Improving the Delivery of the Landscape Scale in Policy and practice: using an Applied Delphi Framework

Durrant, Louis J. (2022) Improving the Delivery of the Landscape Scale in Policy and practice: using an Applied Delphi Framework. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Thesis FINAL VERSION L.J.Durrant 03-01-22.pdf - Published Version

Download (10MB)


The concept of landscape scale exists as an interdisciplinary meeting place outside of traditionally defined disciplines; a potential place in which experts across different disciplinary lenses can develop truly holistic solutions that operate across different spatial and sectoral scales simultaneously. The term has seen a dramatic uptake in use as part of a new vocabulary across multiple disciplines. Still, surprisingly, there is no widely accepted definition of the term and this lack of clarity, combined with increased uptake, has produced various subtle iterations of the concept. In turn this has resulted in cherry-picking for applications and piecemeal approaches that are still referred to as 'landscape scale' despite not fully engaging with all aspects of the concept. Therefore, the research problem stems from the underlying power of the concept to facilitate transdisciplinary holistic solutions falling foul of the same challenges it is supposed to overcome. To address this an expert-led approach in the form of a four-round adapted Delphi Technique was employed to explore, prioritise, develop, and test a landscape scale framework through a series of deliberative rounds. Sixteen interdisciplinary international and national experts were recruited to participate in a prolonged Delphi technique and formed the expert-led panel.

The research project achieved its aim by co-producing a Landscape Scale Framework that outlined five conceptual and operational tools pinpointed by the experts to provide an accessible and consistent framework to establish what is meant by landscape scale. This consists of a definition of landscape scale and its associated terms, the critical ingredients of landscape scale working, and the principles of landscape scale working, it also includes the operational steps and guidance for delivering these approaches and, finally, a proposed template for collecting landscape case studies to begin the process of building a coherent database to share knowledge.

In conjunction with the Landscape Scale Framework, the thesis sheds light upon the variety of limitations and barriers that practitioners delivering landscape scale approaches face daily bringing forward key governance shortfalls around project longevity, information sharing, and the availability of resources. The thesis, in turn, unpacks these issues within a wider research context and attempts to outline potential research and policy recommendations going forward to enhance holistic decision making and, further mainstream landscape scale concepts.

It is hoped the Landscape Scale Framework, co-produced using the expert-led Delphi technique, can aid in the greater operationalisation of landscape scale approaches, facilitating truly holistic and multidisciplinary solutions to address the complex ‘wicked’ problems we face as a civilisation and also draw some light on the barriers and opportunities of such approaches.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
14 January 2022Completed
Subjects: CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-03 - landscape design
CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-04 - planning (urban, rural and regional)
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 12:35
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 12:35

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...