UrbANNAtur: Teaching through research, practice, and international cooperation

Katarína Kristiánová, Katarína Gécová, Eva Putrová


Mutual relation among teaching, research and practice bring the benefits that are just as useful for students as for teachers. Benefits of linking teaching, research and practice are generally recognized and supported by education policies and programmes at the national and international levels. The international project  of urbANNAtur – the development of recreational activities in the natural conservation areas, meant a significant benefit for the innovation by synergic junction of teaching, research, and practice on an international level in the field of landscape architecture at the Faculty of Architecture of Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava and it meant a significant contribution to the development of research in the field of landscape architecture – for the development of the research issues of recreational activities in the natural conservation areas. The solution of the project brought interesting results in the form of student works. Views of young people and their creativity in the form of various solutions of landscape architectural concepts of suburban areas have created a basis for solutions in practice and have verified the urbANNAtur strategy for the development of recreational activities in the natural conservation areas.

The project of urbANNAtur, which started as a collaboration of the Department of the City Council of Vienna 49 and Urban Forests in Bratislava, answers the questions of the relationship between anthropogenic factors and nature. The research compiled by the team of the Institute of Landscape and Garden Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava in cooperation with the professional staff of the project partners belonged to the major components of the project. The main idea of the project urbANNAtur was to explore the design possibilities of attractive recreational areas in the growing urban areas and, at the same time, to help to increase the protection of significant natural areas in the vicinity of towns. The territory of Vienna and Bratislava were selected as  case studies. In Vienna, the Esslinger Furt site bordering the area of Lobau was chosen, and in Bratislava, the sites of former ammunition storage area in the forest near Krasňany, next was the old free time area Pri Horárni, and at the Kamzík area it was the central recreational part.

On the basis of the process of urbANNAturteaching through research, practice, and international cooperation, various strategic principles have been derived, which can be used individually or collectively, not only for the solved sites, but also in other similar situations, where there is a need to address aspects of the mutual compatibility of the conservation of nature and recreation functions of peri-urban areas. The set of arguments helps professionals, decision makers and other stakeholders in their activities aimed at the preservation of natural areas and creation of new recreational areas within the meaning of the principle that protected areas as well as outlying territories are hiding power and great potential, while buffer zones can help preserve their values.

Keywords: research in landscape architecture, teaching by research, recreation planning, research by design