Landscape architecture is important to 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 results . Landscape architecture focuses on the relationship between people and the environment .
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 it .
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 them.
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 treasures.
#2 Regeneration of polluted areas
All industrialized places in the world have problems with pollution, especially if they have factories there. Factories are needed to provide a source of economic growth and jobs for people but are also harmful to the environment.
If a factory is particularly bad polluter it can leave the area unusable for a long time after the factory is gone.
These negative effects can be fixed through landscaping and planting after the area is cleaned up.
A great example of this is Westergasfabriek Park in Amsterdam.
#3 Storm-water management
Climate change and pollution are severely affecting freshwater supply in many areas.
The endangerment of wetlands is especially big problem because they have a lot of biological diversity, filter stormwater and control floods.
Landscape architecture protects wetlands and seeks solutions 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.
Phytoremediation is a low cost solution which involves the direct use of living green plants for 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 contains heavy metals and other toxins, phytoremediation can be successfully applied to clean these substances away.
It is obviously a very cost-effective and visually pleasing solution which has a great effect on soils as it takes in pollutants and metabolizes them into harmless by-products .
#5 Air purification
Plants and trees as most people know produce oxygen but less people know that they also absorb air pollutants.
This helps to filter the air and makes it cleaner.
Everyone is concerned about outdoor air quality but according to NASA research, indoor air quality can be tackled with the use of plants too.
#6 Care for plants
We all know that plants and trees are important. Landscape architecture helps to protect and care for them.
To allow plants grow properly they need good quality soil, the right amount of water, the correct level of sun exposure and protection from pests. Landscape architecture takes all these things into account when trying to find the right plants composition for each site.
There are even online tools available which landscape architects use to find the right plants for each location .
#7 Orchards in urban areas
Landscape architects often promote ideas like orchards in urban areas, for they not only look good, produce oxygen and promote social well-being but also provide nutritious fruits.
Cultivating orchards in cities is a good educational tool for children to learn how to grow and harvest their own food as well as socialize .
#8 Relief from hot weather
Sitting under a tree can be pleasant but it also has an important practical effect – 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. They provide shade from the sun and a quiet peaceful place to go in a noisy urban environment.
#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 get social connections with other people using the space.
#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 space.