Human Smart Cities

Part of the series Urban and Landscape Perspectives pp 203-210


Sletten: Rethinking Urban Habitats Through Creative Management and Social Engagement

  • Stefan Darlan BorisAffiliated withPlatform Urbanism and Landscape, Aarhus School of Architecture Email author 
  • , Peter Gall KroghAffiliated withDepartment of Engineering, Head of Design Research

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Landscape laboratory is a concept for citizen involvement in the maintenance and development of urban forests. The concept has been developed and refined since the mid-1980s and now counts for four such places in the Scandinavian countries. It is widely recognized that the yet not peaked urbanization poses challenges for natural habitats in urban areas; landscape laboratories as urban forests are a response to that.

The chapter reports on the experiences of establishing an urban forest as a landscape laboratory simultaneously to developing a housing project, called Sletten situated in Holstebro, Denmark. The chapter brings forward three emblematic exemplars of how the place is appropriated by the people living there. Sletten is both an actual suggestion for novel neighborhood design and a full-scale experimental platform where scientists and practitioners with different or no professional backgrounds can meet and collaborate on testing and developing new concepts for the design, establishment, and management of urban forests.


Urban forest Landscape laboratory Stakeholder engagement Community resilience Decentralized responsibility