Review of an Open Access Journal: Landscape and Urban Planning

The purpose of this review is to provide information about a highly respected peer-reviewed journal in my field, Landscape and Urban Planning. To understand Landscape and Urban Planning, I will address a few general questions to provide a background and profile of the publication.

Where is the journal from? 

Co-Editors-in-Chief J.I. Nassauer from the School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Wei-Ning Xiang from the Center for Ecological Wisdom and Practice Research, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai. There is also a group of Associate Editors who review the literature ranging from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, to Auburn University in Alabama, USA to the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Development in Zurich, Switzerland.

Landscape and Urban Planning was formerly known as Landscape Planning after it incorporated Urban Ecology. The journal is produced by a data and information company called Elsevier, a 130-year old international business that supports the advancement of science and technology. From their About page:

“Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey — and publishes over 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.” https://www.elsevier.com/about

 

A good place to start with understanding what a journal is about is to discover its Editor(s) in Chief and it’s history. There are more questions needed to talk about the journal’s purpose, goals, and scope, however, so we keep digging.

From Landscape and Urban Planning’s Aims & Scope:

“Landscape and Urban Planning is an international journal aimed at advancing conceptual, scientific, and applied understandings of landscape in order to promote sustainable solutions for landscape change. Landscapes are visible and integrative social-ecological systems with variable spatial and temporal dimensions. They have expressive aesthetic, natural, and cultural qualities that are perceived and valued by people in multiple ways and invite actions resulting in landscape change. Landscapes are increasingly urban in nature and ecologically and culturally sensitive to changes at local through global scales. Multiple disciplines and perspectives are required to understand landscapes and align social and ecological values to ensure the sustainability of landscapes. The journal is based on the premise that landscape science linked to planning and design can provide mutually supportive outcomes for people and nature.

Landscape science brings landscape ecology and urban ecology together with other disciplines and cross-disciplinary fields to identify patterns and understand social-ecological processes influencing landscape change. Landscape planning brings landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, landscape and ecological engineering, and other practice-oriented fields to bear in processes for identifying problems and analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating desirable alternatives for landscape change. Landscape design brings plans, designs, management prescriptions, policies and other activities and form-giving products to bear in effecting landscape change. The implementation of landscape planning and design also generates new patterns of evidence and hypotheses for further research, providing an integral link with landscape science and encouraging transdisciplinary collaborations to build robust knowledge and problem solving capacity.”  https://www.journals.elsevier.com/landscape-and-urban-planning

The purpose, goals and scope can be summarized by these three excerpts: 

“..an international journal aimed at advancing conceptual, scientific, and applied understandings of landscape in order to promote sustainable solutions for landscape change.”

“Landscape science brings landscape ecology and urban ecology together with other disciplines and cross-disciplinary fields to identify patterns and understand social-ecological processes influencing landscape change.”

and

“encouraging transdisciplinary collaborations to build robust knowledge and problem solving capacity.”

The last part of the profile is to ask how the journal addresses and explain open access? We also want to know how the journal is positioned in the open access movement?

We see from the Aims & Scope that Landscape and Urban Planning wants to facilitate open access. It does this through the visible production and sharing of knowledge internationally. The goal of the journal is to appeal to a readership and aid in the research of interdisciplinary scientists and practitioners who are all seeking to improve the quality of the knowledge. The descriptions of the journal do not elaborate or address Open Access specifically, but it is clear that they are supportive of the movement as they are open access and their parent company, Elsevier, is currently supporting, publishing, and producing 16% of the world’s literature and research.

Landscape and Urban Planning gets a positive review for their visibility, accessibility, and appeal to a diverse international readership.

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