Title of the symposium:

Addressing the challenges of the Anthropocene with strategic planning: novel ways to couple ecological sciences and territorial governance



Detail of organizer(s):




Name: Hersperger
Surname: Anna M.
Organisation/Affiliation: Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
Telephone: +41 44 739 25 15
Country: Switzerland








Name: Grădinaru
Surname: Simona R.
Organisation/Affiliation: University of Bucharest
Country: Romania





Name: Pierri Daunt
Surname: Beatriz
Organisation/Affiliation: State University of São Paulo
Country: Brazil




Symposium abstract

The Anthropocene is the period in which we and future generations live – a time period that is truly human-influenced, based on overwhelming evidence that global ecological, atmospheric, hydrologic, geologic and other earth system processes are now changed by humans. Never before we experienced such a fast and profound alteration of our human and natural environment and arguable the most important processes therein are land change and climate change. The resulting challenges regarding global urbanization, modifications in food regimes and desertification, among others, are indeed critical in our time. Under the territorial governance umbrella resides the capacity of governments and authorities across the world, from local to national  level, to formulate, adopt and implement policies  that tackle these challenges.

Strategic planning serves at setting and implementing long term visions of how regions should develop and is increasingly a means to address the up mentioned challenges to nature and society. In the past two decades it became the worldwide key approach in addressing the green, blue and grey environment because it enables novel ways to couple ecological sciences and governance for regional development. Strategic planning can be defined as a set of concepts, tools, and practices which integrates expert knowledge with tacit/experiential knowledge of the local communities and recognizes change as a fundamental landscape quality. It supports the setting and implementing the visions of how regions should develop in future, but at the same time, it is effective when it addresses incremental and sudden changes as well as unexpected events. This is why strategic plans and designs can be regarded as potential turning points in unsustainable trajectories. This implies that strategic planning and design are conceptualized as adaptive processes which require strong ties to territorial governance to ensure maintenance and necessary modifications.

The objective of this symposium is to assemble talks that present and discuss novel theoretical and empirical contributions that address the challenges of the Anthropocene by coupling ecological science methods with governance aspects. We encourage papers which address the green, blue and grey environment, along with the interconnections between them, at various steps of the planning cycle, including governance of regions, actions, implementation and evaluation procedures, through new methods, tools and data. As strategic planning requires a mix of expertise, we encourage contributions which tackle conflicts between the socio-economic and the ecological dimensions, present worldwide examples of successful conservation and planning strategies at regional level, integrate perception studies into the planning process, account for coupled socio-ecological systems in planning scenarios, or develop tools to incorporate ecosystem services approach into regional planning.


How your symposia will improve landscape ecology science?

The symposium will pose a great opportunity to link researchers that conduct research in strategic planning. The discussions among speakers and participants from around the globe in the context of the proposed symposium are expected to truly innovate our ways to couple governance and ecological sciences for landscape ecological planning, and regional planning more generally.  We expect participants to learn from theoretical and empirical contributions by their peers and to learn new ways of planning regionally and acting locally.



Broad thematic areas


Broad thematic areas 1st choice: Landscape planning

Broad thematic areas 2nd choice: Green and blue infrastructures


Free Keywords

regional planning, landscape governance, Socio-economic-ecological systems, conservation, design



This session is building upon the session “Strategic planning – a way of incorporating landscape thinking into regional development” held at the IALE 2018 European Landscape Ecology Congress, September 2018 in Ghent The session in Ghent was very successful and attracted 19 oral presentations and 4 poster presentations. We thus would like to continue the discussions we started in Ghent within the landscape ecology community in the context of the world congress.