Landscape architects create the landscape around us. They plan, design and manage open spaces including both natural and man-made environments. They work to provide innovative and aesthetically pleasing spaces for people to enjoy, and to also make sure that the changes to the natural environment are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable.
The work covers many kinds of projects, in both urban and rural areas and can range from designing the layout of parks, gardens and housing estates, to city centre design and improving land affected by mining or motorway construction. A landscape architect collaborates closely with landscape contractors, as well as other professionals, especially architects, planners, environmentalists and people working in surveying and engineering functions. The typical work activities for a landscape architect include some or all of the following:
- overseeing the design of a variety of projects, including urban regeneration schemes, pedestrian walkways, road-side spaces and areas around shopping centres.
- working with and highlighting the natural beauty in an area
- 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
- presenting proposals to clients, dealing with their enquiries and negotiating any amendments to proceed to final design
- matching the client’s wishes with your knowledge of what will work best
- accurately preparing and presenting detailed plans and working drawings, including applications, construction details and specifications for the project
- contacting and co-ordinating manufacturers and suppliers;
- putting work out to tender, selecting a contractor and manager (mainly for larger projects), and leading cross-functional teams
- ensuring deadlines are met; liaising with other professionals on the project; monitoring and checking work on-site (on large projects, landscape managers are brought in to do this supervisory work)
- authorising payment once work has been satisfactorily completed
- attending public inquiries to give evidence if necessary
- generating new business opportunities.