With the recent economic slowdown, many industries have experienced reduced workloads and staff redundancies. Landscape architecture, on the other hand, continues to grow during this tumultuous time.

Landscape architecture as a profession is over 45 years old in Australia and there are estimated to be over three and a half thousand landscape architects across the country.

The recent demand for landscape architects in private and public practice is high due to governments and citizens coming to realise that natural landscapes provide an opportunity to deal with environmental issues and climate change.

With the increase in scientific research and proof that modern lifestyles are detrimental to the environment, efforts are being made to reverse the damage in a do or die fashion.

“It is indeed a great time to be dealing with place making. It is the right time to be a landscape architect,” said the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) in its 2012 employment statement.

People are currently much more aware of their urban environments and the connection between the natural environment and the health of their communities.

During such a crucial time for the planet, governments and homeowners are seeking the expertise of landscape architects for practical solutions in urban design, landscape management, heritage management and environmental planning.

landscape design

Rainwater collection through landscape architecture

Another reason for the growth in landscape architecture is linked to the issue of obesity in developed nations. As people become aware of the epidemic and are more health conscious, municipal projects are changing to include more spaces for active lifestyles within local communities.

AILA landscape architect Jo Russell-Clarke says there is a growing awareness of landscape conditions and their broader cultural impacts.

There is also the ever-growing ‘green’ movement across the globe, which has led to most new developments seeking LEED certification - a goal a landscape architect can help developers reach.

A few green techniques gaining popularity in landscape architecture include:

  • The use of biofiltration swales to remove pollutants from stormwater and assisting in prevention of flooding and erosion
  • Adding vegetation to improve air quality and provide refuge from excessive heat
  • The implementation of vegetation on new properties, which assists in the absorption of carbon dioxide
  • Green roofs to control stormwater, collect rainwater and help reduce the urban heat island effect while providing a wildlife habitat
  • Mercedes Martty
    Architecture Journalist
    4 years, 2 months ago

    I think the role of landscape architects is going to be crucial in the planning of future cities and in residential architecture design as well.

    It is good to see both governments and citizens are starting to realize that natural landscape can provide solutions for the present environmental issues and climate change.

  • Landscape Architecture is where living comes alive with reality. This where we create a living whitin the living. It is where the outdoor becomes indoor where natural air, sunlight and your life become intergrated. Thats reason enof why it has come about strongly and so timely where its so afordable and manageable in these modern times…

  • Yet in the United States, even though I graduated with a masters degree from a top-tier school of landscape architecture, have won a few design competitions, and am very proficient with the latest design software; I can’t find an entry-level position in anywhere across the country despite a year of searching and 100’s of portfolios sent. The fact is that there are still too many unemployed landscape architecture professionals out there who were laid off in 2008. In New York City, a bicycle messenger makes more than what is being offered to entry level LA’s with advanced degrees that cost $75,000 – $110,000 (USD).

    Take with a grain of salt anything that the ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) says about the industry. It is their job to promote it. Demand for landscape architects is extremely low at the moment despite an increasing recognition of its relevance. Consider that in the U.S. an architect or a civil engineer can legally do the work of a landscape architect. When large companies need to downsize, who do they eliminate first? Hopefully the situation is brighter in Australia.

  • It’s great to see landscape architecture at the forefront of design and I’m particularly interested in the vegetation implementation across roofs and surrounding buildings. Hopefully, our cities becoming “green” all over again.

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