Campaign for the economic benefits of landscape goes live

Campaign for the economic benefits of landscape goes live

‘Why Invest in Landscape?’ the new campaign from the Landscape Institute, shows how towns around the UK are seeing a positive bottom line benefit by investing in landscape. From revitalising a small public square to planning for massive new estates, the economic benefits are clearly demonstrated.

Landscape Institute president Jo Watkins said: “High streets, squares, parks and other public spaces should be special places. Getting them right is the best investment you can make. Getting them wrong often has people voting with their feet.”

“When landscape is placed at the heart of the development process, developers profit while businesses and communities reap the economic benefits. Our campaign focuses on the positive impact on business and communities of investment in landscape,” he continued.

The ‘Why invest in landscape?’ campaign features examples from across the UK of where councils, house builders and private developers are reaping the rewards of putting the landscape at the heart of their thinking. The examples include:

  • At the Square, Barnstaple, Devon, landscape architects’ improvements have dramatically increased visitor numbers to the town centre
  • For the Pontypool Regeneration Strategy in Wales, landscape architects showed how best to use the town’s natural assets to drive regeneration
  • At Diglis Water, landscape architects significantly increased the saleability of residential property
  • Cambourne in Cambridgeshire saved more than £12m in development costs by following the advice of their landscape architects

In a nutshell, ‘Why Invest in Landscape?’ demonstrates how landscape architects have:

  • Increased footfall to local business by creating places people want to spend time in
  • Increased the sale and rental values of private housing and commercial property
  • Optimised the full potential of a given location for a developer
  • Cut development costs through intelligent use of existing landscape features and innovative use of construction waste
  • Put the built and natural environment at the heart of the regeneration process

Why Invest in Landscape? can be downloaded from the Landscape Institute website. To get your hands on a copy, visit

The campaign offically kicks off with a day of seminars in London at Ecobuild on 2 March, including a lunctime surgery from WRAP, and continues with a full day of seminars at Street Design at the end of the month.

At Ecobuild, Dick Longdin from Randall Thorp and developer Neville Stebbing of Taylor Wimpey will be speaking about long-term investment in the landscape and green infrastructure of Cambourne, Cambridge. Neil Homer of LDA Design and Melanie Taylor of Leeds City Region will be presenting their work in Leeds City Region. 

Dominic Watkins from Chris Blandford Associates will present the Milton Keynes South Midlands Green Infrastructure Design Guide; and Sion Neesam from the Landscape Partnership will be talking about The Cambridge SuDS Design and Adoption Guide which won this year’s President’s Award.  

Ian Phillips, a member of the Landscape Institute Policy Committee will outline the way in which GI can be implemented at all scales of landscape and provide an explanation of how landscape architects can support  developers, planning authorities and communities in responding to the localism agenda.

To book your place at Ecobuild 2011, click here

At Street Design, Alastair McCapra, cheif executive, Landscape Institute, outlines the  the LI’s new campaign and Dafydd Warburton and Paul Connolly, landscape architects, LDA Design, present two important case studies from Why Invest in Landscape? – Diglis Water and Pontypool Regeneration Strategy. Jill White, formerly at Devon County Council, outlines the thinking behind The Square, Barnstaple; and Tot Brill, executive director, Transport, Environment and Leisure Services, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, presents their work on Exhibition Road, which is linking South Kensington’s Museum District with an outstanding shared space.

The afternoon seminar looks at the The Landscape of Shopping.
 Oxford Circus is at the centre of London’s West End, Cheapside was the market street for the City of London. Peter Heath, technical director, Atkins, presents the major improvements carried out at Oxford Circus, which include a diagonal crossing; Victor Callister, assistant director Environmental Enhancements, City of London Corporation, outlines the changes to Cheapside which are turning this once more into the City’s major shopping street and Paul Osborne, environmental improvements officer, Exeter City Council, on the importance of a high-quality public realm to commercial retail development in Exeter.

To book your place at Street Design 2011, click here


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