24 April 2014

New Professor of Plants and Planting Design

GREEN spaces

Anders Busse Nielsen has just been appointed as the Professor of Plants and Planting Design at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen. The new professorship will be focusing on the role of plants in landscape ar-chitecture, for the benefit of research, practitioners and students.

Anders Busse

Anders Busse. Foto: Inger Ulrich

The societal focus on ecosystem services and sustainable urban development has made urban vegetation and green spaces come to the fore as a necessity rather than a luxury. Whilst this has boosted the recognition of landscape architect’s skilled and creative use of plants, it parallel challenges planting design and management practices. The newly appointed professor is to address this development.

Anders Busse Nielsen's remit therefore ranges from individual plant species, via plant composition to the overall green infrastructure.  One of his ambitions is to raise awareness of dynamic planting design: "We have got used to green spaces having to look "completed" straightaway, including fully grown plantings. But increasingly planting design needs to be perceived as a continuous process and as a crucial part of sound, sustainable management where qualities in every phase of development are pursued," explains Anders Busse Nielsen.

The new professor would also like to create a broader perspective on urban woodlands and afforestation as a tool in urban development.  ”Accepting further urban growth, woodlands can help articulate and structure fragmented urban fringe landscapes and act as hub for green infrastructures across urban and peri-urban areas to be enjoyed by people and wildlife. This demands interdisciplinary approaches that the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management is well placed to support because we are engaged with forestry, landscape architecture, planning and natural resource management."

Anders Busse Nielsen is looking forward to collaborate with the Danish sector.  ”Translating research into practice and creating innovation in the use of plants has always been high on my agenda. Landscape laboratories play an important part here because they combine full-scale research, outdoor teaching and demonstration," says Anders Busse Nielsen. For some years he has been working with researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences with the landscape laboratories in Holstebro and in Alnarp near Malmø. He is currently engaged in the establishment of new laboratories in Aarhus and near Stavanger.

Anders Busse Nielsen (37) graduated as a landscape architect and the focus of his PhD was close-to-nature forest management.  For the past six years, he has worked as a researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp, leading the ’Urban Vegetation’ research group.  Before that, he was employed at Forest & Landscape Denmark where his field of research was in urban woodlands and green areas.

Written by Tilde Tvedt, Communication Officer, tit@ign.ku.dk