Humans have great influence on the landscape and its development, which is only accelerating due to new technologies and a growing population of the world.
To comply with the growing demand for land, multi-functionality is increasingly used in environmental policies and development plans. Also in scientific research the functionality of the landscape is progressively recognised as an important component of the coupled human-environmental system. Examples of landscape functions are food production, recreation, flood protection, and habitat provision. Because numerous different landscape functions exist, there is not one single method to identify, quantify, and map these landscape functions, which makes their assessment complex and difficult. Hence, novel approaches to determine and assess landscape functions are required, which need to be available and applicable for governmental spatial planners.
The main objective of this PhD project is to identify, quantify, and map landscape functions, and recognise on-going processes of change in order to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of the landscape, which provide knowledge to environmental policy makers and spatial planners, who accordingly can make thorough decisions. I will focus on 4 research questions:
- How can landscape functions be identified, quantified, and mapped?
- How can integration of scientific and governmental approach of analysing and quantifying landscape functions improve landscape function maps?
- What are the drivers and feedbacks of changes in landscape functions?
- What are the implications for the future? Development of scenarios.