The Landscape Institute has recently supported the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) with a new Engagement Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work.  

The Engagement Overlay has been developed in collaboration with the Association of Collaborative Design (ACD) and Sustrans, with support from the Landscape Institute. The project has garnered significant interest across multiple organisations with over 40 representatives from 25 built environment organisations.

The purpose of the Engagement Overlay 

The Overlay gives architects, other built environment professionals, and members of the wider project team a framework for meaningful stakeholder engagement at every stage of a project. 

Participatory approaches to design and management are an essential part of landscape practice, with public engagement fundamental to many projects, This Overlay helps to raise engagement standards across the industry, as well as set out what an exemplar engagement process should look like. 

Members of LI Standing Committees attended sessions led by the Association of Collaborative Design (ACD), to provide initial input from a landscape perspective, as well as subsequent input and comments on draft versions of the Overlay.  

An essential resource 

The Engagement Overlay is a resource to increase understanding of the engagement process throughout all work stages. The guide should help to: 

  • Facilitate a more democratic design approach 
  • Share decision-making 
  • Provide a central benchmark and reference point for best practice
  • Build capability within architects and built environment professionals 
  • Ensure the project and process meet the needs and aspirations of the people and communities 
  • Be a resource for facilitating client and community communications

Carolin Göhler FLI, President-Elect of the Landscape Institute, said:  

The Landscape Institute is pleased to support to such an important new overlay for the RIBA Plan of Work. Participatory methods are essential for the quality planning, design and maintenance of everyday places, not just to foster inclusivity, access, and community agency, but to create places that are fit for purpose, tailored to the context of local environments, integrate well into the landscape and bring more people into the built environment sector. Landscape practice is particularly interested in bringing the social and environmental aspects of place together, and our membership body will be pleased that such positive steps are being taken to help facilitate this work as they collaborate with stakeholders on projects.” 

For more information and to view and download the Overlay in full, please see the RIBA website here.  

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