Capitalising on multiplicity: A trandisciplinary systems approach to landscape research

Barbel Tress, Gunther Tress

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    183 Citations (Scopus)


    Different disciplines have landscape as the focal point of their research. They are successful in presenting new findings about landscapes within their specialisation, but collaboration-and thus, transfer of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries-is seldom realised because a common approach that bridges the gaps between disciplines is missing. Instead, different landscape concepts exist side by side. Yet, cooperation is required to tackle the various environmental and social problems related to landscapes. This paper provides an overview of the historical development of landscape concepts originating from different cultural and scientific trends, and presents a new complex concept of landscape, which is designed to enable transdisciplinary landscape research. The transdisciplinary landscape concept is based on five dimensions of landscapes: the spatial entity, the mental entity, the temporal dimension, the nexus of nature and culture, and the systemic properties of landscapes. In contrast to other approaches, it unites dimensions that are usually the domain of individual disciplines and makes it, thus, possible to capitalise on plurality in landscape research. The concept promotes landscape as the combination of the subsystems known as the geo-, bio- and noo-sphere, and is illustrated by the people-landscape interaction model, The concept can be applied to all human-landscape-related research, but is exemplified by two studies that have investigated the relationship between landscape and second-home tourism, and landscape and fanning, respectively. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-157
    Number of pages14
    JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


    • landscape research
    • landscape ecology
    • transdisciplinarity
    • people-landscape interaction
    • systems thinking
    • holism
    • second-home tourism
    • farming
    • FUTURE


    Dive into the research topics of 'Capitalising on multiplicity: A trandisciplinary systems approach to landscape research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this