Energy Landscapes: Power

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?

Read more about the conference here.


Keynote speaker 4: Professor Don Mitchell


Landscape: Power Materialized

This talk will focus on how the geographical landscape is a materialization of – and therefore the basis for the continued exercise of – power. 

Drawing on examples of alternative energy landscapes in Gotland Sweden, sprawling suburban landscapes in Northern California, and the struggled-over landscape of the US-Mexico border, I will explore what it means to understand landscape as a materialization of (and basis for) power and the implications of that for the development of more just energy, residential, and labour landscapes, while showing how energy, labour, and home-life are always linked. 

Landscapes are powerful, I will argue, precisely because they create the conditions of possibility for (or against) justice, whether justice is understood in a redistributive or substantive sense.

Landscape: Power Materialized

Landscape: Power Materialized

Slides accompanying Don Mitchell's presentation.



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