Towards more green urban planning and design at Wageningen University

Wageningen UR is setting up a new chair ‘Green Urban Planning and Design’, which brings together the knowledge of many Wageningen UR disciplines reaching from natural to technological and social sciences (e.g. land use planning and landscape architecture, urban meteorology, environmental technology and environmental policy).

The main research objective is deepening the systemic understanding of urban landscapes by integrating evidence-based knowledge from different associated disciplines and advancing the emerging body of urban landscape theory. Wiebke Klemm, researcher at the chair group of landscape architecture (LAR), has been appointed as quartermaster to further develop the profile, set up education and build a network for the new chair. The new profile will be discussed with other Wageningen UR partners to finalize the vacancy for a Full Professor in the near future.

Wageningen University is setting up the new chair of ‘Green Urban Planning and Design’ because planning and designing of the urban landscape ask for sustainable and vital solutions, which respond to the urban challenges and improve the quality of life. This requires research on the effects of urban challenges upon the city, the functioning of the urban landscape itself and, ultimately, on possible solutions. The urban landscape, being the fabric of urban outdoor environments, is a crosscutting theme when looking for answers to those environmental and socio-economic challenges. Global issues such as climate change, energy crisis and the threatening shortage of natural resources, as well as local problems such as food supply and environmental pollution pose new challenges for the research and design of urban areas. In addition, quality of life, citizens’ health and well-being gain in importance while cities compete with each other to attract businesses and citizens in order to ensure economic welfare.

‘We see an emerging demand for our knowledge and expertise to help solve urban sustainability challenges’, says Arthur Mol, rector magnificus at Wageningen University and vice president of the board of Wageningen UR. ‘We work on this in a variety of ways, including our participation in the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions. This new chair is vital to do more fundamental research in this area at our university. We look forward to welcome a new chair holder in the course of 2016.

People currently involved

  • Dipl.Ing. Wiebke Klemm (Landscape Architecture Chair Group)
  • Adri van den Brink (Landscape Architecture Chair Group)
  • Dr.Dipl.Ing. Sven Stremke MA (Landscape Architecture Chair Group)

Ongoing activities

  • Developing the Green Urban Planning and Design profile
  • Embedding Green Urban Planning and Design in ongoing education
  • Building a Green Urban Planning and Design network inside/ outside WUR