The role of landscape architecture in urban design

Landscape architecture is the art and science of creating and conserving outdoor environments with respect to cultural values and ecological sustainability. It uses both non­living and living materials for design and planning, therefore the outcome is always dynamic and changing. Until recently, urban design was associated mainly with architecture and urban planning, and the role of landscape architecture was neglected. Landscape architects have been criticized for their urban design practices with low density, little formal sensibility, and too much open space which at the end look like suburban environments (Krieger, 2009). Today, on the contrary, urban landscape is considered crucial to creating sustainable urban environments. Although the word "landscape" is often used to describe natural and/or rural environments, there is certainly more to it. A landscape is shaped by both natural and cultural dynamics which also influence human life styles. Therefore an urban landscape is not only about green spaces within an urban environment. It is comprised of various land uses such as streets and squares, playgrounds, railway and canal corridors, cemeteries, bicycle and pedestrian paths, and waterfronts. Even structures in a city influence the urban landscape character.

Today urban environments have also a vast pressure on rural environments due to decentralization which causes loss of boundaries between urban and rural environments. Therefore it has a negative impact on natural resources which provide goods and energy for the urban dwellers. That is why sustainability has become the most important goal in urban design and planning more than ever. Urban design approaches should not neglect the natural processes which shape and influence the quality of life in urban environments. Since ecological principles are fundamental to landscape design and planning, urban landscape design plays an influential role in creating sustainable urban environments in context of resource management.

Updated: October 14, 2015 — 2:00 am