The small Caucasian country of Georgia is strikingly beautiful, the food and the wine are excellent, landscapes are often breathtaking, and culture and politics are proverbially complex. In Georgia, we try to study the transition of the planning system, in urban, rural, and natural areas. » more

The Danube delta is arguably the most important wetland area in Europe, covering about 6000 square kilometers. Ecological diversity is impressive, while many cultural groups share the space. We are interested in the potential of spatial planning and design to balance nature and culture in this fragile environment. » more

In Belgium and the Netherlands, we look at various aspects of spatial planning and design -heritage planning, environmental planning, participatory planning…- often in comparative perspective. » more

In Minnesota, the land of the 10.000 lakes, we study and devise planning and design practices for wetlands and lakes. We are also intrigued by the figure of early conservationist and environmental planner/desiger Ernest Oberholtzer. And, there is the noble art of ice -fishing. » more

Central Asia is a large place, so many things happened. Most of it fell under the sway of the Soviets, so a legacy of Soviet planning slowly dissolves in a myriad of new institutions, revived identities, and transformed political/ economic pressures. Natural resources (especially water) and heritage are good entries into the planning system, because of the complex pressures on them. » more



There is still plenty to be learned about the way we assign meaning to places, to histories, to histories of places, images of nature, and there is plenty to be said about the production of meaning in planning and design processes. » more

Niklas Luhmann died in 1998, but his ideas are remarkably fresh, and remarkably unexplored. His vision of society as a multitude of evolving and interaction social systems, consisting of communications, is fertile ground for planning theory and practice. » more

How do systems of spatial planning and design evolve? How are they embedded in and shaped by institutions and institutional networks? How is new knowledge introduced and played out in a web of institutions? How do change in knowledge and change in institutions correlate? » more

Nature is always culture, because people create visions of nature in a cultural context. Nature is always a product of the human imagination, an image, and those images are often not reflected upon in planning and design communication. They can provide the basis for consensus and conflict, they can be produced in a planning process. » more

Conservation design is a different word for good urban landscape architecture, good site planning and design, with respect for nature, embedded in the landscape, with varying densities, and with landscape features observed as assets, instead of unsalable nuisances.We study the genesis, variety, and application of conservation design, as well as the various obstacles in American society. » more

Spatial planning and design is looking forward, but the way we look forward is always shaped by the past. We study the influence of the past on decision- making for the future, and the fate of old objects, structures, places in planning and design. » more

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