Cambourne Lake and Recreation Cambridgeshire. © Randall Thorp

Integrating landscape into a housing development increases its capital value and the living standards of residents, says a 2013 survey by property agent Savills.

Increasingly, developers understand that landscape planning ensures the best use of land, including identifying the most sustainable sites for development.

Hiring landscape professionals for developments and adopting a landscape-led approach to developments are paying dividends.

Why landscape is important for housing developments

The demand for new homes is greater now than at any time since the post-war building boom. In 2015, the government set a target of building 1 million new homes by 2020.

There is a growing need to deliver more housing while meeting other demands, such as enhancing biodiversity, ensuring flood resilience, and creating places and spaces where people can interact and lead healthier lives.

The landscape within and between housing developments has a crucial role to play in meeting these varied challenges.

The LI explores the value added by landscape-led projects

The LI produced a guide for developers showing how focussing on landscape adds value to housing developments.

“Place comes before architecture, and landscape plays a big role in place.”

Wayne Hemingway, Design Council CABE

The guide, ‘Profitable Places, October, 2014’ (PDF, 3MB) shows how housebuilders and developers who use a landscape-led approach are reaping the rewards of focussing on landscape first.

The guide sets out five guiding principles, each illustrated with a case study, showing how landscape has informed the location, layout and design of new developments.

Renewed interest in garden cities

There has been renewed government interest in the garden cities concept in recent years. In response to this, the LI’s Policy and Communications Committee produced ‘A New Generation of Garden Cities: a future inspired by landscape‘. (PDF 3.1MB)

‘A new generation of garden cities: a future inspired by the landscape’ sets out five guiding principles for a landscape-led approach to the planning and design of garden cities. These five principles, which the LI believes will address future challenges and respond to society’s needs, are:

  1. Start with the landscape.
  2. Work within the landscape.
  3. Develop a positive relationship between town and country.
  4. Build a place worth living… for life.
  5. Create vibrant places.