Landscape Institute President says Farrell Review “is a missed opportunity”

Sue Illman, President of the Landscape Institute, has criticised the Terry Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment as backward-looking and too inwardly focused.  Speaking in response to the call for evidence Illman said: “In a world confronted by rapidly expanding urban populations, scarce resources, environmental and economic challenges it is disappointing to learn that the first such review since 2000 asks no questions about the role of government in creating sustainable environments or of transport, infrastructure, SMART cities, green infrastructure, water-sensitive design, place-making or many other established features of progressive urban design. The cities in which we live are not composed just of buildings. We have a relationship with the natural and ecological forces that influence the structure and working of our cities.”

According to the Landscape Institute, which champions green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design, any review of architecture and the built environment should focus on creating ‘liveable cities’. As more and more people move to cities (by 2030 two thirds of the world’s population are predicted to be urban dwellers) transport, education, public space, healthcare and housing systems will become strained – all widely accepted vital components of a city’s liveability. A ‘liveable city’ is a more resilient city and more capable of meeting the social, environmental and economic needs of its citizens.  It is better protected against flooding and water scarcity, has well-designed public and green space, attracts investment and makes the most of the latest technological and design solutions. 

“Any review of the built environment should be debating not only the role of well-designed and managed public space, but changes in land use, water sensitive urban design, the impact of major infrastructure and sustaining biodiversity, and we will be bringing these views to the Review when we submit our formal response in a few weeks.  Elsewhere in the world time and resources are being devoted to making cities more liveable, for instance the Australian Government has invested $20m over 2 years in its Liveable Cities Program, but there’s a danger this review will reset the terms of debate in unhelpfully narrow, backward-looking ways, and crowd out more relevant and interesting debates about creating greener, denser, better connected cities.” said Sue Illman.

SOURCE | Landscape Institute

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at

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