Philosophy Statement


European Masters in Landscape Architecture – EMiLA - Karin Helms, ENSP (Versailles)

EMiLA is a project run by the five leading schools of Landscape Architecture (LA) in Europe:

EMiLA will take part in the locus of growth which creates jobs, via the Europe 2020 agenda, and in the EU targets for sustainable growth. This will be achieved by developing new trans-national EU-level topics, which are not yet addressed in Landscape schools/universities. This will contribute to gathering the existing fragmented regional knowledge and "Envisioning European landscapes."1 As a reflection of European identity and diversity, the landscape is our living natural and cultural heritage, whether ordinary or outstanding, urban or rural, on land or on water.

1 The European Landscape Convention (also known as the Florence Convention), promotes the protection, management and planning of European landscapes and organises European co-operation on landscape issues. It was adopted on 20 October 2000 in Florence (Italy) and came into force on 1 March 2004 (Council of Europe Treaty Series no. 176).



The global ecological, social and functional transformations of human settlements and landscapes call for enhanced integrative and trans-national approaches, as well as interdisciplinary or trans-sectoria approaches, to innovate for sustainable solutions. The integrative nature of LA places it at the forefront for holistically addressing major issues on the social and physical transformation of land, space and the environment through the Design Process. LA education, research and policy has reached a stage where further doctrinal development requires the injection of vision, resources and trans-national structural collaborations. In order to face this challenge, the educational system must adapt and supply an interdisciplinary and transnational approach. EMiLA will be a catalyst for students to benefit from a trans-sectorial education in an international environment, and develop different Design Processes and specific national knowledge. This will create a new generation of Landscape Architects who can innovate, develop new concepts, and be flexible.


EMiLA was founded to:

  • Be a hub for students, academics, researchers, stakeholders, the EU and regional policy makers to develop new curricula; and to allow knowledge exchange on human settlements and contemporary landscapes through a Design Process.
  • Identify and develop key EU landscape topics that are not currently clearly addressed in Higher Education, such as the impact of the new EU Common Agricultural Policy on landscape, as well as across-the-board Landscape topics. There will also be comparative reflections on scale, time and knowledge in territorial transformations. To fulfil this, students will study at three of the five partner schools, plus the summer-school with all partners. They will receive specific European-level education by e-learning, and develop their understanding of Europe as a landscape in evolution.
  • Have a learner-centred approach and a strong teacher-student relationship, as a students' and academics' Masters programme which promotes mobility.
  • Be sustainable and grow. Once consolidated, EMiLA will invite new schools to join the network.


The project aims to develop a new upgraded and blended curriculum which links the five leading EU schools of Landscape Architecture. This is the basis for the delivery of a Bologna MA in European Landscape Architecture and a joint Diploma 2.
EMiLA incorporates transnational interdisciplinary field Design and teachings at the European level. The curriculum integrates an Intensive Summerworkshop on European cultural landscape topics as well as a specific e-learning module on EU policies linked to Landscape production (e.g. food, energy etc.). Moreover, EMiLA will furnish further research possibilities to the partner schools, which will enhance the work on research/design at a European level.

2   The partners’ final goal is to award a joint diploma.  Initially, a Supplement will be attached to the national diploma, and eventually a common certificate on behalf of all the partners. 


EMiLA ENSP Versailles
Coordinateur: Karin Helms
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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.