What is Landscape Architecture?

Landscape architects work to ensure that city parks are beautiful.
Landscape architects work to ensure that city parks are beautiful.

A home’s exterior is just as important as the interior. The exterior of a home says a lot about the interior and the homeowner. There are infinite possibilities when it comes to landscaping. To make a home look better, one does not need to necessarily spend much money. Small affordable projects may include mulching, planting flower beds, and edging. However, more advanced and expensive projects are available which include building a koi pond, patio, or even planting multiple trees. Whether one chooses to go the cheap or expensive way, landscape architecture will be necessary to achieve a lasting and appealing outdoor look for one's home.

Landscape Architecture

The designing of a home's exterior, landmarks, and structures with the aim of achieving both environmental and aesthetic value is referred to as landscape architecture. The process involves systematic and extensive investigation of the socio-ecological and soil condition of the area. A design must be chosen to produce the desired outcome. Landscape architecture is a multi-disciple that incorporates elements of botany, art, architecture, and soil science and covers areas such as site planning, landscape design, environmental restoration, and landscape master planning among others. A professional in the field of landscape architecture is referred to as landscape architect. A landscape architect has the technical ability and creativity to design, organize, and use spaces to create the desired outcome.

Origin and History of Landscape Architecture

Before the 19th-century, landscape gardening was associated with the master planning and garden design for palaces, government centers, minor houses, and religious complex. In 1712, Joseph Edison became the first person to include designing a landscape in his writings. The term “landscape architecture” was first used in 1828 by Gilbert Laing Meason. The term was given publicity by John Claudius who adopted it in his encyclopedia. The term was used as a professional title in the US in the mid 19th century and by the late 19th century it was being used by landscape designers.

Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning

Urban planning became popular in major cities throughout the 19th century. Traditional landscaping and emerging trends in urban planning created an opportunity for landscape architecture to serve both needs. In the late 19th century, a series of parks were completed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. The parks continue to impact the practice of landscape architecture and include Central Prospect Parks in New York and Brooklyn respectively. Since then, urban planning and landscape architecture have developed into separate and independent professions. Landscape architecture has developed as a design discipline to include environmental concerns and the quantitative aspect of the site.

Promotion of Landscape Architecture

In several countries, professional bodies exist to promote the interest and protect the standing of landscape architecture as a profession. The professional bodies also have the powers to regulate its practice to ensure the required standards are met. The legal requirements regulating the practice vary from country to country with some countries requiring that one must be licensed before they can practice while some do not have any regulations. In Europe, North America, and Australia, the practice of Landscape Architecture is regulated.


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