Liveable, sustainable cities are defined by their green spaces. And so landscape design is key to the long-term success of developments.
Landscape architects help developments work in sympathy with places, people and nature, so that buildings and infrastructure become valued, enduring assets.
“As landscape architects we don’t always need to make design statements; some of our best work is invisible. The profession is about delivering creative and sustainable solutions to real problems.”
– Tom Armour, Leader, Global Landscape Architecture, Arup, 2011
Contemporary landscape design must tackle pressing challenges. So while our landscape solutions help create inspiring places, they are also strategies to produce more liveable cities, greater biodiversity and resilience to climate change, and better resource management.
Our landscape designers help steer sustainable outcomes on projects of any scale. We contribute to masterplans for new cities and renewal schemes worldwide. We are as well equipped to design landscape for major infrastructure projects as we are for streetscapes, the public realm, mixed-use developments, ecological habitats and green roofs.
We develop and realise pragmatic ideas that are economic and achievable as well as being better for people and the environment. For clients and design teams, we play an important interpretative role: taking the advice of environmental specialists and translating it into deliverable plans.
In one such project, Beam Parklands, we worked closely with the Environment Agency and Land Trust to create a new 53ha wetland park. Our design integrated and balanced advice from ecologists and other environmental specialists with the requirements of our engineering teams. The result is an award-winning new park, valued by local communities and purposefully linked to local ecology.
Informing better outcomes
At Arup, landscape designers work closely with other specialists to produce more rounded solutions. We become part of integrated design teams from the start of complex projects such as the Pinewood Studios masterplan and the UK’s High Speed 1. By contributing early, we add greater value – whether by informing better designs, helping secure planning consents, or finding programme savings in cost, time and resources.
On High Speed 1 we worked closely with Arup engineers to set the railway unobtrusively within the landscape. To achieve that effect, we designed subtle landscape interventions using millions of cubic metres of excavated spoil – a resource-efficient approach that also significantly cut the costs of transporting and disposing of waste.
Likewise, our involvement in masterplanning helps developers act early on issues that will influence the acceptability of their plans. For Tangye New Town, China, for example, we created a city park designed to store flood water. Doing so, we avoided the cost of constructing flood management systems underground.