Landscape of Abandonment
Research Project 2013
ETH Zurich, Institute of Landscape Architecture
Chair of Prof. Günther Vogt

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Abandoned landscapes north of Genova, Italy. Image: Luca Casonato

 Abandoned landscapes in the Faia Brava Reserve, Portugal. Image: Staffan Widstrand, Rewilding Europe.

Abandoned landscapes in the Faia Brava Reserve, Portugal. Image: Staffan Widstrand, Rewilding Europe.

 Abandoned landscapes in the Velebit mountains, Croatia. Image: Staffan Widstrand, Rewilding Europe.

Abandoned landscapes in the Velebit mountains, Croatia. Image: Staffan Widstrand, Rewilding Europe.


The abandonment of agricultural land and the general withdrawal from inhabited, cultivated and farmed areas is a growing global phenomenon that the Chair is exploring in greater depth as part of its research. Triggered by complex processes and various factors, the current extent of abandoned land has reached unprecedented dimensions. Particularly in Europe, the overgrowth and forestation of formerly cultivated land is thought to be widespread and continually on the increase. Based on case studies from Switzerland and Europe, the goal of the research was to localize the abandoned areas and then categorise and define them as a growing component of the contemporary urbanisation process. The focus was on the question of how the landscape of abandonment represents/shows an economic, ecological, social or psychological problem and where their future qualities and potentials lie.
 

original text on NSL Website
website Chair of Prof. G. Vogt, ETH Zürich