Title: Dealing with “the Middle Landscape”: Landurbanism, integration and the revival of large open space projects in urbanised areas
Authors: Vanempten, Elke #
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Maggioli Editore
Host Document: Environscape a manifesto pages:382-392
Conference: Blue+Verde International Congress edition:2 location:Milan date:23-24 October 2008
Abstract: To argue that Flemish space is fragmented, is simply stating the obvious. The diffuse and fragmented
condition of this space has been frequently and extensively described. It has also been explained how
this condition came about as a result of the emergence of the welfare state and how it heralded the
end of the old contrast between city and countryside, and gave the green light for the advent of
various concepts aimed at describing a similar ‘intermediate condition’. In this paper I therefore do not
so much want to enter into discussing this new or, better, this different condition (not city, nor
countryside, but ánd city ánd countryside), but rather ask how we do deal with this middle landscape
today from an urban development perspective. I argue that this different context of fragmentation,
diversification and advancing urbanisation (in Flanders and elsewhere) has logical consequences for
the planning and (policy) management of these areas. We can formulate three complementary
findings from the current way of dealing with the middle landscape in urbanism. In particular we notice
first a project-based approach, secondly in which landscape increasingly comes to the fore and thirdly
the ‘integration’ concept is introduced. In the framework of these findings, an important role seems to
have been reserved for design, for instance as a possible medium of integration. The Fresh Kills case,
a former landfill site surrounded by valuable marsh ecologies in suburban Staten Island, New York, is
used to draw a picture of this changed role of design in the different condition of the middle landscape.
ISBN: 978-88-387-4320-7
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Research Group Urbanity & Architecture (OSA) (-)
# (joint) last author

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