Democratic Landscape Transformation 2023 - Team 3

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Background of your team

  • Please write a few words about your team.
  • Which linguistic and cultural perspectives are you representing? Which disciplinary backgrounds?
  • Mohamed Kassim Alam: I obtained my bachelor's degree from Egypt in Architectural Engineering, I started with designing  some commercial and residential buildings ,then I worked in the industrial architecture which I found interesting as you need to be able to have an ahead vision before the problem happens and have the flexibility to deal with any unexpected variants in the project .
  • AR. Parth Khimjibhai Ghevariya: I'm on track, looking for an environment full of those "thundering clouds," The mist of it hitch-hikes my impulse to the core. I have tons of energy, borrowed seeds, & common sense. I am willing to roll my sleeves up, dig down, & plant the "seed," which will be the architecture/design for nature's rehabilitation.

Your Landscape Democracy Manifestoes

Here you can add links to the manifestoes you have presented on April 26

Examples of Landscape Activism

In the session on May 10 you will discuss examples of landscape activism from your own contexts. You can share the examples in this section (link, image and/or short explanation).

  • Mohamed kassim Alam, landscape Activism
  • AR. Parth Khimjibhai Ghevariya, Landscape Activism - With unwavering determination and a deep love for the environment, Jadav Payeng has single-handedly transformed a barren landscape into a thriving ecosystem, serving as an inspiration to us all. Let us delve into the incredible journey of this environmental hero and the lessons we can learn from his activism.
    • I. The Birth of an Environmental Crusader:

      A. Early life and connection to nature: Jadav Payeng's upbringing in the rural region of Assam, India. His profound affinity for the natural world and its diverse inhabitants. B. Witnessing devastation: The ecological crisis that struck Majuli Island. The loss of vegetation, wildlife, and the threat to local communities.

      II. The Forest Man Rises:

      A. One man's mission: Jadav Payeng's resolute decision to make a difference. His vow to restore and rejuvenate the island. B. The planting campaign: Tirelessly planting trees year after year. Overcoming challenges and inspiring others to join his cause. The remarkable scale of his efforts, resulting in a forest spanning over 1,300 acres.

      III. Environmental Impact and Conservation Legacy:

      A. Biodiversity revival: The return of native flora and fauna to the region. The forest becoming a sanctuary for animals, including tigers, elephants, and migratory birds. The restoration of the island's delicate ecosystem. B. Climate change resilience: The forest's role in carbon sequestration and mitigating climate change. Protection against erosion and natural disasters. The significance of Payeng's activism in the face of global environmental challenges.

      IV. Lessons for Environmental Activism:

      A. The power of one: Jadav Payeng's remarkable example of individual action leading to collective impact. Encouraging others to take ownership of environmental issues in their communities. B. Long-term commitment: Payeng's persistence and dedication spanning over four decades. The need for sustained efforts and ongoing activism to combat environmental degradation. C. Education and awareness: Promoting environmental education to empower future generations. Inspiring others to appreciate and protect nature's invaluable resources.

      Conclusion: In conclusion, Jadav Payeng's activism serves as a shining beacon of hope and inspiration. His unwavering commitment to restoring the natural environment through his reforestation efforts on Majuli Island has created a lasting legacy. Payeng's achievements remind us that every individual has the power to make a difference, no matter how small or vast the scale may be. Let us take Jadav Payeng's example to heart and become catalysts for change, working towards a greener future for ourselves and generations to come.

The Role Play

In the session on May 17 you will present a small role play with your team. Please add here a short reflection on what you have learned from this play. The short list of landscape democracy 'movers and shakers' can be found here

  • Mohamed kassim Alam, The Role Play
  • Jadav Payeng (AR. Parth Khimjibhai Ghevariya) - If I were to play the role of Jadav Payeng, responding to the current situation of global warming and the critical state of forests, I would embody his values and approach through the following points:
    • Deep concern and sense of responsibility:

      Express genuine concern about the escalating global warming crisis and the critical state of forests worldwide. Recognize the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate action.

      Inspiring awareness and education:

      Advocate for widespread awareness about the impacts of global warming and the importance of forest conservation. Deliver speeches, engage in media interviews, and initiate educational programs to inspire individuals and communities.

      Emphasis on reforestation:

      Highlight the critical role of trees and forests in mitigating climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Encourage and actively engage in planting trees on a global scale to address climate change and preserve biodiversity.

      Collaboration and collective action:

      Call for collaboration among governments, organizations, and individuals to work together towards sustainable land management practices. Mobilize resources and foster partnerships for large-scale reforestation initiatives.

      Stronger environmental policies and community involvement:

      Advocate for stronger environmental policies and regulations to combat deforestation and promote sustainable land use. Stress the importance of involving local communities in decision-making processes and recognizing their knowledge and rights.

      Resilience and determination:

      Embody resilience and determination in the face of challenges. Persistently advocate for sustainable practices and inspire others through my own actions. Motivate future generations to become environmental stewards.

      In playing the role of Jadav Payeng, I would draw upon his deep love for nature, his unwavering commitment to action, and his belief in the power of individuals and collective efforts to make a positive impact on our planet's future.

>>> All information on the phase B activities is compiled in this PDF

Readings, concepts and definitions

  • Start: April 5, 2023
  • Due: July 5, 2023

Working in your group, express your personal understanding of the relation of landscape and democracy in the form of a concept map with linking words or any other diagrammatic representation. Please make your maps very visual and not just verbal. Think critically about why one map differs from another

About concept mapping

Before starting the exercise you can read this article by Joseph D. Novak & Alberto J. Cañas about Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them. This paper gives a good explanation of how concept maps are conceived and developed.

You can use any tool you like for producing your concept map. However, since the result needs to be submitted digitally we recommend the following open source software for producing your maps:

Please add your concept map(s) here

  • Possible format: JPG (for wiki upload) or link to any other resource
  • You may add one map per team member or an integrated one
  • add as many additional materials as you need

Please finish with a short reflection

  • What are the similarities and differences in your team regarding your understanding of what democratic landscape transformation is?
  • In how far did the seminar lectures and readings help you to clarify this?
  • What will you take home from this seminar?

1- We came from different backgrounds, and we were raised in different communities but we agreed that considering the local people's vision of the environment and surroundings is necessary for developing a practical design that fulfils all the social categories' needs. Moreover, landscape democracy is a great methodology to let the people decide what kind of design they need and what they care about and explore the fundamental problems and bring up some effective solutions to the surface.


  1. Recognition of local people's vision: Despite the team members' different backgrounds and communities, they all agree on the importance of considering the local people's vision of the environment and surroundings. This common understanding emphasizes the significance of incorporating community perspectives into the design process.
  2. Fulfilling social categories' needs: The team unanimously believes that developing a practical design that fulfills the needs of all social categories is crucial. They recognize the importance of addressing various social groups' requirements to create inclusive spaces and environments.
  3. Landscape democracy as a methodology: All team members agree that landscape democracy is an effective approach. They believe in empowering people to decide on the design they need and encouraging their active participation in decision-making processes. They see landscape democracy as a means to uncover problems and develop suitable solutions collaboratively.


  1. Backgrounds and communities: The team members come from different backgrounds and were raised in diverse communities. This implies that their individual perspectives may be shaped by unique cultural, social, and environmental factors. These differences could potentially lead to varied interpretations and priorities regarding democratic landscape transformation.

Despite these differences, the team recognizes the importance of bridging their diverse perspectives to create a comprehensive understanding of democratic landscape transformation. By embracing their shared values and leveraging their diverse backgrounds, they can bring a more inclusive and holistic approach to their work.

2- During the seminar we went through many processes starting from choosing a manifesto and going through role play activism, concept map and community mapping, all of these stages made us exposed to the benefits of landscape democracy and helped us to understand how the landscape and democracy and transformation can be imposed in a positive way.

  1. Manifesto selection: The seminar started with the process of choosing a manifesto, which served as a foundation for understanding democratic landscape transformation. This exercise allowed us to reflect on the values and goals that underpin democratic decision-making in landscape design.
  2. Role play activism: Engaging in role play activism during the seminar was an impactful experience. By immersing ourselves in simulated scenarios, we gained firsthand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities involved in participatory decision-making. This interactive approach deepened our understanding of the complexities associated with incorporating democratic practices into landscape transformation processes.
  3. Concept map and community mapping: The concept map and community mapping exercises were valuable tools for visualizing the interconnectedness between landscape, democracy, and transformation. These activities helped us recognize that landscapes hold not only physical but also social and cultural significance. Through mapping, we gained insights into the diverse perspectives and priorities within communities, emphasizing the importance of considering local voices in landscape design.
  4. Exposure to benefits of landscape democracy: The seminar exposed us to the benefits of landscape democracy and helped us understand how it can be implemented in a positive manner. By going through various stages and activities, we developed a nuanced understanding of the advantages of incorporating democratic principles into landscape transformation processes.
  5. Practical applications: The seminar lectures and readings equipped us with practical tools and insights to engage in meaningful democratic processes in our work. We gained a comprehensive framework for understanding the positive implications of landscape democracy and learned how to apply democratic principles in landscape transformation practices.

In summary, the seminar lectures and readings were instrumental in clarifying our understanding of democratic landscape transformation. The engaging activities, such as manifesto selection, role play activism, and concept/community mapping, provided us with practical experiences and deep insights into the benefits and applications of landscape democracy. Armed with this newfound knowledge, we are equipped to embrace democratic principles, respect local perspectives, and create inclusive and sustainable landscapes that meet the needs of the communities they serve.

3- We can use variety of participation methods to extract data about the areas that need development and by analyzing these data we can develop suitable long-term plans and designs to enhance the urban life standard. From this seminar, we will take home several key points:

  1. Understanding of democratic landscape transformation: We have gained a comprehensive understanding of democratic principles and their relevance in landscape design. This knowledge will shape our approach to future projects.
  2. Importance of local perspectives: We have learned the significance of incorporating local perspectives into our work. Recognizing and respecting the diverse needs and aspirations of communities will be a priority in our design processes.
  3. Practical tools for engagement: Through interactive activities like role play activism and concept/community mapping, we have acquired practical tools to actively engage with stakeholders and promote participatory decision-making.
  4. Focus on inclusivity and sustainability: The seminar has highlighted the importance of creating inclusive and sustainable landscapes. We now understand how democratic practices can contribute to designs that meet the needs of various social categories while promoting environmental stewardship.
  5. Inspiration for democratic processes: The seminar has inspired us to embrace democratic processes in our work, empowering communities to have a say in shaping their environments. We will strive to create spaces that reflect the values and aspirations of the people who use them.

Overall, these insights will be invaluable as we move forward in our professional journeys, enabling us to approach landscape transformation projects with a heightened awareness of the democratic principles and practices that contribute to meaningful and impactful design outcomes.