REL22 is a summer school program launched by the Institute of Landscape Architecture of RWTH Aachen University together with the Master’s Programme in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Heritage of Politecnico di Milano and the Master’s Programme in Landscape Architecture of TU Delft.
The summer school will engage participants in an international, multidisciplinary setting with a specific focus on the structural change taking place in the Rhenish District, the largest open-cast lignite mining area in Europe, located in the German region of North Rhine Westphalia. The aim is to formulate useful and stimulating visions that can inspire local stakeholders involved in the landscape transformation of the District, in particular around the Hambach open pit mine.
Three artificial lakes are to be created following the end of open-cast mining operations. Studies for using both solar and wind energy and the gigantic water volume of the lake as an electricity storage facility have been carried out. In addition to the technical and economic challenges that the construction of such facilities presents, the question of how to design the infrastructure within the landscape remains unresolved. Beyond energy alone, a shift in thinking from monofunctional visions of landscape to multifunctional ones is required.
The challenge that the international group of students will face during the REL22 design workshop will be to reinvent energy landscapes that combine in a “harmonious way” energy production, new settlements and traditional and innovative agricultural uses with the production of ecosystem services.