Acting as a national inter- and transdisciplinary network, the forum promotes knowledge and discourse about landscape and landscape-changing processes. It advocates sustainable design, development and safety concepts. The forum focuses on the Alps as well as parks and protected areas.more

Image: Naturmotive, stock-adobe.commore

Our 5 core topics

To implement the goals expressed in its strategy, the Forum Landscape, Alps, Parks (FoLAP) makes use of core topics. These topics define the current status, and they indicate where FoLAP needs to take action in the coming years in order to acquire and develop not only practical knowledge but also specialist expertise on upcoming global and national landscape topics. This includes both political and scientific agenda-setting. All the core topics cover the three areas of activity named in FoLAP's strategy: 'Knowledge development', 'Knowledge dialogue' and 'Raising awareness about the approach to the landscape across specialist boundaries'.

Core topics

Kernthema FoLAP: Gesundheit und Landschaft
Image: Hansjakob Fehr, 1kilo

How is it possible to conserve and develop landscapes that promote physical and mental health without impairing the landscape quality? This question addresses not only demographic developments such as increased ageing, but also the requirements of a multi-cultural population in respect of the landscape.

Kernthema FoLAP: Landschaftskultur
Image: Hansjakob Fehr, 1kilo

Why does hardly any discourse focus on the fact that protecting, using and developing landscapes requires an advanced culture of social interaction with landscape? This culture has to be negotiated between experts on the one hand, and political circles and various sectors of the public on the other. Landscape Culture integrates demographic and socio-cultural developments as well as trends in nutrition and agriculture.

Kernthema FoLAP Lebensstil und Landschaft
Image: Hansjakob Fehr, 1kilo

How do lifestyles and social trends change consumer habits, thus influencing the development of the landscape in Switzerland and globally? This issue relates, for example, to change processes and their influence on the landscape in terms of diet, clothing or travel behaviour; but it also raises the question as to whether sustainable lifestyles offer economic opportunities.

FoLAP Kernthema: Klimaschutz und Landschaft
Image: Hansjakob Fehr, 1kilo

What impact are measures related to climate change having on Switzerland's landscapes – and also globally? To date, there has been virtually no discussion about the landscape relevance of comprehensive decarbonisation. What price, in terms of landscape, is society prepared to pay (for example) for sink strategies and the production or storage of renewable energies? This question must be introduced into political discussion before far-reaching changes to the landscape are planned and implemented.

Kernthema FoLAP: Räumliche Beziehungen
Image: Hansjakob Fehr, 1kilo

Many regions have spatial relationships with one another. But how do spaces that are often regarded as opposites influence one another – for example, city/countryside, mountain regions/lowlands, parks/non-parks, and even Switzerland/other countries? Can the inhabitants be motivated to engage in mutually complementary cooperation? These questions are not only relevant in relation to the effects of globalisation; they also play a key part in Switzerland's social cohesion.

With the core topics, our aims are (1) to define the current status; (2) to raise awareness in the landscape, Alpine and park community and in political circles concerned with landscape, and to show where major gaps in knowledge exist; (3) to present the activities that FoLAP undertakes in order to promote discourse and research on the aforementioned knowledge gaps; and (4) to show how knowledge gained from practice and research can be incorporated into the broadest possible dialogue on landscape.

In all the core topics, moreover, we want to draw attention to the relevance of landscape and the Alps as an ecological-cultural space.

Action is needed on all these points so that the activities on the core themes outlined by FoLAP not only feed landscape research, but also reflect landscape policy in concrete terms. Widespread awareness-raising about the landscape approach – even among groups with no specific interest in landscape – will, for example, make it possible to introduce the topic of landscape into debates about preventive healthcare or 'Baukultur', and to encourage discourse on the New Regional Policy in Switzerland.

  • The core topics
  • Agrarian landscape
  • hilly landscape mountains
  • Power plant Letten, Zürich
  • Terraced houses and funiculaire, Biel
  • View from Stoos cable car in Muotathal
  • View of the Alpine town of Visp
  • Solares Direktgewinnhaus, Simmental
  • Wind energy
  • Erholsame Landschaften, WSL
  • The core topicsImage: Hansjakob Fehr, 1kilo1/10
  • Agrarian landscapeImage: M. Bolliger2/10
  • hilly landscape mountainsImage: M. Bolliger3/10
  • Power plant Letten, ZürichImage: Norman Backhaus4/10
  • Terraced houses and funiculaire, BielImage: Maarit Ströbele5/10
  • View from Stoos cable car in MuotathalImage: FoLAP6/10
  • View of the Alpine town of VispImage: Ursula Schüpbach7/10
  • Solares Direktgewinnhaus, SimmentalImage: N11 Architekten Gmbh8/10
  • Wind energyImage: Pixabay9/10
  • Erholsame Landschaften, WSLImage: Nicole Bauer, WSL10/10

On request, we will send you the complete core topic papers including references to sources. (The core topic papers are expanded and edited from time to time.)
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Our foundations

Landscape approach