The Landscape Guide

Landscape Design Theory RESOURCES: Design Objectives Ecology, Community, Delight, Archetypes, Design MethodsStructuralism & Design, Community Design, Single Tree Principle, Design with nature, Master Plans,

Ecological ideas and landscape architecture

Thompson identifies 'ecology' as one of the 3 primary sources of value in landscape architecture [a modern parallel to the Vitruvian quality of 'firmness']. It is described (p 137) as both:

  • a science which explains how plant species grow in association
  • a rich source of metaphors and values

Together, these ideas produced what became known as the 'ecological approach' to landscape design in the 1970s:

  • planting should be a functional structural element in the external environment
  • planting should become woodland in the shortest possible time
  • this approach will lower maintenance costs and raise social benefits
  • landscape users determine its form
  • this approach will tend towards ecological stability