The Landscape Guide

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Landscape planning and environmental impact design (EID)

The following section headings (in bold) and subheadings (in italics) summarize the chapter on Landscape Plans in Tom Turner's Landscape planning and environmental impact design (UCL:London, 1998)

Landscape plans Landscape plans are required for the environmental public goods.

Ecology, economics and planning Negative side effects are the environment's wicked stepmother; positive side effects are her fairy godmother.

The following types of landscape plan can assist in the creation and conservation of environmental public goods:




Landform Plans: to protect and enhance a distinctive and convenient landform.

Waterspace Plans: to provide space for water storage, water transport and water recreation.

Habitat Plans: to protect and enhance the pattern of natural and semi-natural habitats.

Air Plans: to provide fresh air, clean air and shelter.


Alexander Plans: to show the archetypal patterns which should exist in a neighbourhood.

Greenspace Plans: to provide public access to environmentally good space in urban and rural areas.

Special Area Plans: to protect and create areas of special character.

Recreation Plans: to increase opportunities for outdoor recreation: footpaths, bridleways, cycleways, campsites, food gathering places.

Sustainability Plans: to make human life more sustainable, both in town and country.


Scenic Plans: to protect and create good scenery and good views, both in town and country.

Spatial Plans: to protect and create good spatial patterns.

Skyline Plans: to protect and create good skylines.

Urban Roofscape Contours: to give city roofscapes a distinctive shape.

Landform plans  Landform plans should indicate areas for protection, excavation and deposition.

Waterspace plans Water management plans should show areas for enhanced detention, infiltration and evaporation.

Habitat plans Biotope management plans should indicate the desirable mix of habitats, based on historical analysis, hydrology and pedology

Air plans Air management can make places healthier and more comfortable.

Social process plans

  • Alexander plans
  • Greenspace plans  
  • Recreation plans
  • Special area plans
  • Sustainability plans
  • Resource-use
  • Visual plans

Scenic plans Scenic resources need planning. Plans should define areas of high scenic value, to be conserved, and areas of low scenic value, to be improved.

Spatial plans Spatial plans should show the existing and proposed spatial patterns.

  • Urban space
  • Rural space
  • Image maps
  • Skyline plans

Implementation Statutory plans should be guided by non-statutory plans

Conclusion Planning requires knowledge, understanding and visions

The theme of this chapter has been that landscape planners should be guided by three types of consideration:

  • knowledge of the past
  • understanding of the present
  • visions of the future

Development planners and designers should consider the environmental impact of development projects on past, present and future. This may identify ideals and planning objectives which are in conflict. Consider a field on the periphery of a major city. The landowner wishes to construct a factory on the land. The Habitat Plan calls for the field to be restored to its former condition, as a wet oakwood. The Recreation Plan calls for public access. The Rural Scenery plan calls for its agricultural character to be conserved. The Urban Scenery plan calls for the land to be built upon, as an extension to a citywide development axis. Economics and politics will guide the debate. Though imaginative design can help, theories of context are also required. They are the subject of the next chapter.