From 12 to 15 September 2017 the Landscape research unit of the department of Geography of Ghent University and IALE-Europe have organised the IALE 2017 European congress 'From pattern and process to people and action' in Ghent. The congress theme reflected†that landscape ecology is a†meeting†point where pattern and process meet people and action. It is seen as a way of thinking when dealing with European landscapes. We wanted to emphasise the integration of pattern and process as a biophysical component of landscape ecology with people and action and thus including social and cultural approaches in landscape ecology research. This requires a true†interaction†of natural and social sciences, and of science, policy and practice. Therefore, the congress was a good opportunity to†reflect†with the 300 participants within the 27 different symposia on the state of the art of landscape ecology today and on what the future directions of landscape ecology are as a social relevant approach for science, policy and practice.