Landscape Architects are the best placed to revitalise cities

Many cities across the world are going through periods of closing, reflection, and reopening due to COVID19. They are looking to revitalise their city with short term initiatives including pop-ups, temporary bike lanes, and also planning for the long term with reconfiguring streets and creating more green space.

Peak Experience by ATLAS Lab | Image Credit: ATLAS Lab
temporary park in Fosnavåg, Norway by karres en brands | Image Credit | karres+brands
Leacock Terrace at McGill University by Arcadia Studio | Photo credit: Isabelle Giasson

Landscape Architects are the best placed to help cities as over the past few decades they have assisted cities in planning, designing and implementing initiatives for streetscapes, shared zones, plazas, parks and a myriad of other spaces throughout cities. Landscape Architects have recently worked to create urban spaces that are green, accessible and open to all.

Go Cycle Portsmouth Road | Atkins

In more recent times through designing and creating pop-ups, parklets and temporary installations landscape architects have been prototyping approaches to streets and plazas that are flexible and resilient in their design allowing for different uses (parking, dining, events, markets) throughout the week and from daytime through the night.

Bell Street Park by MIG|SvR | Image Credit: Courtesy of MIG|SvR
823 Congress by dwg. | Photography: Adam Barbe
dwg`s Night Garden | Image Credit: Leonid Furmansky
Studio Fink & Matthew Childs Design collaborated on temporary landscape play installation in Moscow | Image Credit: Courtesy of Studio Fink Ltd

Landscape architects stand at the intersection of art, landscape, and science, with the ability to bring together engineers, architects, ecologists, botanists, arborists, horticulturalists, artists, sound designers, lighting designers and various other professionals and experts to collaborate to create holistic approaches that revitalise and reinvigorates spaces, streets and cities. The ability of landscape architects to collaborate speaks of their skill of bringing together communities, business owners(small & large), developers, non-profits and governments to creating workshops that allow people to speak their minds, express their needs and wants allowing them to input into the planning and a better future for their communities.

Community Engagement During A Time of Social Distancing – Design Workshop | Image Credit: Design Workshop
Kit of Parks by Nina Chase, Philip Dugdale | Image Credit: Ben Gebo, Matthew Reese
LOOP – Pioneering Community Consultation for Shanghai’s Laneways by Gossamer | Image Credit: Gossamer
LOOP – Pioneering Community Consultation for Shanghai’s Laneways by Gossamer | Image Credit: Gossamer

Landscape architects have empathy towards people and the understanding that it is not about their ego as the designer but their ability as the designer to unify groups of people whilst allowing people to take ownership of open space and places where they can come together to reconnect with each other and nature. This is key in a time when many are experiencing withdrawal from social interaction and their feeling part of their community. It is public open spaces that offer these opportunities for reconnection, and to seek solace and comfort together.

The South Plaza – Grain Collective | Image courtesy of Grain Collective
Bud and Susie Rogers Garden | Akron, Ohio | OLIN
Urban Street Corner Park in Shenzhen China
Project and Image Credit: KURATANI(Canggu Landscape Planning Design (Shenzhen)Co., Ltd)

Landscape architects should seek out and connect with their government officials, business groups, community groups and other organisations to offer their services and make it known that they are best placed to help cities reimagine themselves and create better places and better times for all.

Nieuwegein | Blooming City by Bureau B+B | Image Courtesy of Bureau B+B

Landscape Architects are the best placed to revitalise cities was written by Damian Holmes, Editor of World Landscape Architecture.

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