Learning Objectives Seminar 'Democratic Landscape Transformation'

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We hope that we will together develop the following competences and knowledge fields

Knowledge related to our core topic of democratic landscape transformation

  • Understand the concept of democracy based on a dialectical approach to this meta-topic. To know how public participation and democracy are related. To become aware of contemporary challenges to democracy in the context of landscape planning and urban design in relation to a ‘right to landscape’ approach.
  • To develop an understanding of the multiple concepts of landscape and to relate this to the contemporary context of a pluralistic society. Be sensitive to the different attitudes towards open space and also the disparities in access to landscape that exist among different ethnic or socioeconomic groups in a community.
  • Conduct an informed and dialectical discourse on the relationship between landscape and democracy and to become able to cite and analyze examples of this in a global context. This includes identifying and evaluating concrete situations in which decision making processes around landscape lack democratic elements, and propose possible solutions for overcoming this.
  • Understand, reflect and practice participatory processes of landscape transformation, the terms related to this approach, and how these terms are perceived by local communities and actors.
  • Become knowledgeable about the relationships between goal-setting, visioning and strategy building in the context of the evolution of public participation and its common perceptions. Relate this concept to contemporary planning theory. This includes critical perspective and awareness of the potentials and limits of various models of participation, e.g. the ladder (Arnstein) and wheel of participation (Davidson).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution and contemporary understanding of concepts of community and identity. Seminar participants should be able to relate these concepts to planning and design practice. This includes a critical reflection on the role of the planner (as ‘expert’). Through understanding these principles we can reflect on our own values as a planners ('experts').
  • Relate context to personal community and space. Become able to select the most adequate methods and tools to be applied in specific challenges requiring participatory processes, understand a range of participatory planning activities, and the importance of matching techniques to community.
  • Know common communication tools supporting participatory processes as well as different examples of participatory processes and how methods and tools are applied in practice. Have a gestalt of this and practice participatory transformation.
  • Know the relevance of goal setting and visioning in transformative practice. Have the ability to move from individual to collective goals, while identifying common goals. Understand, practice and reflect on participatory goal setting, along with collaborative evaluation and setting future agendas.

Social and Personal Development Goals

  • Critical reflection of structures, conditions and dependencies in respect to societal contexts and individual environments, motivation for active citizenship and identification of landscape democracy challenges and their potential for change.
  • Critical reflection of the role of the planner in a diverse society (expert vs facilitator), and what leadership means in a participatory context.
  • Identification of stakeholders and power structures in a new and unknown context, along with development of (reflected) leadership competences: empowering people to build common visions and mutual trust.
  • Active listening and a high level of empathy for various perspectives and viewpoints in an intercultural context.
  • Bold, adaptable and innovative approaches, with an understanding of the role failure plays in democratic processes.
  • Self-organized, process-oriented and interdisciplinary team work, including the virtual realm.
  • High skill level of communication and presentation, including in a lingua franca such as English.
  • Self-reflection through confronting of 'the other" (disciplines, lay people, culture, local contexts) and increased self-awareness of value schemes and patterns of interpretation.

Methodical Competences

  • Knowledge of Participatory Action Research as a research strategy relevant for transformative science
  • Acquire relevant knowledge and information collaboratively and community-based
  • Evaluate, analyze, synthesize and process this information, with an awareness of diversity.
  • Independently design a creative working process in a target-oriented manner.
  • Transfer knowledge and methods in the field of public participation to new and unfamiliar contexts.
  • Apply project management and team building methods.
  • Communicate results to different types of audiences (subject-specific and general public) using both analog and ICT-based means of communication.
  • Reflect on and assess the impact of your work in creative and unconventional ways.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding
    • of the role of evaluating results and impact measurements.
    • of the methods applied to evaluation of democratic landscape processes.
    • of the difference between short-term results and long-term impacts.
  • Design a peer-evaluation process at the start of an activity both from his/her personal perspective and the goals of the process/project/intervention.
  • Select and justify a method for quantitative or qualitative evaluation, with a set of criteria that is tailored to the main goals of the activity.
  • Draw up an action plan for the evaluation.
  • Monitor a democratic process, reflect on it and adapt it when necessary.
  • Organise feedback from observers (outsiders, peers) and activity participants (users, stakeholders, target groups) in a way that is suited to them and include this in the collaborative evaluation.