This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 265104


PDF Print E-mail

Transitions in Landscape and Land Use

PhD Summer School

12th - 18th, June 2013, Lesvos Island, Greece


At this point in time the Volante project had developed many results, which formed the core of the Summer School. The overall objective of the course was therefore to introduce and discuss the scientific state of the art of the following themes:

  • Past and present processes determining land use change, at various spatial/ time scales
  • Modelling techniques in the assessment of land use scenarios for the future
  • Interactive vision development and roadmapping for future land uses

Course structure

The course included lectures, individual assignments, in-class presentations and debates, and a field visit. Students were required to submit a complete draft scientific paper, before the start of the Summer School. The papers were presented and discussed during the course.

The summer school was framed by social events and possibilities of enjoying the landscape of Lesvos, in order to encourage networking amongst the participants.

The Steering Committee of the Summer School Course consisted of Theano S. Terkenli (Associate Professor, Course Leader, Department of Geography, University Hill, University of the Aegean, Mytiline, Lesvos, Greece) and Bas Pedroli (Associate Professor Land Use Planning Group, Wageningen University)

The lectures presented by the VOLANTE project members were:

Landscape Science: Inherent Paradoxes - by Bas Pedroli

The EU defines boundary conditions for landscape development through its agricultural, environmental, infrastructural, urban, energy and other policies (based on the global market). The EU does not take the consequences of the resulting landscape changes - result: paradox today, degraded landscapes tomorrow.


Landscape, a Societal Issue – the Example of Greece - by Theano S. Terkenli

The major grand challenges facing our society are embedded in landscape: climate change, energy needs, health and safety, food security, urbanization and migration, loss of biodiversity and cultural heritage, rural exodus, lifestyle changes, etc. Likewise, many of the solutions to these problems and challenges that contemporary societies face stem from the landscape: ‘green development’, creation of employment, resource sustainability, educational opportunities, scientific growth, tourism and recreation. This presentation revisits the cultural constitution and social relevance of landscape, through an critical exploration of Greeks’ relationship with landscape, closing with a series of reflections/ hypotheses about the role and meaning of landscape for societies, in times of change.


HANPP – A socio-ecological perspective on land use transitions - by Helmut Haberl

HANPP (Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production) is an integrated socio-ecological indicator of land-use intensity that measures changes in yearly biomass flows in ecosystems resulting from land use. Future land use intensity (HANPP) depends on diets, yields, feeding efficiency, but foremost on future bioenergy expansion. This presentation explores the concept of HANPP, the main methods and the implications of HANPP for biodiversity and land-use.


Modelling the Impact of Forest Management - by Marcus Lindner

What drives forest management intensity in European forests? This lecture presents the EFISCEN resource projection model, the Forest Ecosystem Service indicators derived from EFISCEN and explores how the policy and management changes affect ESS, giving evaluation example from EXIOPOL.


Visions to elicit future landscapes - by Marta Pérez-Soba, Joske Houtkamp, Anouk Cormont, Marc Metzger, Dave Murray-Rust, James S. Paterson, Marjan Maes, Marc Gramberger, Tommaso Chiamparino, Anne Jensen

Ongoing changes in land management of energy sources, climate adaptation and mitigation, and changing urban-rural relationships lead to unprecedented land use transitions. European Policy will need a vision for managing these land use transitions in a responsible way. In VOLANTE, a vision can be defined as “a lodestar (a guiding star), an image of the future that offers direction yet is never reached” (Andy Haines) or “a picture of the future you seek to create, described in the present tense as if it were happening now” (Senge, 1990).


Land Use Intensity Assessment – a Systematic Approach - by Daniel Mueller

An integrated framework is required to assess the multidimensional nature of land-use intensification. Substantial progress was made in measuring land-use intensity, but considerable data gaps remain. Assessing the tradeoffs of land-use intensification requires place-based approaches that account for ecosystem and production outcomes.


Tourism Growth and Land Use Change in Greece - by Mary Constantoglou

In Greece, tourism stimulates employment in a wide range of economic sectors including employees with different educational levels. In the absence of an attractive environment, there would be little tourism. Ranging from the basic attractions of sun, sea and sand to the undoubted appeal of historic sites and structures, the environment is the foundation of tourism. Because of the highly dynamic nature of the coastal environment and the significance of mangroves and the limited coral sand supply for island beaches in particular, any development which interferes with the natural system may have severe consequences for the long-term stability of the environment.


Land use change analysis across scales from global to local - by Mark Rounsevell

The way we address “futures” in complex systems depends on how well we understand a system’s complexity and on how uncertain we are about future developments of key drivers. Therefore we can resort to modelling to illuminate core uncertainties, discover new questions, demonstrate trade-offs/suggest efficiencies, train practitioners, discipline the policy dialogue and educate the general public. This presentation offers some examples of land-use models, from European to global scale, as well as an agricultural land-use change model.


Human Behaviour in Land System Models - by Mark Rounsevell

How can we understand and model the competition between land-based food and energy production in a world with a rapidly increasing population? What is the role of institutions and governance structures in future land use change, and how can we model these? This presentation elaborates on the typology of behaviour of agents and the characteristics of their profile and cognition (innovative, active, absentee, retiree) and introduces a framework for Agent-Based Modelling (ABM).


Local Land Use Change - Lessons learnt from Case Studies - by Søren B.P. Kristensen

Which land use changes occur where and how big are they? What were the motives and reasons for land owners to undertake land use changes? This presentation explores motives and reasons behind land use changes, as well as the drivers of landscape change- agricultural production, land owner preferences, tradition, regulation (subsidies, legislation) and state of the economy.


Long-term systemic changes in Europe’s lands - by Helmut Haberl, Karl-Heinz Erb, Martin Rudbeck Jepsen, Thomas Kastner, Maria Niedertscheider

Long-term changes in land systems are intimately related with changes in socioeconomic metabolism, above all changes in energy systems. Institutional changes are related and modulate these socioecological “megatrends”. Increases in area efficiency and biomass-use efficiency can be seen across Europe, but these are causally linked to the transition from agrarian to industrial energy system (fossil fuels).


Integrated Assessment Modelling of Land use transitions - by Hermann Lotze-Campen, P. Verburg, A. Popp, A. Tabeau, J. Helming, M. Lindner, E. v.d. Zanden, H. Verkerk, C. Lavalle, et al

The main objectives of VOLANTE Top-Down Modelling are to: enable integrative land system change assessment by integrating land use models across different sectors and spatial scales (from global to sub-national), integrate impacts of policy parameters such as taxes, land use regulations and international trade policies on land system change, understand and explore the interactions between land-use relevant sectors and integrate land management information in spatial land allocation models for Europe. This presentation will elaborate on the modelling approach and model interaction of WP7, the modified SRES scenario narratives for VOLANTE and the selected policy scenario results for VOLANTE.


Modelling Ecosystem Services in Europe - by Sandra Lavorel, Maud Mouchet, Hans Verkerk, Maria Luisa Paracchini, Julia Stürck, Peter Verburg

Ecosystems and their biodiversity have an intrinsic value, but also plays an essential role for the provision of ecosystem services (ES) that benefit to society. Most ecosystem services studies consider only few services and do not quantify their interactions (trade-offs or synergies). The objectives for modelling ES in VOLANTE are to: use state-of the art spatially explicit models applicable to the European scale for MULTIPLE ES supplied, develop a tool box for the analysis of trade-offs and synergies among ES and analyse ES trade-offs and synergies and identify their drivers.


Trade‐off analysis - by Bernhard Wolfslehner

Science-based trade-offs analysis relies on ecosystem service indicator and perform statistical analyses on their appearance, bundling and synergies/trade-offs. Value-based trade-off analysis operate in the field of decision sciences and integrates the component of interests and preferences into indicator-based assessments. Trade-offs as applied in the Visions workshops add the informative and explanatory character to the overall trade-off concept.


Towards Roadmaps of Future Land Use - by Bas Pedroli

Roadmapping is possible only after future visions for all relevant stakeholders are made explicit. Visions, or mental images of the future, are central to politics, policies, the missions of NGOs and the motivation of the sectoral stakeholder platforms. Some policies have explicit desired outcome and in many cases stakeholders’ visions are implicit or even unknown. Before embarking on the Roadmapping exercise, the VOLANTE team identified the relevant stakeholder groups and consolidated visions.



Due to the multidisciplinary perspectives, students from a broad field of expertises were invited. 8 students from 5 countries attended the course.

Share this post