the environment for several reasons. It allows less resources to be used, produces less waste, supports recycling when possible and uses policies that achieve long-term results¹. Landscape architecture focuses on the relationship between people and the environment².
As the world’s population grows the pressure on our resources increases. Landscape architects have always known that the landscape is a living breathing thing and we can reap its benefits in line with how much we invest in it³.
So here is a list of 10 reasons why landscape architecture is important.
#1 Preservation of nature
People like living in a green environment full of plants and trees. Major cities still have plants and trees built into their planning. In a modern urban environment, you will see concrete flooring and wooden decking but you will always see plants in the spaces between and around them⁴.
People are more aware nowadays of the importance of preserving the environment and because of this, landscape architecture is now viewed as more important than it used to be. Landscape architecture provides solutions to many existing environmental issues, protects ecology and helps to protect national treasures⁵.
#2 Regeneration of polluted areas
All industrialised places in the world have problems with pollution, especially if they have factories there. Factories which we know are needed to provide a source of economic growth and jobs for people but which we know are harmful to the environment. If the factory is a particularly bad polluter it can leave a place unusable for a long time after the factory is gone. These effects can be fixed through landscaping and planting when the area is cleaned up. A great example of this is Westergasfabriek Park in Amsterdam⁵.
#3 Storm-water management
Fresh, clean water is a major environmental issue; and climate change and pollution are both affecting its supply. The endangerment of wetlands is a big problem because they have a lot of biological diversity, filter stormwater and can control floods. Landscape architecture both promotes more wetlands and seeks to provide storm-water management in a natural way.
#4 Cleaning soil and water
There is a vast amount of soil and water that is polluted and needs to be cleaned up. One way of doing this by phytoremediation. This is a low cost solution which involves the direct use of living green plants for in place, removal, degradation, or containment of contaminants in soils, sludges, sediments, surface water and groundwater. Simply put, plants are used to help clean up the contaminants in soil. For example, in an area where the soil has a lot of heavy metals and toxic material phytoremediation can be used to help clean it up. It is obviously a very cost-effective and visually pleasing solution which has a great effect on the soil as it takes in the pollutants, concentrates them and metabolises them in their system turning them into harmless by-products⁵.
#5 Air purification
Plants and trees as most people know produce oxygen but less people now that they absorb polluting gases through their Stomata. This obviously helps to filter the air and makes it cleaner. Everyone is concerned about outdoor air quality but according to NASA research, indoor air quality should be filtered by plants too⁵.
#6 Care for plants
We all know that plants and trees are important. Landscape architecture helps to protect and care for them. To allow them to be able to grow properly they need good quality soil, the right amount of water, the correct level of sun exposure and protection from pests e.g. certain insects. Landscape architecture takes all of these things into account when trying to find the right plants for each site. There is even an online tool called PlantSelectr which landscape architects choose the right plants for each situation⁵.
#7 Orchards in urban areas
Landscape architects help promote ideas like orchards in urban areas. As well as providing nutritious fruit for eating, they look good, produce oxygen and promote social well-being⁵. Children also learn how to grow and harvest their own food as well as connecting local residents as they coordinate taking care of the orchards⁶.
#8 Relief from hot weather
Sitting under a tree can be pleasant but it also serves an important practical use. Trees provide a cooling effect. This is especially important in an urban environment, where the concrete structures increase heat and their density doesn’t not allow for open green spaces. Small parks, known as Pocket parks, are a good solution here, as they provide shade from the sun and a quiet peaceful place to go in a noisy urban environment⁵.
#9 Provides outdoor recreation
Landscape architecture provides outdoor recreation areas. This increases the quality of the physical well-being of the local population giving them more choices for recreation and the chance to make more social connections with the other people using the space⁵.
#10 Positive influence on people’s state of mind
By spending some time in nature, even just sitting, it has a positive effect on people’s state of mind and mood. So having more green spaces correlates with having better mental health. Spending time outdoors also encourages social interaction either with those you chose to go with or new people who you meet in this communal space⁵.