Open spaces such as parks, squares, promenades, historical gardens and the play and recreation areas in residential environments, as well as regional open-space systems and “green infrastructures” such as green belt areas and regional parks, play a crucial role in the quality of life in urban areas. Today’s open spaces are more multi-faceted and complex than ever before: in terms of their development processes, the stakeholders involved, the requirements of the different user groups and the socio-cultural and economic contexts in which they are embedded. The design styles of contemporary landscape architecture are equally diverse.
Social changes such as economic structural change, the ageing of the population, multiculturalisation and migration, individualization and the differentiation of milieus and lifestyles, people’s increased need for acquisition and participation and last but not least, climate change, currently pose tremendous challenges for urban open-space planners.
The Department of Open Space Development at Hochschule Geisenheim University addresses these issues, focusing particularly on the social sustainability and effectiveness of urban open spaces as public areas. This includes gender and age aspects. We are also particularly interested in the scope of application for plants. The department’s research is application-oriented and serves to qualify practical findings.