What is a Landscape Architect?
A Landscape Architect is a suitably qualified person, who belongs to and is engaged with the profession of Landscape Architecture. On behalf of a client, the role of the Landscape Architect is to provide planning, design and management solutions for the outdoor environment – be it natural or man-made.
Offering specialist skills and knowledge in this field, Landscape Architects work on all manner of external spaces. A good Landscape Architect should have fundamental knowledge of design, construction, horticulture and basic environmental processes. In addition, a Landscape Architect often has an understanding of or even additional qualifications in many other related fields such Ecology, Planning, Urban Design, Heritage and CPTED.
What does a Landscape Architect do?
A Landscape Architect can provide creative planning and design solutions for a range of outdoor spaces. A Landscape Architect can also make a vital contribution to the quality of the built environment as a whole. Working in both Urban and Rural contexts, a Landscape Architect has the capacity to design and manage:
- The Public Domain: Streets, Squares, Plazas and Courtyards
- Public Open Space: Parks, Gardens, Sports Fields and Playgrounds
- Infrastructure: Roads, Highways, Dams and Rail Corridors
- Waterways & Foreshores: Coastal areas, Rivers and Seafront Developments
- Conservation Areas: State Forests, National Parks and Wetlands
- Commercial Developments: Offices, Business Parks, Mixed Use Developments, and Low, Medium or High Density Housing
- Cultural & Heritage Landscapes: Monuments, Memorials or places of Indigenous or European significance
- Residential Properties and Private Estates: Ranging from small, privately owned urban properties to large country dwellings, or homesteads
Depending on the scale of the project, a Landscape Architect will typically work in partnership with a larger team of consultants. Good collaboration ensures both good landscape and urban design outcomes are achieved. In the planning of towns and cities, collaboration is the new craftsmanship.
Why invest in Landscape?
Investment in good Landscape design can make sound economic sense. Evidence suggests that when good landscape design is central to the development process, developers can and do profit. Businesses and local communities can also reap the economic benefits of good landscape design.
Put simply, thoughtful design of the public realm will result in the creation of spaces where more people will want to live, work and visit more often. A vibrant public realm within towns and city centres will also give people a reason to stay – thus leading to benefits for local business, through increased footfall and passing trade.
What is a tree really worth? Areas with a healthy landscape component are undoubtedly more attractive to businesses and investors, and therefore more valuable as a whole. Independent studies conducted in different countries indicated that property prices on tree lined streets for example, compared to those without trees are up to 15% higher. Even prices of goods purchased in areas where greenery is present, can be up to 11% higher.
A landscape of high quality can also increase the saleability and rentability of both private housing and commercial property. Good Landscape Architects can reduce development costs through sensible site planning from the outset, and make intelligent use of existing features. Landscape Architects can also help smooth the planning process by forming trusting relationships between clients and authorities, and can help optimize the full development potential of any given location.
For Councils and Local governments, investment in Landscape and the public realm can also help reduce the financial burden on the public health system. Landscape Design for Health ongoing scientific research around the world is beginning to highlight some of the measurable benefits that the provision of quality landscape can provide.