Whereas in traditional urban planning the spatial and programmatic starting points form the basis of the design, MTD landscape architects starts an urban design with an investigation into the landscape development history and circumstances of a place. This primarily concerns the cultural-historical, geomorphological, water management, soil-related and ecological qualities of the existing landscape.
The water management, soil and elevation form an important and structuring basis for the urban development plan. By reintroducing, preserving or reinforcing the natural hydrological system of retaining, storing and draining rainwater and using it as a structuring principle, an area is naturally zoned in areas to be developed intensively and more extensively. Intensive zones, which lend themselves to housing, any other urban programs and infrastructure, and more extensive zones, where drainage can be organized and there is room for the development of ecological qualities and recreational shared use.
The landscape principles form the basis for the spatial framework and the programmatic content
This means that the carrying capacity of the existing landscape is directly related to the main landscape structure. And is there a green-blue framework to be developed, within which new and contemporary forms of habitation, possible other urban programs and access and parking can be developed and integrated.
Such an approach leads to strategic and enabling plans rather than compositional plans. There is a focus on a pre-investment in the landscape framework, after which the filling in can follow gradually. This gives the plans a certain degree of flexibility; flexibility in pace, phasing of the content and flexibility in program. The time factor is used as an important planning factor.
From the research into the developmental history of an area, a new time layer is added and the continuity or memory of the place is restored. And not only in terms of spatial aspects, but also in terms of narrative; in short, with regard to the atmosphere of a place.