Debate and book presentation: Living Landscape and Plastic Pandas

29 March 2012 | 12:00 - 13:45
location: BK City, Berlage 1
by Marketing & Communicatie

On 29 March 2012, Hans Teerds (Architecture Department) and Johan van der Zwart (Real Estate and Housing Department) will present their book Levend Landschap, Manifest voor stad en land (‘Living Landscape, a manifesto for the city and surrounding land’) at TU Delft’s Faculty of Architecture.

Following on from the presentation, Bas Haring, Hans Achterhuis and Dirk Sijmons will discuss values in a changing landscape.  

Landscape: a public debate

The landscape is currently a topic of much debate and discussion. Stories in newspapers and other media are a daily phenomenon: the importance of cows in meadows or the convenience of cows in cowsheds, about methods of financing and about new nature and old polders. These are stories from journalists and politicians and proposals by professionals, but in equal measure also passionate reactions from citizens. A real public debate therefore: broadly supported through active participation from all layers of the population. At the very least, this is an indication of the importance people attach to the landscape.

Landscape and city

Changes to the landscape, whether for the construction of a new road or a new neighbourhood, or to create a new nature area immediately evoke many reactions. In this discussion, it’s often landscape versus modernity, nature versus culture and countryside versus city. In the recently published Levend Landschap (‘Living Landscape’), Hans Teerds and Johan van der Zwart present a passionate plea for these contrasts to be negated. Landscape should be seen as part of the city and as part of the urban public domain. Only then will the existing landscape be able to regain public appreciation and vitality, enabling it to change at its own rate, while retaining its own characteristics.

Debate on values in the landscape

If we apply logical reasoning, asserts Bas Haring in his recent book Plastic Pandas, we don’t need to worry so much about ecology and landscape. As long as we maintain the chains in nature, we won’t need to be concerned about the ecological diversity. And what people don’t know about has no value: new generations will just become attached to new situations. On the other hand, Hans Achterhuis claims that value systems precede such reasoning and calls for an attitude of both ‘working’ and ‘living’ with respect to the landscape. Dirk Sijmons adds the designer to these arguments; after all, many processes of change in the landscape are realised in a technocratic manner – by road builders, ecologists and farmers. The designer will need to assess the cultural and ecological value of the changing landscape and be able to link the past to the future.

More information

Levend Landschap, Manifest voor stad en land 


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