Enhancing the Landscape

Cape Times (South Africa), October 29, 2007 | Go to article overview

Enhancing the Landscape


What does your job entail? Landscape architects approach planning and design holistically, with a strong emphasis on the environmental and social aspects.

Through an understanding of natural systems, processes and an appreciation of human needs, we contribute to the enhancement of the cultural landscape, the context within which society operates.

Work ranges from environmental and natural systems planning for national parks, agricultural systems and infrastructure, to urban landscape design including public transport interchanges and market plazas, pedestrian streets and housing, as well as various urban renewal and improvement projects.

Private sector landscape architects often work as consultants on public works projects or those commissioned by municipalities, alongside engineers and architects as members of interdisciplinary professional teams.

A new project typically starts with site analysis - to identify all the opportunities and constraints that could come into play such as areas prone to flooding, best views and vegetation cover.

We interpret this data to identify the best use of the site - or portions of it - for development, conservation or rehabilitation. We then develop a landscape framework plan, which with a set of design guidelines will govern the detailed designs to follow.

This planning stage sets rules and structures the form and scale of built infrastructure, including the placement of buildings, roads, drainage ponds, as well as the most appropriate plant species. …

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