Public open spaces such as parks, squares and promenades, but also complex open space systems like green belts or regional parks enhance the quality of life in cities and metropolitan regions. Open spaces are places of leisure, recreation and encounter. At the same time, they provide valuable ecosystem services and are habitats for animals and plants. Design and usages of open spaces are as diverse as the sociocultural, ecological and socioeconomic contexts in which they are embedded. Together they constitute the "green infrastructure".
Open space planning as part of landscape architecture has a long tradition, rooted in the garden art and design of earlier centuries. Today, social developments such as demographic change, individualization, ethnic-cultural diversity and people’s desire for more participation constitute new challenges for planning. With contributions to the undergoing mobility turn and the adaptation of cities to climate change, we are addressing major future tasks.
What makes cities attractive, neighborhoods liveable, urban spaces climate-resilient and water in the city recognizable? The Department of Open Space Development provides students with know-how for designing urban spaces and landscapes that are socially vibrant and ecologically efficient. Our research is application-oriented and qualifies the practice of planning. We focus on the diverse demands on public spaces, the relationship between design and use, and the potential of landscape architecture as an integral part of sustainable urban development.