Over the past year, we have published a wide variety of projects and articles that showcase the breadth of design talent and skills of the landscape architecture profession. I have selected the following posts based on what resonated with me during the year.
The landscape architecture profession owes a great deal to Singapore and the various number of guidelines, information, case studies that are generated by the island country. These Design Guidelines again showcase the understanding of using science and design together to provide guidelines for creating contemplative landscapes.
In a time when cities are realising that they have spent the last decade or more building infill housing and increasing density to realise that there is not enough green space, it is refreshing to see that London has reclaimed some road space to create a park. Also not just a park with trees and lawn, but a park that is biodiverse and creates space for various groups of people to enjoy the outdoors.
A study of looking back at a past project and asking the question, “how would we design it today?”. I think this is an example of the quickest way to learn to create more sustainable landscapes for the future is to look at our past. Boffa Miskell took the time to review a past project and determine how they would design it today to learn from their past (good or bad).
Moving from learning from the past (see previous paragraphs) to looking to the future. ASPECT Studios looked toward the future and what Perth, Australia could look like if they took an ambitious look at “complex future defined by a changing climate“. I think that there needs to be more propositions created about possible city futures, as cities, government, and design professionals often get stuck in the day to day of operating or practicing. I look forward to hopefully seeing more propositions in 2024.
A post was selected as it shows the outcome of creating parks with a community focus that cater to local communities whilst enhancing the environment, especially biodiversity. SLA designed for six parks that have their own distinct identities and characteristics devised from the local community and context.
I selected this project not only due to it winning a 2023 WLA Professional Award but also because it provides an example of how a small space can be converted into a green, biodiverse space that punches beyond its impact as a small space whilst also considering history, site constraints, and maintenance.
Mayfield Park is a green space in Manchester, UK that reflects and honours its industrial past through retaining elements, reusing materials, and utilising the water sources on site whilst also creating a biodiverse landscape.
I selected this article from the few I wrote this year as it is a snapshot of what Artificial Intelligence is currently capable of when used for landscape representation. Artificial Intelligence represents the past and the current but also a promise of the future.
Writing summary pieces is an excellent opportunity to review the past year to understand what we created and enjoyed, and it is also time to reflect on the future. I hope that you have enjoyed all of what we have published in 2023. I encourage everyone to submit their projects and articles for publication, but also feel free to send me ideas for WLA and the landscape architecture profession. I always enjoy the conversations and discourse about landscape architecture. All the best for 2024.
Article by Damian Holmes, Founder & Editor of World Landscape Architecture.