The design of parks, university campuses, streetscapes, squares, and any other outdoor space helps define the identity of their communities. Finding ways to enhance different urban and rural areas might sound easier said than done. Thanks to landscape architecture, such spaces are designed in a way that they improve the quality of life of their visitors and inhabitants. But behind the end-result of this type of projects, a fair share of art, science, and passion play an important role.
The field of landscape architecture is a very broad one, and one that is very diverse, too. The work of a landscape architecture can go from working on a very small space to a really large region. In order to get a deeper insight into what this branch or architecture entails, we need to answer some important questions first. Defining what landscape architecture is and what architects of this field do is the first step. Then, we can start the discussion of what makes landscape architecture so relevant today.
What Is Landscape Architecture?
The term of landscape architecture didn’t exist before the 1800s when Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux collaborated on the Central Park design project, in 1858. From then on, this branch of architecture has been regarded as the mix of science, art, vision, and thought. Its main objective is to find the perfect balance between natural environments and that man has built.
At the core of this discipline, we find “the application of ecological design in the consideration of abiotic, biotic, and cultural features in conservation, development and restoration projects”, as the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources puts it.
What Does a Landscape Architect Do?
The work of a landscape architect can vary, as this far-reaching field brings a wide range of possibilities to architects. However, the American Society of Landscape Architects describes the role of landscape architects as those who “analyze, plan, design, manage, and nurture the built and natural environments.”
As we mentioned above, specialists in this field are committed to improving the quality of life of visitors and inhabitants from a given community. Besides, landscape architects work in a wide variety of urban and rural development projects. As Alice Webb explains on Land8, some examples of these projects include:
- Parks and recreation sites and facilities
- Streetscapes and urban spaces
- Green Infrastructure and stormwater management
- Office and commercial sites
- Academic and corporate campuses
- Hotel facilities and resorts
- Residential properties
- Landscape art and earth sculpture
- Hospital grounds and therapeutic gardens
- Historic preservation
- Environmental restoration
Why Is Landscape Architecture So Relevant?
There are many reasons why landscape architecture is essential in our everyday lives. To begin with, architects in the field are committed to protect and preserve nature within their projects. They will also work to regenerate polluted areas through architecture and design. As a result of their efforts, urban areas become green environments that fight climate change and pollution.
Besides, landscape architectures are the ones responsible for providing communities with outdoor recreation areas. As visitors and inhabitants of a community have more choices for recreational spaces, they are able to stay active and create bonds between each other. Also, landscape architecture aims at having a positive impact on people’s mode and overall state of mind. Thus, landscape architects become an essential part of an active and positive community.