What is landscape architecture?

Gardens by the Bay | Grant Associates
Aerial view of Central Park, New York. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

April is World Landscape Architecture Month (organised by ASLA), and WLA will be looking at What is landscape architecture? and calling for responses from the industry for publication during this month.

Chicago Riverwalk | Sasaki and Ross Barney Architects | Image ©Christian Philips
Klyde Warren Park | OJB

What is landscape architecture?

Landscape Architecture is a profession that is unknown or misunderstood as gardening by many. Its value to society is greater than many can imagine and should be celebrated by the population of every town, city, and country.

The question what is landscape architecture raises varying opinions on what it is and isn’t, the profession is so broad and encompassing that there is enough scope and breadth in the profession to accommodate varying views and to remember that we have a wide range of expertise, skills and talents.

TE ARA I WHITI – Light Path | Land Lab
Water Square Tiel  | DE URBANISTEN

Landscape architecture is the study and practice of designing environments (outdoors & indoors) of varying scale that encompasses elements of art, environment, architecture, engineering, and sociology.

Towers Road Residence | TCL| Image – John Gollings
Jaktgatan/ Lövängsgatan | AJ Landskap
Berczy Park | Claude Cormier | Image by Industryous

Landscape architects are involved in the designing of spaces that “creates and enables life between the buildings”. The involvement of landscape architects can be seen in streets, roads, shared paths, housing estates, apartment compounds, shopping malls, squares, plazas, gardens, pocket parks, playgrounds, cemeteries, memorials, museums, schools, universities, transport networks, regional parks, national parks, forests, waterways and across towns, cities and countries. Landscape architects often go beyond design creating frameworks and policies for place and city shaping that enable citizens and government to create better places for all

Crossrail Place retail & roof garden | FOSTER + PARTNERS, Landscape by Gillespies –
Photography | Nigel Young, Foster + Partners
Oosterpark Play Rollercoaster | Carve | Image – Carve ( Jasper van der Schaaf)
Ian Potter Wild Play | ASPECT Studios | Image ©Brett Boardman
STUDENT PROJECT | A Landscape Framework for Refugee Camps | Helen Yu
KUSTZONE – KATWIJK | OKRA | © OnSite Photography

There are many landscape architects from the past, current, (and future) who have designed everlasting landscapes that will stand the test of time for decades to come that create calm, joy and inspiration for so many and as a profession, landscape architects should be proud as there are few professions that can stake claim to creating places that impact and benefit so many people.

Mill River and Greenway | OLIN | Image Credit – ©Carly Bergey
Scioto Greenways | MKSK
Yanweizhou Park | Turenscape

If you wish to submit a response to this article please email [email protected]

Article Written by Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of WLA.
He is also a registered Landscape Architect with extensive experience in Australia, Canada, and China. 
Email [email protected]

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