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Keynote lectures / Treescape summer school

The Treescape Summer School ‘Under the trees, into the woods’ will take place on August 19-27, 2021.

Worldwide, urbanized regions are looking for strategies to plant more trees and forests in order to enlarge the urban forest cover. In the light of climate change and the transition to resilient territories, there is a growing understanding of the importance of trees and forests for society.

Flanders (the northern part of Belgium) is one of the least forested areas in Europe and does not succeed in increasing the forest cover. It seems as if there is no space for more trees and forests in this urbanized region, characterized by an extensive urban sprawl and heterogeneous landscape where nearly every square metre of land is intensively occupied. Yet there ís quite a lot of space where trees and forests can grow. However, this space often remains ‘invisible‘ because it is related to other types of land use or is ‘untouchable’ because of sectoral claims. There is, with other words, a need to find new spatial systems to intertwine more trees and forests within the built-up fabric.

The aim of the summer school is to explore possibilities and test concepts for tree and forest configurations in an urbanized territory. The focus will be on the interfaces between trees/forest and other types of land use. This means the interfaces where for example housing/working/food production/mobility meet up and interact with trees and forest, where synergies can arise but ‘frictions‘ as well. Guiding principles are the spatial characteristics of trees and forests, process characteristics and the multitude of contributions that trees and forests provide to people (also refered to as ‘ecosystem services’). The focus will be on landscape-architectural and social-ecological aspects.

During the course of this summer school, a range of lectures of both international and local experts will ‘feed’ the design process. A reader, together with a Treescape Atlas of the study area and a Treescape Catalogue will be provided to the participants before the start of the summer school.
Everyone is welcome to join us for the lectures!

  • 19/08: On the urbanized territory of Flanders (Hans Leinfelder) Zoom link
  • 20/08: On forests in Flanders (Bart Muys) + On the urban forest (Anders B. Nielsen – Danish Nature Agency) Zoom link
  • 23/08: On landscape design, trees and forests (Günther Vogt – VOGT Landscape Architects/ETH Zurich) Zoom link
  • 25/08: On urban forest projects (Alan Simson – Leeds Beckett University) Zoom link

The summer school is linked to the ongoing Treescape research project, focusing on the exploration of new strategies and concepts to intertwine trees and forests in urbanized territories.

Organization Drs. Bjoke Carron (KU Leuven)
With contributions and supervision of
Martine De Maeseneer (KU Leuven/MDMA), Prof. Anders Busse Nielsen (University of Copenhagen), Prof. Rik De Vreese (European Forest Institute), Prof. Alan Simson (Leeds Beckett University), Prof. Günther Vogt (ETH/Vogt Landscape Architects), Prof. Bart Muys (KU Leuven), Prof. Hans Leinfelder (KU Leuven), Prof. Jos Van Orshoven (KU Leuven).

The original call can be found here. More information and updates are available on the project’s Facebook page.