University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Institute of Landscape Planning

Assoc. Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.nat.techn. Katharina Gugerell

Mission Statement

Due to the various developments of recent years like climate shifts, social shifts, and the loss of biodiversity, society is confronted with a broad variety of new challenges, risks, and conflicts. The Institute for Landscape Planning (ILAP) delivers teaching and research in landscape planning and landscape governance. We delve into the diverse ways land is used, the intricate mix of involved individuals and communities, the claims people make on the land, extreme weather events, and the ensuing conflicts over land use. Our objective is to gain a more profound understanding of human-nature relationships and to enhance our ability to govern landscapes effectively.

Our research is guided by a commitment to sustainable landscape and resource use, as well as the sustainable development of urban and rural landscapes. In this context, we are particularly interested in the role of societal transformations towards sustainability and the associated landscape and institutional changes.

When it comes to tackling complex sustainability issues, ‘out-of-the-box’ approaches are required. To generate robust scientific and societal knowledge our team collaborates across disciplines — including landscape and spatial planners, economists, environmental scientists, environmental engineers, sociologists, political scientists, and geographers. We use a broad mix of qualitative, participatory, and quantitative research methods ensuring that our work is comprehensive and directly connected to real-world challenges

Our research spans urban and rural landscapes, exploring topics such as landscape planning, climate change risk governance, sustainable land use, justice, vulnerability, resilience, and the impacts of extreme weather events. We also investigate different planning instruments and policy mixes, policy integration, urban climate change adaptation, (transboundary) governance of protected areas and the complexities of planning and implementing nature-based solutions in both urban and rural settings. Our research extends to areas like affordable housing, human-nature conflicts, planning theory, and the dynamics of science-society interactions.

The various research questions deal with different spatial and temporal scales, utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods such as qualitative and quantitative surveys, spatial statistics, and social network analysis.

In terms of education, the Institute for Landscape Planning is actively involved in multiple degree programs, spanning from 'Landscape Planning and Landscape Architecture' at the Bachelor's and Master's levels to the Master's program in "Climate Change and Societal Transformation" and the Bachelor's program in 'Forestry.' Additionally, we contribute to the Doctoral School 'Transitions towards Sustainability'.

Statistik Austria, science classification

Biodiversity research
Climate change
Cultural landscape research
Environmental policy
Environmental research
Gender mainstreaming
Landscape planning
Natural hazards
Nature conservation
Policy analysis
Regional planning
Spatial research
Urban and village renewal
Urban planning
Vegetation science

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