of Antwerp

Greet De Block is an architect and urban planner. De Block’s research mobilizes history to provide insight in, and critical reflection on, the current urban condition and related design theories and practices. Her teaching and writing mirror current resilient design and questions about programmatic uncertainty with earlier sociospatial schemes dealing with open-endedness and risk in a context of rapid change. Recent publications advance an interdisciplinary approach linking landscape and ecological urbanism with political ecology, philosophy, and landscape studies, to explore the (dis)connections between ecological and social resilience.


Research Fellow at the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam (Amsterdam School of the Arts), Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam

Noël van Dooren is a landscape architect, researcher and publicist. His PhD research Drawing Time, which looks at representation and the factor time in present-day landscape architecture, will be published in 2016. Noël van Dooren worked at H+N+S landschapsarchitecten from 1992 to 1997. Since then he has been working independently. His projects regard themes like climate change and water, which also brought hum to the German Ruhrgebiet area to work o the river Emscher. From 1996 to 2004 he was one of the editors of Blauwe Kamer magazine, introducing design critique onto the journal’s agenda. From 2004 to 2009 he headed the Landscape Architecture department at Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. He is currently a member of the editorial team of the Journal of Landscape Architecture for Under the Sky, the critique section. He stages critique seminars at different universities. In 2014 he was a visiting researcher at Copenhagen University.


Dean and Edward E. Elson Professor, Merrill D. Peterson Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia School of Architecture

Elizabeth Meyer is a landscape architect, theorist and critic. Meyer’s scholarly interests focus on three areas: the re-discovery and examination of modern landscape theory, the establishment of a robust contemporary practice of landscape criticism, and the idea of design as site interpretation (sites replete with cultural layers as well as bio-physical processes). Previously, Meyer taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design and Cornell University. DesignIntelligence has recognized Meyer as one of the most admired design educators in the United States. In 2012, President Obama appointed her to the seven member U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.



John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Charles Waldheim is a Canadian-American architect and urbanist. Waldheim’s research examines the relations between landscape, ecology, and contemporary urbanism. He coined the term ‘landscape urbanism’ to describe the emergent discourse and practices of landscape in relation to design culture and contemporary urbanization. Waldheim is author, editor, or co-editor of numerous books on these subjects, and his writing has been published and translated internationally. Waldheim is John E. Irving Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design where he directs the School’s Office for Urbanization.


Thorbjörn Andersson (Sweden, senior landscape architect at SWECO, professor of landscape architecture at SLU, Uppsala)

Ellen Braae (Denmark, professor in landscape architecture at CU, Copenhagen)

Dana Cuff (California, US, professor of architecture/urban design and urban planning at UCLA, Los Angeles)

Matthew Gandy (England, GB, professor of Geography, UCL, London)

Maria Goula (New York, US, associate professor of landscape architecture at Cornell U, Itacha)

Susan Herrington (Canada, professor of architecture and landscape architecture at USB SALA Vancouver)

Flavio Janches (Argentina, founder of Playscape Foundation (Delft), professor of architecture and urban design at University of Buenos Aires)

Andrea Kahn (NYC, architect, founder of designCONTENT (NYC), adj associate professor in urban planning at Columbia U, NYC and adj professor of site thinking at SLU, Alnarp)

Nina Marie Lister (Canada, associate professor of urban and regional planning at Ryerson U, Toronto)

Björn Malbert (Sweden, professor emeritus of architecture and sustainable urban development at Chalmers U, Gothenburg)

Thomas Sieverts (Germany, professor emeritus of urban planning at Braunschweig University of Technology, Braunschweig)

Jeanette Sordi (Chile, professor of design, landscape and urbanism at DesignLab, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Santiago)




Gunilla Lindholm, leader of the conference, senior lecturer in landscape planning, SLU

Caroline Dahl, manager of the conference, urban planner and architect, research coordinator, SLU

Lisa Diedrich, professor of landscape architecture, SLU

Vera Vicenzotti, senior lecturer in landscape architecture, SLU

Nina Vogel, PhD in planning and urban development, post doc in FUSE, SLU



SLU is the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The university has several campuses in different parts of Sweden. The conference, Beyond Ism, will be held in Alnarp, close to Malmö.


SLU Landscape is constituted of the landscape units at SLU (LAPM, SoL, FUSE, AEM and MOVIUM), with a vision to optimize diversity, visibility and success, and a mission to enhance and build upon existing resources in ways that benefit all SLU landscape field members.


The Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (LAPM) at SLU is located in Alnarp, close to Malmö. The research of LAPM covers multiple areas connected to urban and rural

landscapes. Research is organised within five subject groups:

/Landscape Planning, incl. Analysis of Landscape Values and Functions

/Urban Vegetation

/Urban Landscape Governance and Management

/Design of Urban Landscape

/History and Cultural Heritage



The Department of Urban and Rural Development (Stad och Land, SoL) at SLU is located in Ultuna, close to Uppsala. SoL is a multidisciplinary department. Research and teaching focus on the societal aspects of SLU’s areas of responsibility. The department is interested in development, planning and communication for natural resource management and land use. The research is grounded in social sciences, and humanities and landscape design principles, but is also characterized by interdisciplinary approaches in which natural sciences are important. Research is organised into four divisions:

/Agrarian history

/Environmental communication

/Landscape architecture

/Rural development



The research platform FUSE is seekeing new scientific knowledge on how to plan and organize energy-efficient urban areas and to provide land to support food and fiber production, while still improving the quality of life in cities and sustain a sustainable environment. By initiating and foster interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research FUSE’s mission is to contribute to new insights and knowledge.


Alnarp Campus is located close to Malmö in Sweden and it is convenient to fly to Kastrup (Copenhagen’s airport), and take the train over the Öresund Brige to Malmö. Direct trains operate every 20 minutes, in both directions, between Kastrup and Malmö Central Station. The journey takes only 24 min. From Malmö Central Station the bus to Alnarp takes 16 min.

Visiting adress:

Sundsvägen 6

23053 Alnarp


The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU

Research Platform Future Urban Sustainable Environment FUSE

Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning, and Management

Department of Urban and Rural Development, Division of Landscape Architecture


Funded by

The organisators

The Swedish Research Council Formas