Landscape magazine aims to discover the industry’s most influential authors

Share your views on the industry's most influential books
Share your views on the industry's most influential books

What was the catalyst for you to become a landscape architect? Was it a particularly well-designed public square? An inspirational mentor? A landscape that made you think “I could do better”? Or perhaps it was a book, one that got the creative juices flowing and stayed with you long after you’d finished reading it.

Landscape would like members to send in their top five most influential books. They don’t necessarily have to be on landscape architecture – they only need to have inspired you professionally. We will then run a feature in a future issue discussing the leading contenders.

To get us started, Tony Edwards of Place Design + Planning in Raynes Park, London, has submitted his top five. They are, in no particular order:

•    Oscar Newman, Defensible Space: People and design in the violent city (1973)
•    Alice Coleman, Utopia on Trial: Vision and reality in planned housing (1985)
•    Nan Fairbrother, New Lives, New Landscapes (1970)
•    Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)
•    Ian McHarg, Design with Nature (1969)

“I first qualified as an architect, but enjoyed lectures in landscape architecture by the late John Kelsey,” Edwards explains. “I decided to qualify as a landscape architect because I came to appreciate the importance of the spaces outside buildings. I also looked out of train windows at derelict brownfield sites on my way to building on greenfield sites and was aware of how irresponsible mankind was in our failure to repair the damage we were doing to the land. From this time, my interest grew in landscape planning, reclamation and residential design – as evidenced by my book list.”

Send your list of the top five most influential books here.

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