Environmental Management

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 461–473 | Cite as

A Framework for Landscape Ecological Design of New Patches in the Rural Landscape

  • R. LafortezzaEmail author
  • R. D. Brown


This study developed a comprehensive framework to incorporate landscape ecological principles into the landscape planning and design process, with a focus on the design of new patches in the rural landscape. The framework includes two interrelated phases: patch analyst (PA) and patch designer (PD). The patch analyst augments the process of landscape inventory and analysis. It distinguishes nodes (associated with potential habitat patches) from links (associated with corridors and stepping stones between habitats). For natural vegetation patches, characteristics such as size, shape, and spatial arrangement have been used to develop analytical tools that distinguish between nodes and links. The patch designer uses quantitative information and analytical tools to recommend locations, shapes, sizes, and composition of introduced patches. The framework has been applied to the development of a new golf course in the rural Mediterranean landscape of Apulia, Southern Italy. Fifty new patches of Mediterranean maquis (24 patches) and garrigue (26 patches) have been designed and located in the golf course, raising the overall natural vegetation area to 70 ha (60% of total property). The framework has potential for use in a wide variety of landscape planning, design, and management projects.


Landscape architecture Planning Landscape ecology Modeling Golf 



The authors would like to thank Planetek Italia s.r.l. for the support of GIS and EO tools; the Acaya Golf Club (Vernole, Lecce) and its architect D. Mazzacane for the opportunity to work on the golf course master plan; and Dr. F. Ippolito and Dr. P. Medagli (Department of Biology, University of Lecce, Italy) for the help in the vegetation analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Production ScienceUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.School of Environmental Design and Rural DevelopmentUniversity of GuelphOntarioCanada

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