How to advocate for landscape architecture

Landscape Architecture Month is a celebration of landscape architecture, and there are simple ways that landscape architects can advocate for landscape architecture that can make a difference.

Advocate

As part of the profession, we often leave it up to the landscape organisations to advocate on our behalf to governments, institutions and other decision-making organisations that often impact our profession. Whether it be lawmakers trying to deregulate our profession or the local government seemingly creating public space projects with little or no input from landscape architects, simply emailing and engaging with your government representatives at varying levels can raise the profession’s profile. As a landscape architect, you will often see issues with future projects or regulation within your community, city and country. It doesn’t take long to write a short email providing feedback or commentary on the issue(s) impacting your community or city. It is a simple step, and it may take more steps to get a better outcome, but it will have a greater impact than you realise in the long run.

Participate

There are many publications, organisations, education institutions, and others that often call out for speakers, projects, surveys, editorials, and other content. This is your opportunity to go out and participate as a landscape architect in the broader community beyond the landscape architecture profession. It is easy and more comfortable to participate only in the landscape architecture profession; however, it is often “preaching to the converted”. Taking the opportunity to participate with other professionals and people in the community allows you to learn about other people and an opportunity to educate others about the landscape architecture profession.

Communicate

When you communicate as a landscape architect, it is best to cater the message to your audience. Many people do not have the knowledge or understanding of landscape architecture. Keeping the message simple and not using jargon or industry phrases, or acronyms makes it easier for people to understand your message.

Educate

Taking the opportunity to educate people about the profession, whether they are students or professionals or your local community, is a key way to inform people about what we do, beyond the “green stuff” or “gardening”. Whether you are simply asking a question at a conference or presenting to your community, it is important to take every opportunity to educate the people in the audience about the landscape architecture profession, our skills, knowledge, and most of all, the value that we bring.

Celebrate

We need to celebrate every piece of research, conceptual design, initiative and built projects that the profession creates. We don’t celebrate the profession often enough beyond well publicised (in mainstream media) projects and awards. We as a profession need to celebrate all that we do. Whether it is a new planting of street trees, installing new furniture in a park, a design report or a newly completed foreshore, we need to celebrate it. Celebrating each of these events (whether it is your work or others) allows people to understand the profession’s impact on their daily lives. Please celebrate everything you do as a landscape architect, and whether it’s on social media, in your emails, telling your friends and family at a bbq or dinner, I implore you to celebrate the profession whenever and wherever you can.


How to advocate for landscape architecture was written by Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of WLA.
He is also a registered Landscape Architect with over 20 years of experience. 

Email [email protected] if you would like to discuss or learn more about what you can do.

How to advocate for landscape architecture – Cover Image Credits:
Top (Left to Right)
(L) 823 Congress Avenue – Landscape Architect: dwg. | Credit: Jason Radcliff; Adam Barbe
(M) Climate Pulse – Emancipation Park, Houston TX – Landscape Architect: Falon Land Studio Image Credit: Peter Molick, Photographer
(R) North Carolina Museum of Art -Landscape Architect | Civitas | Image Credit: mmcite
Bottom (Left to Right)
(L) Community Consultation for Shanghai Laneways – Landscape Architect: Gossamer | Image Credit: Gossamer
(M) 40 Oaks Parkette – Landscape Architect: Scott Torrance Landscape Architecture | Image Credit: Arnaud Marthouret, Revelateur Studio
(R) Turramurra Memorial Park Recreation Precinct – Landscape Architect: Corkery Consulting | Image Credit: Corkery Consulting