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Landscape Heritage: Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development in Past and Present


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master Archaeology programme.


This course consists of a combination of a series of lectures, tutorials and assignments, followed by a workshop with a presentation of a thought-out design of a development area incorporating a (pre)historical heritage landscape.
The main goal is to challenge students to plan a sustainable development with a focus on the future and the experience of the past in the present which heritage values to be preserved to the fullest: ‘protection through development’.

Spatial planning in general is to plan socio-spatial activities such as housing involving social, economic and environmental processes. It is man's own. From the onset of a sedentary lifestyle, and even earlier, humans worldwide started structuring their environment, often with major (unintended) consequences. The landscape was adapted instead of man adapting to the landscape. Contemporary spatial planning is increasingly aimed at managing human impacts on (future) environment; focused on the sustainable use and governance of natural resources and biodiversity.

An important factor is the protection and integration of heritage at all levels. Not only legislation needs to be taken into account, but also the rational and sustainable restructuring of land use in the vicinity of cultural heritage. It’s about the Past in the Present (what to preserve? how to bring it back? etc.) but also about the Past in the Past: what role did older relicts (heritage values) play a role in (pre)historical landscapes? In short: what is the biography of landscapes in Past and Present?

Landscapes have a layered character illustrating their deep history. This course challenges you to make the connection of designated archaeological and historical sites within a broader environment, and in order to make them visible to present and future inhabitants/visitors using an real-world challenge. You will also realise that landscapes contribute to a sense of belonging and (social) well-being. The focus will be on the Genii Loci, the spirit and story of a place.

You will learn to see things in a long-term and layered perspective to the landscape, and how one can make an integrated, experienceable and sustainable development plan, while taking into account the preservation and perception of the past considering the different stakeholders and target groups.
Furthermore, students will participate in a holistic approach of spatial planning where different disciplines are collaborating for the best end result.

Course set-up

Week 1: Introduction

  • Lecture 1: ‘Man: manipulator of his physical environment’ (Bakels 2020);

  • Lecture 2: Spatial Planning in the Past. How landscapes shape(d) our human world;

  • Assignment: Formulating a Heritage Assessment and making a urban-landscape architectonical analysis of the research area.

Week 2: Heritage assessment

  • Lecture 3: Archaeological Research as part of present Spatial Planning: an international framework–best practices (urban, rural, both Dutch and international);

  • Presenting the Heritage Assessment and the urban-landscape architectonical analysis of the research area.

Week 3: Stakeholders and requirements

  • Lecture 4: Co-creation, Stakeholders and Target groups;

  • Assignment: Stakeholder analysis and building on the urban-landscape architectonical analysis of the research area.

Week 4: Workshop week

  • Lecture 5 (on-site): Spatial and Urban Planning: archaeology and cultural history as the foundations for a city’s/landscape future. Sustainable use and governance of (archaeological) heritage within a densely built and limited space;

  • Presenting the preliminary design.

Week 5: Working with the Past

  • Lecture 6: Designing a Past in the Present: Tools of spatial planning and (Urban) Heritage Landscape design. Conflicts and collaboration in present area development;

  • Working on the design: how to make the Past experienceable.

Week 6: Sustainable solutions

  • Lecture 7: Liveable Planet: Future transition to a liveable planet with ecological sustainability. Applying the past to a sustainable future;

  • Working on the design: how to make it more sustainable.

Week 7: Workshop week

  • No lecture (autonomous study and cooperative working);

  • Final work on the design and presentation.

Week 8

  • Handing in the final design and notes.

Course objectives

Ability to:

  • Understand how landscapes are built up (layers and spatial (pre)historical design);

  • Understand the different aspects of governance in spatial planning and heritage;

  • Gain insight in the international and national perspectives on heritage landscapes;

  • Know which stakeholder and target groups should be involved in development plans on heritage landscapes;

  • Know how to make a stakeholder analysis and the different interests of these groups;

  • Propose a (theoretical) vision and sustainable design strategy, taking into account the various aspects;

  • Take a critical stance and reflect on plans of portraying a past in a present landscape;

  • Gain an understanding of designing heritage landscape development projects as part of interdisciplinary professional design teams.


Course schedule details can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button.

Mode of instruction

Lectures and challenge-based learning through tutorials, discussion and workshop with presentation.
CBL is about learning while solving real-world challenges/project - putting knowledge into practice – consisting of three phases: engage, investigate and act.

Assessment method

  • Pitch with portfolio (25%);

  • Paper with substantiation/explanation which takes into account earlier comments (75%).


  • Assembly of heritage values set in a historical layered and spatial designed landscape;

  • Clear and substantiated perspective/view on the historical landscape in relation to the future, sustainable landscape design;

  • Involvement of present-day stakeholders and target groups;

  • Aspects of sustainability and durable preservation of heritage values;

  • Interdisciplinary interaction with other disciplines involved in spatial planning and design.

Assessment deadlines

All assessment deadlines (exams, retakes, paper deadlines etc.) can be found in MyTimetable.
Log in with your ULCN account, and add this course using the 'Add timetable' button. To view the assessment deadline(s), make sure to select the course with a code ending in T and/or R.

The final paper is to be handed in 3 weeks after finishing the course, workshops with pitch are in the last week.

Reading list

To be announced.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is mandatory.

General information about registration can be found on the Course and Exam Enrolment page.


For more information about this course, please contact dr. P. (Peter) Jongste.


  • Compulsory attendance.