Landscape architects create the landscape around us. They plan, design and manage open spaces including both natural and built environments.
They work to provide innovative and aesthetically pleasing environments for people to enjoy, while ensuring that changes to the natural environment are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable.
The work covers diverse projects – both urban and rural – that range from designing the layout of parks, gardens and housing estates to city-centre design, sporting sites and improving land affected by mining or motorway construction.
A landscape architect collaborates closely with landscape contractors, as well as other professionals, especially architects, town planners, environmentalists and people working in surveying and engineering functions.
Typical work activities
The role of a landscape architect commonly includes some or all of the following:
overseeing the design of a variety of projects, including urban regeneration schemes, pedestrian schemes, road or retail schemes, and maintaining the character of sites of natural beauty;
establishing general landscape requirements with clients;
conducting preliminary studies of the site (including contours, soil, ecology, buildings, roads);
assessing a site’s potential to meet the client’s specifications;
carrying out environmental impact assessments;
seeking and taking into account the views of local residents, potential users, and parties with a vested interest in the project;
accurately preparing and presenting detailed plans and working drawings, including applications, construction details and specifications for the project using computer-aided design (CAD) packages or similar design software;
presenting proposals to clients, dealing with enquiries and negotiating any amendments to the final design;
matching the client’s wishes with your knowledge of what will work best;
contacting and coordinating manufacturers and suppliers;
putting work out to tender, selecting a contractor and manager (mainly for larger projects), and leading cross-functional teams;
making site visits;
ensuring deadlines are met;
liaising with other professionals on the project;
monitoring and checking work on-site (on large projects, landscape managers may do this type of supervisory work);
authorising payment once work has been satisfactorily completed;
attending public inquiries to give evidence if necessary;
generating new business opportunities.
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