A visioning tool for participatory strategic landscape planning

Authors and Affiliations: 

Sven-Erik Rabe, Enrico Celio, Adrienne Grêt-Regamey;
ETH Zürich, Institute for Spatial and Landscape Planning, Zurich, Switzerland

Corresponding author: 
Sven-Erik Rabe

Traditional land use planning instruments are associated with an often reactive and regulatory development control (Gaffikin and Sterrett, 2006). Land management is the procedure to reorder and optimize the resource land within a formal land use planning process and to implement plans about how land should be used. While this task is highly interdisciplinary and should be performed based on strategic considerations, often only interests of a few stakeholders are taken into account (Rauws and van Dijk, 2013).
With the planning instrument “agrarian planning” there is an established instrument available in Switzerland to structure the rural land management process and to coordinate the different demands for land uses. Evaluating this instrument has shown deficiencies in the visioning process, and the outcome and process evaluation. In particular, cultural aspects have been neglected in previous land management processes. Despite its potential to include different stakeholders and their interests, the instrument focused only on the agricultural aspects.
We present how we enhanced this planning instrument to a cross-sectoral process to include different stakeholders. We connected the vision to the outcome evaluation by means of a technically supported procedure and hence, created a more transparent planning process. We included a visioning perspective aiming at establishing broad concept plans, rooted in shared values and the images of what the regional and local actors want to achieve. The discussions around the visions are complemented by integrating participatory land use modeling to depict possible future landscapes and the effects of different frame conditions. This linkage of visions and scenarios helps bringing together scientific findings to political objectives and societal demands culminating in a set of key choices and consequences (Rounsevell et al., 2012). The land use scenarios are linked to generic landscape visualizations to support discussions about aesthetic effects on the landscape (Bailey et al., 2011; Tobias et al., 2015). Finally, we developed a set of indicators to monitor outcomes and the process informing participants during and after such a planning exercise.
Elaborating on visions in a participatory manner including cultural specificities and ideas of participants creates a common understanding (Albrechts, 2004). We conclude that including such a visioning process is key for making decisions in land management, as different interests should get along with long-term oriented and strategic development of a landscape. Hence, this instrument takes not only effect as a regulatory development control, but it uncovers synergies and provides concrete solutions for current tasks of landscape development. We will apply and evaluate the enhanced planning instrument from autumn 2017 in two pilot projects in Switzerland.


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