The Landscape Guide

London Landscape Plans: 1829, 1900, 1929, 1943, 1951, 1969, 1976, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2000, 2004, London landscape architecture, London's Green Infrastructure.

A key difference between landscape architecture and garden design is that:

  • garden design tends to be for private clients
  • landscape architecture tends to be for public clients

The creation of public goods is therefore a key objective on most landscape architecture projects. Designers have to consider:

  • the wishes of the client who pays their fees
  • the wishes of the society in which the project is set

A useful approach to the public goods aspect of landscape architecture is to think that most projects should make a contribution to the Green Infrastructure of the city.

Wikipedia stated (in January 2009) us that 'Infrastructure is the basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise. The term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society, such as roads, water supply, power grids, telecommunications, and so forth'. This should of course be changed to include the fundamental green infrastructure upon which we all depend: rivers, woods, hills, farms and habitats. All these types of 'infrastructure' are now  managed by humans - and it should be done to yield the greatest benefits for the human and natural environment.

Landscape architects working on public projects should therefore think of their designs as contributions to larger networks of woodlands, greenways, blueways, cyclepaths, pedestrian paths, wild food provision, firewood provision etc. These are the types of green infrastructure societies require.


Green Infrastructure: an example of permaculture at the Margaret Macillan Forest Garden in London (image courtesy London Permaculture)

Ecological green infrastructure below grey concrete infrastructure (image courtesy Dom Dada)