Energy Landscapes: Participation
Annual conference of the German-language Landscape Research Network, 2015
Over 16-18 September 2015 in Dresden, Germany, the Landscape Research Group convened a European conference entitled “Energy Landscapes: Perception, Planning, Participation and Power.”
The conference was co-organised by the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), with support from Technische Universität Dresden, IRS (Leibniz), COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), and the German-language Landscape Research Network, funded by LRG.
Key questions raised by the conference were:
- Perception – How is the character, perception, assessment and social construction of landscapes influenced by present and past uses of energy?
- Planning – Which types of landscape-related planning and governance regimes exist and how are they linked to landscape planning, spatial planning and energy policy?
- Participation – In the face of energy transitions, to what extent are landscape policies inclusive and participatory? Which actors are involved and who is constituted as an actor in this regard?
- Power – Which power relations shape the interplay of energies and landscapes? How can the workings of power be conceptualised and critically reflected?
Keynote speaker 3: Professor Maarten Wolsink
“Participation as co-production“
Currently Germany is struggling with finding a path towards a new energy system. Interesting is that, globally, with Denmark it is the only country really trying to create a ‘turn’ (Wende) in its energy system.
Many countries have announced an “energy transition”, suggesting a similar ‘turn’, but ignoring or neglecting the institutional changes needed for such a transition. For example, this term was coined in the Netherlands as “transition management” (Rotmans et al, 2001), but soon this idea was hijacked by policy and adapted to fit existing institutional frames.
One of the first things done was the introduction of a ‘transition manager’. In the talk I will elaborate on the idea that innovation can be ‘managed’ this way, particularly in the centralized and hierarchical ways most governments operate in energy policies.