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Urban landscape infrastructures. Designing operative landscape structures for the built environment

Steffen Nijhuis, Daniel Jauslin


This paper explores infrastructure as a type of landscape and landscape as a type of infrastructure. The hybridisation of the two concepts, landscape and infrastructure, seeks to redefine infrastructure beyond its strictly utilitarian definition, while allowing design disciplines to gain operative force in territorial transformation processes. This paper aims to put forward urban landscape infrastructures as a design concept, considering them as armatures for urban development and for facilitating functional, social and ecological interactions. It seeks to redefine infrastructural design as an interdisciplinary design effort to establish a local identity through tangible relationships to a place or region. Urban landscape infrastructures can thereby be used as a vehicle to re-establish the role of design as an integrating practice. This paper positions urban landscape infrastructure design in the contemporary discourse on landscape infrastructures. The space of flows, as opposed to the space of places, is introduced as an impetus to develop the concept of landscape infrastructure into a more comprehensive form of urban landscape architecture. Furthermore, this paper outlines a set of principles typical for urban landscape infrastructure design and suggests three potential fields of operation: transport, green and water landscape infrastructure. The design of these operative landscape structures is a crosscutting field that involves multiple disciplines in which the role of designers is essential.


landscape infrastructure; flowscapes; design; urbanism; transport; green infrastructure; infrastructural urbanism; landscape architecture; systems thinking; architecture; regional design; infrastructure

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