Ecological Landscape Planning, with a Focus on the Coastal Zone

Canan Cengiz

Bartin University, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Landscape Architecture

Turkey

1. Introduction

How people utilize the land and their socio-economic activity taking place are the principal causes of the changes occurring in land cover, and thus, affecting greatly environment at a global level. However, the land use and management decisions taken often fail to consider this influence on ecology.

Human activity reflected particularly in urban and agricultural land use alters the capacity of the Earth, through its impacts on the physical material and ecological systems. This in turn adversely influences the basic resources that humans need and together with the gradual population growth lead to significant changes in land use (Dale et al., 2001). Despite this significance, however, land use decisions often neglect these impacts. Land use and land management should seek to establish a balance between different and often-conflicting interests regarding the use of the land, such as resource extraction, agriculture, industry, urban development, and complex ecological systems (ESA Committee on Land Use, 2000).

As some species and resources need structural and functional integrity of landscapes, landscape conservation approaches should be present in decision-making processes. Moreover, the multi-faceted characteristics of environmental problems necessitate the incorporation of ecological, socio-cultural and economic approaches in planning and the cooperation of individuals from different disciplines. Ecological landscape plans present a significant opportunity for implementing landscape conservation approaches and for contributing to the sustainability of landscapes. Ecological landscape planning has five stages: division into landscapes, inventory of nature conservation value and socio-cultural factors, landscape analysis, landscape plan, regeneration of biotopes (SCA Skog, 2011). The following section presents an overview of landscape ecology and details its principles and their use in landscape planning. The third section discusses the integration of ecological planning approaches in landscape planning, the fourth section coastal zone planning.