Landscape architecture

Landscape Architecture is an interdisciplinary profession that includes the design, planning and management of natural and anthropogenic, urban and rural landscape, which includes landscape protection, preservation and enhancement of natural and cultural heritage, protection of natural resources by rational use of land, protection and restoration of historical parks and gardens, as well as organization, design and construction of new landscapes.

Landscape architecture includes the systematic research of existing social, ecological, geological and other conditions and processes in the landscape, and designs and plans possible intervention. It is also involved in other actions and activities, such as urban and spatial planning and environmental protection. European countries in which landscape architecture has important social significance are mainly the countries that are leaders in sustainable spatial development and whose residents enjoy a high quality of life, such as Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom and France.

Examples of landscape architecture date back far into the past, with different examples like the hanging gardens of Babylon, Egyptian, ancient Greek and Roman, Japanese and Chinese gardens and so on.

The term “landscape architecture” was first used by Gilbert Laing Meason in his book “On the Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy”, London, 1828. The term was taken by John Claudius Loudon and used it to describe a specific type of architecture, which was suitable for designed landscapes.

The term was used by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the authors of Central Park in downtown Manhattan in New York. Frederick Law Olmsted and George Oskar gave another aspect to the meaning of “landscape architecture”, using the term to describe the entire professional task of designing, planting, creating design, tiling and composition of other structures, but only since 1867 is this profession in America called by the name of “landscape architecture”.

Landscape architecture is often mistakenly referred to as horticulture. Horticulture is, as opposed to landscape architecture, engaged in intensive cultivation of plants such as vegetables, fruits, flowers and plantation of forest trees, seed breeding and so on. It includes the production and plant breeding, genetic engineering, the application of biochemistry and physiology of plants in their cultivation. Horticulture in the strict sense of the word often means the design and care of ornamental garden plants as a part of landscape architecture.

(IFLA, International Federation of Landscape Architects,  2003. godine, Banff / Canada)

Landscape Architects conduct research and advise on planning, design and stewardship of the outdoor environment and spaces, both within and beyond the built environment, and its conservation and sustainability of development. For the profession of landscape architect, a degree in landscape architecture is required.
Tasks include-

•    developing new or improved theories, policy and methods for landscape planning, design and management at local, regional, national and multinational levels;
•    developing policy, plans, and implementing and monitoring proposals as well as developing new or improved theories and methods for national parks and other conservation and recreation areas;
•    developing new or improved theories and methods to promote environmental awareness, and undertaking planning, design, restoration, management and maintenance of cultural and/or historic landscapes, parks, sites and gardens;
•    planning, design, management, maintenance and monitoring functional and aesthetic layouts of built environment in urban, suburban, and rural areas including private and public open spaces, parks, gardens, streetscapes, plazas, housing developments, burial grounds, memorials; tourist, commercial, industrial and educational complexes; sports grounds, zoos, botanic gardens, recreation areas and farms;
•    contributing to the planning, aesthetic and functional design, location, management and maintenance of infrastructure such as roads, dams, energy and major development projects;
•    undertaking landscape assessments including environmental and visual impact assessments with view to developing policy or undertaking projects;
•    inspecting sites, analysing factors such as climate, soil, flora, fauna, surface and subsurface water and drainage; and consulting with clients and making recommendations regarding methods of work and sequences of operations for projects related to the landscape and built environment;
•    identifying and developing appropriate solutions regarding the quality and use of the built environment in urban, suburban and rural areas and making designs, plans and working drawings, specifications of work, cost estimates and time schedules;
•    monitoring the realisation and supervising the construction of proposals to ensure compliance with plans, specifications of work, cost estimates and time schedules;
•    conducting research, preparing scientific papers and technical reports, developing policy, teaching, and advising on aspects regarding landscape architecture such as the application of geographic information systems, remote sensing, law, landscape communication, interpretation and landscape ecology;
•    managing landscape planning and design projects;
•    performing related tasks;
•    supervising other workers