Re-defining the Role of Landscape Architects

Construction Week Online spoke with the global design consultancy Aedas about the role of landscape architects. Dastin Hillery, senior associate, at Aedas, says: “landscape architecture is not just beautification; it’s about creating a space, creating the ambiance of a development, initiating lifestyle and it’s creating a new public realm and at the end of the day it’s also about creating a quality built environment. And if you are talking about a quality built environment, you cannot avoid talking about the ecological footprint and the environmental framework.”

Aedas has offices in 40 countries and sees growing global awareness of the complex work in which landscape architects are involved. “Both locally and internationally, there has been a gradual shift in awareness with the landscape architect slowly becoming a more prominent figure in the design and construction process.” However, Hillery says only clients that understand the importance of landscape architecture see the value of landscape planning.

In the Middle East, Hillery thinks this understanding is still missing. “People are still not interested in discussing the ecological components of the landscape, the impact on the ecological footprint, the human comforts aspect that landscape could offer in this extreme climate condition, or [about] how landscape could reshape the future of a city. In Dubai, the landscape role is to beautify and repair the mistakes while others look at landscape as the lead of the development because of the ecological component.” Hillery views Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur as examples of cities where there is interest in ‘greening masterplans,’ and where “landscape is viewed as a backbone of urban structure that will guide the growth of a community throughout a span of a history.” 

Construction Week Online goes on to discuss the importance of clients’ understanding of landscape planning, the role of landscape architects in the development and construction process, and the need for greater incentives to encourage landscape planning and sustainability.

Read the article

5 thoughts on “Re-defining the Role of Landscape Architects

  1. Adam E. Anderson 02/18/2009 / 8:34 pm

    I don’t think it’s a re-definement we’re after but a re-institution of what it means to practice landscape architecture. The term has been adopted and in some fashion bastardized by those working in a peripheral operations.

    I believe over the years this has led in a general sense to a broad public misunderstanding of the role of landscape architects.

  2. Dan Wood 02/19/2009 / 12:53 pm

    Bravo to Dastin Hillery and Construction Week Online for helping evangelize our profession! The more the merrier.

  3. Judy Nash Timmer 03/18/2009 / 1:10 pm

    I have always felt the title “Landscape Architect” is what leads people down the rosy path of conclusion we are garden experts….landscape implies that….should there be a title revamping to Land Planner or someother name that changes that image.

  4. Bud Hooker 03/18/2009 / 6:48 pm

    I “gotta” agree with Adam Andersons email of 2/18/2009.
    The basis of Landscape Architecture hasn’t really changed
    from the original precept. It does not need to be re-defined. The term re-definement confuses the whole discussion and makes the profession sound lost and confused. Adam calls it re-instituting and I would say more like re-fining. The profession becomes more refined as we gather new information and technolgy that can be used in problem solving. We continue to create solutions using our core landscape architecture knowledge, skills and abilities as we collect and understand the data. The breadth of which touches all areas of living.
    At the end of the day it is still Landscape Architecture and it sure is “fun”.

  5. p schwartz 03/20/2009 / 10:58 am

    The profession of Landscape Architecture will only ever be as great as those who practice it. The breadth and depth of the profession does not exist apart from the creative and brilliant minds of the professionals practicing it.

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