Landscape Education for Democracy: A Proposal for Building Inclusive Processes into Spatial Planning Education



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The landscape belongs to everyone. We should all participate in deciding how it is used, and landscape resources should serve all populations regardless of social or economic status. But spatial planning education rarely includes topics such as democratic processes, participatory planning, community-based planning or other topics, and does not fully prepare designers and planners to effectively work in partnership with the communities they serve.

This problem was the inspiration for LED – Landscape Education for Democracy, a new three-year educational programme created and implemented by a consortium and funded by the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Programme of the European Commission. The LED project is meant to raise awareness of inclusive processes for spatial planning by exposing students to relevant theories, methods and real-life practices that can help them be active leaders in shaping the democratic landscapes of the future.

The mission of the LED Project is to teach students how to integrate politically sensitive, humane design approaches to how the the design process of openspaces and greenspaces (that are the components of the greenway). This design approach is relevant to many landscape contexts, but is particularly important in the context of greenways as it would add an important additional layer to the meaning of greenway systems, which are by their very nature designed to provide equitable, diverse use of the landscape for all.