In Germany, landscape planning, based on the Federal Nature Conservation Act, is the planning instrument for nature conservation and landscape management as opposed to other planning instruments and administrative procedures (The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety 1998; Bfn 2002). It makes important contributions to the conservation of natural resources at all levels (local, district or entire regional state) and for full-coverage, sustainable conservation and long-term development of nature and landscapes in the built and non-built environment (see Fig. 3).
In the different steps of the planning process a lot of information are needed to analyze and evaluate the current state of nature and the landscape, the functional capacity of the natural environment, the scenic qualities of the landscape, the development potential and the existing and foreseeable problems and conflicts with other uses (e. g. agriculture, traffic, housing) (Riedel & Lange, 2001; Jessel & Tobias, 2002; BfN, 2002; von Haaren, 2004;. a. o.). Based on that information a guiding vision and a set of objectives and measures have to be developed together with all stakeholders. Scenarios and visualizations are helpful to explain the details and the timescale for implementation (Lange, 1994; Ervin & Hasbrouck, 2001; Lange, 2002; Appleton & Lovett, 2003; Bishop & Lange, 2005; Paar, 2006; Warren – Kretzschmar & Tiedtke, 2005; Sheppard et al. 2008; Schroth, 2010; Schwarz-v. Raumer, 2011). At the end of the planning process the implementation and review (sometimes updates) are the most important tasks (BfN 2002).