Roland Gustavsson, Anders Busse Nielsen, Björn Wiström, Allan Gunnarsson, Henrik Sjöman, Hanna Fors, Helena Melqvist, Petra Thorpert, Anders Folkesson, Stefan Darlan Boris, Dana Hladíková, Jan
Anders Busse Nielsen, Lisa Diedrich, Harry Harsema, Catherine Szanto
Hardcover with foil, 17 x 24 cm, 384 pages, full colour
ISBN 978 94 92474 650
Let’s bring the woods into our ‘cities’
The planet is urbanizing. More than fifty percent of humanity lives in cities. Not all of those cities resemble the densely populated city centers of, for example, historic Paris or towering
Manhattan. Most of our cities are made up of loosely built-up areas where urban and countryside meets in a mix of residential districts, shopping centers, residual nature, industrial areas,
highways, agricultural lands, farms and villages.
Urbanized territories need to be adjusted urgently
We need to increase the vegetation cover in these highly populated regions to adapt them to climate change and to support a wider range of ecosystem services: the conservation of biodiversity and
the development of recreational areas. Put simply, parks and other types of green spaces need to become more wooded and urban woods must become a new dominant category of public space in
Cities of trees
People are naturally inclined to congregate in communities. So are trees. Most trees live together in forests, woodlands, or simply woods. They are the cities of trees, and we love them! We often
say to one another, let’s go to the woods. But what if it was the other way around? If the woods came to us, into our cities? This reflection might seem obscure. At a second though however, it
just might be the most logical and right thing to do. In academia, planning, policy, as well as in society at large, claims about the benefits of urban woods are multiplying.
Laboratories in the woods
More than thirty years ago, three landscape laboratories were created in Sweden and Denmark to provide space for experiments with alternative forest development. Since then, the laboratories have
evolved. They continuously developed as an expression of the place-contextual dialogues and experiments between academics, students, practicians and residents. The laboratories represent an
innovative approach in which design and management merge seamlessly into creative management in space and time. All this in the search for answers to the pressing question of what urban woods can
mean and thus become in the future.
Bridging knowledge cultures
In Woods go urban fourteen experienced landscape architects with extensive academic and professional experience share – for the first time – their knowledge and insights on the creation and
management of the landscape laboratories in Scandinavia, emphasizing the links to vegetation, management, communication and local engagement.
Based on four decades with 1:1 experiments and hands on experiences in the landscape laboratories, deep knowledge is presented to you about how to actually cultivate urban woods in open-ended
approaches where production, management, biodiversity, and aesthetics enrich each other and makes all phases of development meaningful.
The experiments and experiences bridges different disciplines: forestry and landscape architecture, urban and rural culture, design and management, lay-person and specialist. As such, Woods go
urban provides insights for many professions and inspiration for urban regions, and entire nations that aim to transform policy goals and planning documents into creating and managing
experienceable and living woods, in every place, now and for the future.
Experts about the labs, about the book
Michel Desvigne, director of MDP Landscape Architects, Paris (France)
'The experiments with woodlands carried out at the Alnarp Landscape Laboratory are what I have always wanted to do: variations on textures and densities, a dialogue between geometrical order
and measured randomness, a play with time alterations, a composition of forest miniatures.
I discovered the work of the Alnarp Landscape Laboratory in 2016, listening to a lecture by Roland Gustavsson (…) in the US. This was a shock for me: all my attempts, my dreams were gathered
in this place called Alnarp, in a magnificent didactic mosaic, a sort of living library.'
Dorothée Imbert, Hubert C. Schmidt ’38 Chair in Landscape Architecture & director of the Knowlton School of Architecture, The Ohio State University (USA)
'(…) Strikingly, the back-to-back presentations of Gustavsson and Michel Desvigne showed two sides of the same coin, or how empirical research can in- form the design process. Each used the
sequence of intuition, observation, and action—one to manage an experimental forest in southern Sweden, and the other to distribute varying densities of forested bands along the right
bank of Bordeaux’s Parc aux Angéliques. Gustavsson’s use of the forest as a pedagogical and design tool resonated strongly with our programme’s commitment to sitework and spatial ecology.
(…) Landscape Labs of the World, Unite!'
Cecil Konijnendijk, professor of Global Urban Forestry, University of British Columbia (Canada)
'The Alnarp Landscape Laboratory and its ‘children’ elsewhere in Scandinavia have made a real impact over the years, including in the field of urban forestry. Urban foresters from across the
world have visited the labs and gained inspiration for their own urban woodland management practices. As a result, many of the ideas first tested at Alnarp and in other labs have found their way
to various corners of the world. Having had the opportunity to follow the Alnarp Lab especially closely for several years, I have come to understand the importance of landscape-scale
demonstration, experimentation, and learning. Discussions with colleagues in the labs, surrounded by trees and other plants, during all kinds of weather and with all senses mobilized,
have been so enriching for many of us. I honestly think that the labs have had a greater impact on urban woodland design and management in Europe and beyond than we can imagine.'
Woods go urban - Three Landscape Laboratories in Scandinavia - Hardcover with foil, 17 x 24 cm, 384 pages, full colour