Will there be a shortage of landscape architects after the Crisis is over?

Over the past two years with the Global Financial Crisis hit nearly every nation across the globe and as a result landscape architects where laid off in large numbers. This was hardest felt in the USA due to lack of work and collapse of the home building market.

Governments from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China and many other countries kick-started their economies with Financial Stimulus packages which has given some firms more work but has created just enough work to sustain the staff they had kept on.

At World Landscape Architect, however I have noticed in recent weeks that results for tenders and competitions seems to appear on the web more and more frequently.

Will there be a shortage of landscape architect with economies picking up and more work coming into companies? Well if we go back to late 1990’s to mid 2000’s there were many reports of shortages of experience staff at landscape architecture firms in UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, North East Africa and some parts of Asia which was driving up salaries and as a recent article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource raised the issue that CABE has fears that a shortage will occur again….

Like planning, landscape architecture has never really recovered from the 1990s recession. People left the profession or chose not to enter it, leaving a gap in experience. CABE fears a repeat in this recession and say a minimum of 550 new entrants a year are needed on landscape courses.
[SOURCE: Planning Resource]

Will there be a shortage remains to be seen but the outlook looks good for landscape architects currently unemployed with more work and projects appearing daily and the growth in sustainable design and trend of developments and cities incorporating ratings systems such as LEED ND and Sustainable Sites. Also there is a large amount of work that will be generated with the explosion on new cities in Asia and North Africa and the renewal of many towns and cities throughout the UK and USA. Therefore, if your unemployed there is hope yet and if your employed help push your local Universities and Professional Institutions to keep promoting the profession even more so during the current times of stagnant or slight growth to encourage more students to go into the profession and encourage those thinking of leaving to rethink their long term careers.

By Damian Holmes

SIDENOTE: The article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource titled ‘Greening our cities is a great article that looks at the role of landscape architects, our strengths and weaknesses.

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Elkus/Manfredi vs AECOM/EDAW for Daytona redevelopment plans

The city of Daytona Beach is trying to decide between Elkus/Manfredi and AECOM/EDAW for the opportunity to develop the tourist area around the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. The possible redevelopment plans could hit $200 million.

Originally, the city commissioner where talking to three teams including one lead by Morris Architects who was knocked out early (they had the highest bidding price). The Commissioners quizzed the teams over previous work and also on the process they would undertake for the project including community consultation.

The City is now looking at the two proposals from Elkus/Manfredi and AECOM/EDAW and will make a decision soon.

Read the full article at the [SOURCE: Daytona Beach News Journal – 2 firms tied for redesign of Daytona tourist area]

Short list announced for Lansdowne Park competition *UPDATE*

The City of Ottawa released the names of the 5 firms that have been short listed from the 21 submissions received to  compete for the design of Lansdowne Park’s open space.

The short listed firms are

  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates – Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • The SWA Group – Sausalito, California
    Partnered with: Corush Sunderland Wright Ltd. (Ottawa), The ARCOP Group, J.L. Richards & Associates (Ottawa), WESA (Ottawa), BuildGreen Solutions, CMS Collaboratie Inc., Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants Ltd. (PERC), PHA Lighting Design, Ned Kahn
  • West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture – Toronto, Ontario
    Partnered with: Robertson Martin Architects Inc., The Municipal Infrastructure Group (TMIG), Halsall Associates (Ottawa office)
  • Williams, Asselin, Ackaoui & Associates Inc. (WAA) – Montreal, Quebec
    Partnered with: Éclairage Public Inc., Michel Dallaire Design Industriel Inc., Les Architectes FABG, Vinci Consultants, Linda Covit

With this selection, the work of the design firms will begin promptly with the gathering of information and ideas for the new open space. On Wednesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 25, the selected design firms will be meeting with the City, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Parks Canada Agency in a design symposium. Community groups and citizens will be able to learn about the design teams’ background and past projects, and provide comments about what they think should be built in the open space.

For more information go to the Lansdowne Park’s open space website.

[SOURCE: City of Ottawa]

RELATED STORY: Ottawa Citizen – Five firms compete for Lansdowne redesign


Joanne Chianello of the Ottawa Citizen wrote a follow up piece about the Lansdowne Park Competition reporting on the initial meeting between the City, NCC and the design teams.

Competitors where given some advice and on the designs for the site including

……. more than one presenter that proposals needed to be environmentally sustainable, “preserve the historic integrity” of the site (including the Aberdeen pavilion), with an emphasis on “soft over hard landscape.”

Later in the day the design teams presented their previous work to the City and NCC.

Read the full article at the [SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen – Designers told to ensure Lansdowne’s uniqueness]

Johnson Pilton Walker & PWP selected for Barangaroo

Premier Kristina Keneally and Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, yesterday formally signed an authorisation for the $6 billion contract with Lend Lease for commercial development of Barangaroo.

At the same time as signing the contract Planning Minister Mr Kelly said that following an evaluation, Johnson Pilton Walker (Sydney based), in association with Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture (California, USA) , have been selected to work with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to design the new Headland Park and other public spaces.

This highly regarded team will design key open space features for the waterfront commercial, residential and leisure precinct, including the creation of the harbourside park and restoration of the entire harbour headland to a more natural shape. “We are determined to create a bold and inspiring precinct, which is diverse, dynamic and inclusive………..The Headland Park will include waterfront promenades, an open-air amphitheatre, area and places to picnic. It will be built to maximise its incredible location.” Mr Kelly said.

Barangaroo (previously known as East Darling Harbour) is the name given to the 22-hectare area  in Sydney that is planned to become a key commercial, residential and recreation precinct with over 22,000 workers and residents, and 33,000 visitors a day – a total of 12 million visitors a year.

[SOURCE: Barangaroo Delivery Authority] VIA Australian Design Review

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Cracknell appointed to SmartCity Malta

Cracknell Landscape Architects based in the UAE, UK and Oman have been appointed the landscape architects for SmartCity Malta – ‘a premier ICT and media park, showcasing Malta to the world as the region’s new destination for high-tech industries…..With the Government of Malta as a partner, local, regional and international companies can be assured of the country’s long-term commitment to knowledge-based opportunities.‘.

Cracknell’s scope of work extends from the strategic and master plan level through to the detailed design and construction. Key landscape elements of SmartCity Malta include the entry gate and Main Boulevard, urban ring road, coastal promenade, lagoon, and cascading terraces. The streetscape and lighting scheme will further set the ambiance and enhance the built environment.

Read more at the [SOURCE: Malta Independent Online – SmartCity Malta appoints landscape architects]

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Safe Trestles – Design Competition

Architecture for Humanity in partnership with San Onofre Foundation and The Surfrider Foundation are staging an open design competition. This is a two-phase open competition to generate visionary ideas for a safe trail and railroad crossing that provides access Lower Trestles. After the eight-week Phase 1 period, 4-5 finalists will be selected to develop their designs in Phase 2 with a $2000+ stipend each.

Access to Trestles, one of North America’s most celebrated waves, is under threat due to safety and environmental concerns. Currently, over 100,000 people each year follow informal trails through wetlands and over active train tracks to gain access to the surf breaks at Trestles. These impromptu manmade paths present a safety hazard with passing trains and threaten the fragile ecosystem of Trestles.

In response, a coalition of concerned groups organized by the volunteer non-profit organization Architecture for Humanity, are launching “Safe Trestles,” an open-to-all, two-stage design competition to create a safe pathway to serve surfers, the local coastal community and day visitors to San Onofre State Beach.

Registration Deadline: March 17, 2010
Submission Deadline: April 17, 2010
Entry Fee: $20 USD
Event sponsored by Nike 6.0

Registration and Entry through the Open Architecture Network

For more information about the competition go to the Open Architecture Network competition website

WORLD LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT is not involved with organisation, registration, entries or judging of this competition for all correspondence and information please contact the competition website Open Architecture Network

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Scotland releases simplified Planning Policy

The Scottish Government recently launched a simplified planning document which replaces 17 separate planning policies. The new document sets out planning policy on topics such as housing, wind farms, flooding and the natural and built environment.

Also published today is a circular updating guidance on the criteria and processes when developers are required to make a contribution to the provision of local infrastructure, where a development would create additional infrastructure demands.

Go here to download the new planning policy (PDF)

Go here to download the circular (PDF)

[SOURCE: Scottish Government]

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