Natural Growth - A landscape approach to growing the future suburb

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Cecilie Lehmann Egeblad
  • Katrine Støtt Bøjer
4. term, Urban Design, Master (Master Programme)
The planners’ or urban designers’ challenge is to bridge from vast empty lots and hectares, to future becoming of a vibrant suburban environment with flourishing social life, interaction between inhabitants, buildings and landscape and a societal anchorage to the location. Another challenge of the urban planner is to account for the impact of expected climate changes.

One can ask: Is it possible to combine these challenges and make a long-lasting attractive suburban development that continuously attract new dwellers and satisfy existing inhabitants?

This master thesis deals with the initiatives and desires to regenerate suburbs and suburban developments in Denmark. The thesis is motivated by a belief of a process-minded method on growing the future suburb, letting it gradually flourish from its existing settings. The master thesis works with the boundless city (den grænseløse by) by applying a landscape urbanism approach, where the landscape is used as the central and integrated element in the becoming city.

In ‘open field’ suburban projects, large and dense settlements are commonly hinged onto very small rural villages. Often, this is controlled through either long-term and stable master plans, allowing little space for future change and what might come or incremental zoning plans with no long term strategic scope. This thesis is a debate contribution to solve the design and planning challenges for suburban developments of the future.

This master thesis uses Lisbjerg, a suburb of Aarhus, as a case study for how regeneration of suburban living and the rethinking of future rural extension and dense suburban settlements can be integrated into a process oriented approach. The thesis is an independent contribution to the ’Lisbjerg Bakke project’ with a suggested approach for the development of the suburb Lisbjerg near Aarhus.

The master thesis will attempt to unleash Lisbjerg from the stereotypical category of the suburb. It will make Lisbjerg to an “ever” expanding landscape city. It will seek to preserve important landscape elements of Lisbjerg and its surroundings as well as introducing new recreational and functional landscape elements.

In the future Lisbjerg, dense contemporary dwellings and experimental practices will meet nature in a process of creating a spatial synergy. Phasing and porosity of the layout is considered to ease, as well as add to the uncertainty of the course of development, and for enhanced changeability of spaces in relation to future demands of the suburb. Therefore, future suburban Lisbjerg is grown out of its existing settings, from the hilltop and down. Challenges of rainwater management on a sloping terrain becomes an opportunity to create coherency between the existing village and the new rural extension.
Publication date31 May 2017
Number of pages153
ID: 257813886