Laying claim to and reinterpreting large swathes of landscapes lying close to residential areas for urban recreational use is a contemporary phenomenon that can be observed in many metropolitan regions of Europe. This change in the use of landscape as an economic resource to its use as a public or community resource, as common ground, is more and more important in the context of current trends of densification of urban metropolitan areas and is being investigated by research assistants. The focus lies on the study of metropolitan landscapes that are being transformed into new types of parks by urban recreation and leisure use, thus becoming potential ‘Common Grounds’ of the 21st century.
Based on the historical concept of the commons, new forms of collective use and management of landscape resources are tested and compared from an urban viewpoint. Thus, the idea of a common ground – referring to the conceptual origin of the word ‘commons’ (Allmende) and since the Biennale 2012 an inflationary and often metaphorically used term – can return to its original context in the landscape and be profitably reinterpreted.
The thematic focus on the change of use and reinterpretation of metropolitan landscapes should close the existing vacuum between urban open space planning and the development of large-scale landscapes, and to be made available to an interested public. The insights gained will flow directly into the teaching and fed back into the current design semesters and elective courses that deal with the subject from a design-driven perspective.
January – December 2015