Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor public areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve

environmental, social­behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes.[2] It involves the systematic investigation of

existing social, ecological, and geological conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design

of interventions that will produce the desired outcome. The scope of the profession includes urban

design; site planning; stormwater management; town or urban planning; environmental restoration;

parks and recreation planning; visual resource management; green infrastructure planning and

provision; and private estate and residence landscape master planning and design; all at varying

scales of design, planning and management. A practitioner in the profession of landscape architecture

is called a landscape architect.

Landscape architecture is a multi­disciplinary field, incorporating aspects of botany, horticulture, the

fine arts, architecture, industrial design, geology and the earth sciences, environmental psychology,

geography, and ecology. The activities of a landscape architect can range from the creation of public

parks and parkways to site planning for campuses and corporate office parks, from the design of

residential estates to the design of civil infrastructure and the management of large wilderness areas

or reclamation of degraded landscapes such as mines or landfills. Landscape architects work on all

types of structures and external space ­ large or small, urban, suburban and rural, and with "hard"

(built) and "soft" (planted) materials, while integrating ecological sustainability. The most valuable

contribution can be made at the first stage of a project to generate ideas with technical understanding

and creative flair for the design, organization, and use of spaces. The landscape architect can

conceive the overall concept and prepare the master plan, from which detailed design drawings and

technical specifications are prepared. They can also review proposals to authorize and supervise

contracts for the construction work. Other skills include preparing design impact assessments,

conducting environmental assessments and audits, and serving as an expert witness at inquiries on

land use issues.

In most North American jurisdictions such as states, provinces and municipalities all designs for public

space must be reviewed and approved by licensed landscape architects.

Fields of activity

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, established 1759

The Palm House built 1844–1848 by Richard Turner to Decimus Burton's designs

Urban design in city squares. Water feature in London, by Tadao Ando who also works with

landscapes and gardens

The variety of the professional tasks that landscape architects collaborate on is very broad, but some

examples of project types include:[3]

The planning, form, scale and siting of new developments

Civil design and public infrastructure

Sustainable development

Stormwater management including rain gardens, green roofs, groundwater recharge, and treatment


Campus and site design for public institutions and government facilities

Parks, botanical gardens, arboretums, greenways, and nature preserves

Recreation facilities; i.e.: playgrounds, golf courses, theme parks and sports facilities

Housing areas, industrial parks and commercial developments

Estate and residence landscape master planning and design

Highways, transportation structures, bridges, and transit corridors

Urban design, town and city squares, waterfronts, pedestrian schemes, and parking lots

Large to small urban renewal planning and design

Natural park, tourist destination, and recreating historical landscapes, and historic garden appraisal

and conservation studies

Reservoirs, dams, power stations, reclamation of extractive industry applications or major industrial

projects and mitigation

Environmental assessment and landscape assessment, planning advice and land management


Coastal and offshore developments and mitigation

Ecological Design any aspect of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by

integrating itself with natural processes and sustainability

Landscape managers use their knowledge of landscape processes to advise on the long­term care

and development of the landscape. They often work in forestry, nature conservation and agriculture.

Landscape scientists have specialist skills such as soil science, hydrology, geomorphology or botany

that they relate to the practical problems of landscape work. Their projects can range from site surveys

to the ecological assessment of broad areas for planning or management purposes. They may also

report on the impact of development or the importance of particular species in a given area.

Landscape planners are concerned with landscape planning for the location, scenic, ecological and

recreational aspects of urban, rural and coastal land use. Their work is embodied in written statements

of policy and strategy, and their remit includes master planning for new developments, landscape

evaluations and assessments, and preparing countryside management or policy plans. Some may

also apply an additional specialism such as landscape archaeology or law to the process of landscape


Green roof designers design extensive and intensive roof gardens for storm water management,

evapo­transpirative cooling, sustainable architecture, aesthetics, and habitat creation.[citation needed]

History of landscape architecture

Orangery at the Palace of Versailles, outside Paris

Main article: History of landscape architecture

For the period before 1800, the history of landscape gardening (later called landscape architecture) is

largely that of master planning and garden design for manor houses, palaces and royal properties,

religious complexes, and centers of government. An example is the extensive work by André Le Nôtre

at Vaux­le­Vicomte and for King Louis XIV of France at the Palace of Versailles. The first person to

write of "making" a landscape was Joseph Addison in 1712. The term "landscape architecture" was

invented by Gilbert Laing Meason in 1828 and was first used as a professional title by Frederick Law

Olmsted in 1863. During the latter 19th century, the term "landscape architect" became used by

professional people who designed landscapes. This use of "landscape architect" became established

after Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and Beatrix Jones (later Farrand) with others founded the American

Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 1899. IFLA was founded at Cambridge, England, in 1948

with Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe as its first president, representing 15 countries from Europe and North

America. Later, in 1978, IFLA's Headquarters were established in Versailles.[4][5][6]

Urban planning

The combination of the traditional landscape gardening and the emerging city planning combined

together gave landscape architecture its unique focus.Frederick Law Olmsted used the term

'landscape architecture' using the word as a profession for the first time when designing the Central


Through the 19th century, urban planning became a more important need. The combination of the

tradition of landscape gardening and emerging city planning that gave Landscape Architecture its

unique focus to serve these needs. In the second half of the century, Frederick Law Olmsted

completed a series of parks which continue to have a huge influence on the practices of Landscape

Architecture today. Among these were Central Park in New York City, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New

York and Boston's Emerald Necklace park system. Jens Jensen designed sophisticated and

naturalistic urban and regional parks for Chicago, Illinois, and private estates for the Ford family

including Fair Lane and Gaukler Point. One of the original ten founding members of the American

Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and the only woman, was Beatrix Farrand. She was design

consultant for over a dozen universities including: Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey; Yale in New

Haven, Connecticut; and the Arnold Arboretum for Harvard in Boston, Massachusetts. Her numerous

private estate projects include the landmark Dumbarton Oaks in the Georgetown neighborhood of

Washington, D.C..[7] Since that time, other architects — most notably Ruth Havey and Alden Hopkins

—changed certain elements of the Farrand design.

Landscape architecture continues to develop as a design discipline, and to respond to the various

movements in architecture and design throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Thomas Church was a

mid­century landscape architect significant in the profession. Roberto Burle Marx in Brazil combined

the International style and native Brazilian plants and culture for a new aesthetic. Innovation continues

today solving challenging problems with contemporary design solutions for master planning,

landscapes, and gardens.

Ian McHarg was known for introducing environmental concerns in landscape architecture.[8][9] He

popularized a system of analyzing the layers of a site in order to compile a complete understanding of

the qualitative attributes of a place. This system became the foundation of today's Geographic

Information Systems (GIS). McHarg would give every qualitative aspect of the site a layer, such as the

history, hydrology, topography, vegetation, etc. GIS software is ubiquitously used in the landscape

architecture profession today to analyze materials in and on the Earth's surface and is similarly used

by Urban Planners, Geographers, Forestry and Natural Resources professionals, etc.


In many countries, a professional institute, comprising members of the professional community, exists

in order to protect the standing of the profession and promote its interests, and sometimes also

regulate the practice of landscape architecture. The standard and strength of legal regulations

governing landscape architecture practice varies from nation to nation, with some requiring licensure in

order to practice; and some having little or no regulation. In North America, Europe, Australia and New

Zealand, landscape architecture is a regulated profession.[10]


The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) provides non statutory professional recognition

for landscape architects. Once recognized by (AILA),(AILA) landscape architects use the title

'Registered Landscape Architect'. Across the eight states and territories within Australia, there is a mix

of requirements for landscape architects to be 'Registered',however it is not always a statutory

requirement to be registered with AILA to practice use the term "Landscape Architect".

Any regulations or requirements are state based, not national. The AILA's system of professional

recognition is a national system overseen by AILA's National Office in Canberra.Non (AILA)Landscape

Architects are professionals who are also paid to undertake a specialised set of tasks and to complete

them for a fee.

Some agencies require AILA professional recognition or registration as part of the pre­requisite for

contracts. Landscape architects within Australia find that some contracts and competitions require the

AILA recognition or 'registration' as the basis of demonstrating a professional status. To apply for AILA

Registration, an applicant usually needs to satisfy a number of pre­requisites, including: university

qualification, two years of practice and a record of Continuing Professional Practice. The application is

in two stages: (1) A minimum 12 months of mentoring and assessment (2) Oral assessment/interview.

Professional recognition includes a commitment to continue professional development. AILA

Registered Landscape Architects are required to report annually on their Continuing Professional



In Canada, landscape architecture, like law and medicine, is a self­regulating profession pursuant to

provincial statute. For example Ontario's profession is governed by the Ontario Association of

Landscape Architects pursuant to the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects Act. Landscape

architects in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta must complete the specified components of

L.A.R.E (Landscape Architecture Registration Examination) as a prerequisite to full professional


Provincial regulatory bodies are members of a national organization, the Canadian Society of

Landscape Architects / L'Association des Architectes Paysagistes du Canada (CSLA­AAPC), and

individual membership in the CSLA­AAPC is obtained through joining one of the provincial or territorial



AIAPP (Italian Association of Landscape Architecture) is the Italian association of professional

landscape architects formed in 1950 and is a member of IFLA and IFLA Europe (formerly known as

EFLA). AIAPP is in the process of contesting this new law which has given the Architects' Association

the new title of Architects, Landscape Architects, Planners and Conservationists whether or not they

have had any training or experience in any of these fields other than Architecture.[citation needed] In

Italy, there are several different professions involved in landscape architecture:


Landscape designers

Doctor landscape agronomists and Doctor landscape foresters, often called Landscape agronomists.

Agrarian Experts and Graduated Agrarian experts.

New Zealand

The New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) is the professional body for Landscape

Architects in NZ

In April 2013, ILA jointly with AILA, hosted the 50th International Federation of Landscape Architects

(IFLA) World Congress in Auckland, New Zealand. The World Congress is an international conference

where Landscape Architects from all around the globe attend.

Within NZ, Members of NZILA when they achieve their professional standing, can use the title

Registered Landscape Architect NZILA.

NZILA provides accreditation review of education course providers and currently there are three

accredited Landscape Architecture course providers in New Zealand.

Republic of Ireland

The professional body in Ireland for landscape architects is the Irish Landscape Institute (ILI) The ILI is an affiliate body to the European Federation for

Landscape Architecture (EFLA) and IFLA. The ILI was formed in 1993 to merge the disciplines of

landscape architecture and landscape horticulture. It continues to promote the profession by its

accreditation of the degree programme in Dublin, certification of Continuing Professional Development

(CPD) for landscape architects, administration of professional practice examinations, advice on

development of policy at national level and organisation of conferences, lectures and design awards.

The ILI is a member institute of the Urban Forum, representing professional bodies involved in urban

spatial disciplines of engineering, architecture, planning, quantity surveying and landscape


The profession has gained in status and numbers due to the construction boom of the past decade

and raising of standards of Irish design. There is still no registration of title in Ireland and the

profession is unregulated, but there is increasing awareness of the profession and of status of the ILI.

Landscape architects in Ireland work in private practice, public sector bodies at local government level

and in some bodies such transport and national heritage and in the academic sector. The demand for

landscape architects is often associated with strategic infrastructure projects due to Ireland's recent

major infrastructural investments. Landscape architects are employed in design of: green

infrastructure, public realm, institutional/medical/industrial campuses and settings, parks, play facilities,

transport (road/rail/cycle/port) corridors, retail complexes, residential estates (including plans for

remediation of now­abandoned housing 'ghost' estates), village improvements, accessibility audits,

graveyard restoration schemes, wind farms, wetland drainage systems and coastal zones. They are

also significantly employed in preparation/review of statutory impact assessment reports on landscape,

visual and ecological impacts of design proposals.

United Kingdom

The UK's professional body is the Landscape Institute (LI). It is a chartered body which accredits

landscape professionals and university courses. At present there are fifteen accredited programmes in

the UK. Membership of the LI is available to students, academics and professionals, and there are

over 3,000 professionally qualified members.

The Institute provides services to assist members including support and promotion of the work of

landscape architects; information and guidance to the public and industry about the specific expertise

offered by those in the profession; and training and educational advice to students and professionals

looking to build upon their experience.

In 2008, the LI launched a major recruitment drive entitled "I want to be a Landscape Architect" to

encourage the study of Landscape Architecture. The campaign aims to raise the profile of landscape

architecture and highlight its valuable role in building sustainable communities and fighting climate


United States

In the United States, Landscape Architecture is regulated by individual state governments. For a

landscape architect, obtaining licensure requires advanced education and work experience, plus

passage of the national examination. Several states require passage of a state exam as well. In the

U.S. licensing is overseen both at the state level, and nationally by the Council of Landscape

Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB). Landscape architecture has been identified as an above- average growth profession by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and was listed in U.S. News & World

Report's list of Best Jobs to Have in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.[14] The national trade

association for U.S. landscape architects is the American Society of Landscape Architects. The

average salary for landscape architecture professionals in the U.S. is $71,000.