Landscape planning lacked an evidence-based method for the reflection of planning models on the imaginary level in order to present the image content and the relationships in the image as the basis for interpretation in a verifiable manner. The contribution is based on the thesis that the perceptual analysis according to Rudolf Arnheim can be translated into landscape planning.
The case study, here an illustration with two plan sketches for urban and landscape development, is described and interpreted with the Gestalt theoretical perceptual analysis according to the criteria theme, theses, principle sketches and composition lines, interpretation, conclusion and Gestalt theoretical results. The analysed planning sketches have a low “reality level” and are part of the imaginary level. The theory of science contained therein can be understood by Gestalt theory as elementary theory of design. In the sketches, the living spaces and economic areas of the city are divided into the elements ‘settlement’ and ‘landscape’ and thereby undergo a revaluation of their significance. The replacement of figure (city) and ground (landscape) can be interpreted in terms of gestalt theory as a change of theme in the sketches as the greatest possible structural exchange. The results of the analysis are processed as research theses in the contextualisation of landscape planning and thus examined scientifically on the basis of circumstantial evidence against the reality of the living environments of the urban dwellers. The contribution proves that the perceptual analysis according to R. Arnheim is a suitable method in landscape planning for describing and interpreting graphic representations of planning models. Interdisciplinary cooperation is a contribution to the holistic treatment of a topic, because structuralist landscape planning has structural similarities with Gestalt theory and is committed to the dialogical principle. As a theory of organisation (development), Gestalt theory derives principles, structures, their relationships and qualities and is therefore suitable as a meta-theory of landscape planning to characterise the values and ethical bases in planning. This applies to all areas of the field of consciousness in landscape planning.