LAA341 The Urban Landscape as a Social Arena

Credits (ECTS):20

Course responsible:Ellen Merete Husaas

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:Minimum 10 - maximum 30 students

Course frequency:Every other year, 2021, 2023, ...

Nominal workload:

500 hours. The course is structured as a sequence of work tasks (see course description).

Tasks one and two will be worth 1/3 of the total ECTS and task 3 will be worth 2/3 of the whole ECTS.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching / evaluation in Autumn parallel,

About this course

European cities have largely changed over the past 50 years, not least as a result of globalization and increased migration. The cities are getting more dense and there is a great need for good urban spaces and connections for walking and cycling. Good urban and residential environments with access to various social arenas contribute to attractive locations and increased quality of life for the inhabitants.

In this course, the students gain insight into current social and cultural challenges that we are facing today. The course provides knowledge about and training in the landscapearchitect's role as vision maker, strategic agent, facilitator, programmer and designer of the city's public spaces and connections. The goal is a comprehensive development of urban landscapes, with a network of public spaces and social arenas of high quality adapted to each location.

Access to common meeting places has a major global focus through several of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, including number 11) Sustainable cities and communities; Make cities and settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. A current sub-goal for the course is, for example, 11.7) By 2030, general access to safe, inclusive and easily accessible green areas and public spaces, especially for women, children and the elderly and persons with disabilities, is provided.

In the European Landscape Convention, the everyday environment is also highlighted, especially that the population itself must be able to participate in the development of places that belong to them. It therefore requires that planners and designers must know and develop tools, processes and measures that contribute to the democratic development of the urban landscape.

In the municipalities, landscape architects will create and transform visions into action through the Planning and Building Act and the planning system. Current theories, processes and examples will be presented and worked on.

The course is thematic in three main parts. In the one main part, which in practice runs throughout the period, the goal is that the students acquire the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge. The focus is on literature and lectures on theoretical perspectives, current methods and relevant models. In this section, emphasis will also be placed on communication of plan material.

In the second part, theory must be translated into practice. The students will collaborate with a municipality to develop visions, translate visions and ideas into strategies and implement participation. The work includes group and plenary discussions, information gathering and field work.

In the last main part, the students will work with an individual project based on the strategy developed in part two, with programming of the urban structure within an area and design of urban space that responds to the needs of society and users.

Tasks one and two will be worth approximately 1/3 of the total ECTS and task 3 will be worth 2/3 of the whole ECTS.

Results of the group visions presented in task two will inform the selection of individual projects, which will be presented at the end of phase 3 as an A3 report (PDF file of a maximum of 20 pages) and two A1 format boards. Students will be asked to produce a physical model of their detailed design (to be negotiated with the instructors). The task should be exhibited in the municipality.

The course is under development.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: The student will achieve advanced knowledge of: a) how landscape architecture can help create better social arenas in urban contexts b) processes and methods for identifying a communitys collective goals and visions for a socially diverse and democratic public space c) innovative design and planning strategies incorporating the needs and perceptions of a variety of users; d) best practices in the engagement of users in the design and planning process; e) ethics of designing and planning with users¿ needs in mind,

Professional skills: Students should be able a) analyze existing theories, methods and interpretations within the landscape architecture field; b) apply the knowledge they will have gathered to problems of landscape architecture and urban design; c) analyze, critically synthesize and communicate their process; d) conduct work in teams and independently.

General competence: Students will be able a) learn how to manage his/her own time; b) reflect on and improve their professional practice; c) develop new knowledge and skills, carry out advanced design and planning tasks; d) show evidence of critical thinking and awareness of limitations and possibilities of one`s own work; e) an ability to synthesize complex issues in concise and eloquent ways.

  • Lectures, workshops / seminars, field trips and

    fieldwork, project work in interdisiplinary groups and individually,

    presentation and critique in plenary session to clients, individual supervision.

  • Students supervision both individually and in groups. Small group pin-ups and class-wide reviews.
  • 3-year basic block in the study landscape architecture or equivalent.
  • Evaluation will be based on individual project as well as group work.
  • An external examiner will approve of the course content and evaluate the final work submitted by each student.
  • Group workshops and literature discussions. Excursions, fieldwork and plenary critiques.
  • Students are in charge of their individual project programming and have the opportunity to choose their own individual focus (detail design, planning and management strategies)
  • Lectures 35 hours; workshops 25 hours; excursions 10 hours; fieldwork 40 hours; plenary critiques 40 hours; individual/group supervisions 6 hours.
  • Master level, LA students have priority in the course. The course is also open to students from M-BYREG (4-5 year)
  • -
  • Letter grades
  • Minimum Requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (general admission)