31 October 2008
The vital importance of landscape architecture in adapting and mitigating to climate change has been revealed in a new report published by the Landscape Institute.
The LI’s Position Statement on Climate Change reveals the critical role the profession can play in the delivery of climate change policy objectives. Featuring case studies from across the UK as well as overseas, it shows how landscape architects are able to create multi-functional landscapes able to provide food, energy, water storage and flood mitigation as well promoting health and well being.
It states that effective adaptation to climate change can be facilitated by green infrastructure approaches to planning and design and calls for landscape architects to be appointed in a leadership role on all regeneration projects.
Landscape Institute President Neil Williamson said today: “Our vision is of a world that has adapted to climate change and where further changes are mitigated. This vision will be possible if landscape architects provide leadership and are given opportunities to exert this both now and in the future.
The case studies include the redevelopment of Sutcliffe Park, London, where a 35 hectare area of featureless playing fields has been transformed into a natural environment containing a meandering river, a lake and ponds, wildflower meadows and widely accessible boardwalks, paths and seating areas.
In Old Trafford environmental regeneration charity Groundwork Manchester has converted a formerly derelict site into a blossoming public space for the community and the local primary school. The park has space to grow food, and was developed using environmentally sustainable materials built by local labour.
Landscape architects at Sheffield City Council, along with Bob Bray Associates, developed Manor Fields Park, slowly transforming the derelict park into a safe, well used public space. As part of the project, natural vegetation has been preserved and wild habitats encouraged. Recycled materials have been used wherever possible and a sustainable system has allowed drainage to occur naturally.
The park’s tailor-made design proved its value during the 2007 floods in Sheffield. It includes a basin that acted primarily as community open space doubling as a 1 in 100-year flood basin and which held back the flood water from entering the river system. Within a few days of the flood, the land had drained so thoroughly that it was back in use as a community open space.
Other case studies include work to prevent a repeat of flooding in the East End of Glasgow and an innovative green roof at a Rotherham business centre. The Position Statement – the first by the Landscape Institute – will be followed by future reports on Housing and Green Infrastructure.
Notes to editors:
The Landscape Institute is the professional body and regulator for landscape architecture. Under its Royal Charter the Landscape Institute is charged with protecting, conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for the benefit of the public.