Reconfiguring Welfare Landscapes (Welland)

Landscape as common ground is associated with
wealth and well-being.

Yet, how can we re-imagine the future of open spaces for ’welfare’ in the Danish post-war social housing estates without knowing their outset and their current day appreciations, uses and apperances? What kind of values may we associate with these vast open spaces being the everyday environment of more than 20% of the Danish population living here?

Bellahøj (1951-1957) forms together with Albertslund South (1963-1968) and Farum Midtpunkt (1970-1974) the three main Welland case studies.
Bellahøj (1951-1957) shown at the image (Photo Kristen van Haeren) forms together with Albertslund South (1963-1968) and Farum Midtpunkt (1970-1974) the three main Welland case studies.

Welland sets out to prototype a methodology that can help us better understand the spatial qualities of what we label ‘welfare landscapes’. The project is structured in accordance with the Lefebrian triad understanding of space:

  • Subproject 1: Materialising Welfare (Associate Professor Anne Tietjen with PhD fellow Asbjørn Jessen)

  • Subproject 2: Practicing Welfare Landscapes (Associate Professor Svava Riesto with PhD fellow Lærke Sophie Keil)

  • Subproject 3: Welfare Imagined (Associate Professor Henriette Steiner with PhD fellow Kristen van Haeren)

they are followed by a fourth subproject, Ariadne, weaving the parts together (Professor Ellen Braae et al.).

Welland is carrying out interdisciplinary and innovative research bridging design and humanities. It exchanges landscape architecture, urban design, cultural studies and architectural philosophy and make use of a wide set of research methodologies also deploying creative practices as design and exhibitions as knowledge exchange and production means.

  • Activities

  • Participants

  • Network

The aims and perspectives as well as the ongoing outcomes of the welland-research project are communicated, disseminated and taught in multiple contexts. These various activities take on many forms, as talks, workshops, exhibition, teaching, dialogue and as more traditional as peer to peer dissemination:

Upcoming activities

  • 2018-19 The Welland team prepares a special issue of Landscape Research entitled Welfare Landscapes of Social Housing, with contributions from the project team and international scholars. Expected publication 2019
  • 2018 9.-10. April. Seminar by the Nordic Network for Architecture and Welfare at the University of Copenhagen. Follow updates here or contact Ellen Braae


  • 2018 Ellen Braae presents Welfare Landscapes at the Scandinavian Affordable Housing Futures, CAFX Copenhagen Architecture Festival Copenhagen 2018
  • 2018 Anne Tietjen keynote Welfare Landscapes Revisited at UNISCAPE conference Healthy Landscapes in Bologna.
  • 2018 Svava Riesto presents Welfare Landscapes as (un)sustainable heritage at the Association for Critical Heritage Studies conference Heritage Across Borders in Hangzhou
  • 2018 Ellen Braae and Svava Riesto present Reconfiguring Welfare Landscapes at the Nordic Network for Architecture and Welfare conference Architecture, Welfare and the Recent Past, Oslo School of Architecture and Oslo University
  • 2018 Ellen Braae presents Reconfiguring Welfare Landscapes at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences research seminar on Welfare & Landscapes.
  • 2018 Ellen Braae and Svava Riesto present Reconfiguring Welfare Landscape at the seminar Researching Mass Housing at the University of Copenhagen
  • 2018 Lærke Keil presents The Element of Welfare Landscapes at the European Network for Architecture History conference The Tools of the Architect in Delft
  • 2018 Svava Riesto and Tom Avermaete present papers on biographical approaches to welfare landscape research at the Re:Scape Colloquium Constructing Biographies of Welfare Landscapes
  • 2017 Ellen Braae, Henriette Steiner, Anne Tietjen, Svava Riesto, Lærke Keil and Asbjørn Jessen present papers from the project at Landscape Futures UNISCAPE conference, Copenhagen.
  • 2017 Ellen Braae presents Welfare Landscapes at the seminar The Housing Question, Making Effect FORMAS conference, Stockholm.
  • 2017 Anne Tietjen, Henriette Steiner, Svava Riesto and Ellen Braae presents Welfare Landscapes (in the making) at TU Delft
  • 2016 Ellen Braae and Henriette Steiner give final comments and conclusion to seminar at Harvard University of Landscape and Building organised by Jeanne Haffner


  • 2018 Research Seminar on Mass Housing, University of Copenhagen to discuss research strategies with Danish and international experts. Organised by Svava Riesto.
  • 2018 Ellen Braae presents at the Welfare & Landscape. Research Seminar at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ultuna co-organized by the University of Copenhagen.
  • 2018 Re:Scape seminar at VU Amsterdam themed Constructing Biographies of Welfare Landscapes. Organised by Linde Egberts, Mara de Groot, Svava Riesto and Tom Avermaete.
  • 2018 Advisory board meeting 2 “Current Futures”: presentation and discussion of findings, Copenhagen
  • 2018 Session Public Landscapes of the Postwar City at the Association for Critical Heritage Studies conference Heritage Across Borders in Hangzhou. Organised by Svava Riesto together with Catharina Nolin.
  • 2017 Advisory board meeting 1 “Present of the past”: excursion, show of material Copenhagen, discussion of research topics


  • Preparing special volume of Landscape Research
  • 2017, Ellen Braae: Welfare Landscape and Communities. in K Lotz, D Simpson, KM Raahauge, K Vindum, MJ Jensen & JR Bendsen (ed.), Forming Welfare.The Danish Architecture Press, p. 34-49.


  • 2018-2018: 45 international and Danish MSc students at The Urbanism Studio course explores the 1970 housing area, Folehaven, aiming for an acknowledging approach. Teachers: Ellen Braae, SLETH office (Lars Jensen and Jeppe Bonne Olsen), Josh Reed and Peng Ding.
  • 2018: 55 international and Danish students study the Master level course Affordable Housing Landscapes between home and common (MSc Theories and Methods in Landscape Architecture,15 ects) 2018. The course studies Danish social housing estates from the 1960s and 1970s and contemporary social housing, in which landscape plays significant roles. By discussing the key challenges for affordable housing landscapes in the present and by in-depth studies of the characteristics and capacities of specific housing landscapes, the course discusses the role of landscapes in housing estates and in cities, in  a past, present and future perspective. Teachers: Svava Riesto, Ellen Braae, Kristen van Haaren, Lærke Keil.
  • 2018 Students with a particular interest in Welfare Landscapes begin their work on master thesis projects on Welfare Landscapes supervised by Ellen Braae and Svava Riesto and carried out in contact with the research project.
  • 2018: First year students of landscape architecture explore photography on recent housing estates in Greater Copenhagen (BSc Plan and Design 15 Ects) with Ellen Braae.
  • 2017-2018 Erasmus + teacher exchange with the Technical University Delft. The master course on Methods and Analysis studies Dutch and Danish welfare landscapes from the 1960s and 1970s with fieldwork and workshops in Copenhagen. Lærke Keil and Svava Riesto are guest teachers at the course in Delft. In collaboration with Willemijn Wilms Floet and Hans Terdes, TU Delft.

Senior researchers

PhD fellows

Advisory Board members