Landscape Architects Step Into Vacuum Left by Planners and Architects

Landscape Architecture is a field in the ascendency, writes Alan G. Brake. Its rise can be traced to the inability of Architects and Planners to engage with some of the most important challenges of our time.
December 5, 2012, 6am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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David Berkowitz

"In recent years, landscape architects have seen their profile rise," explains Brake. "The discipline has gained stature in the public’s imagination, as well as among the allied disciplines of architecture, planning, and even civil and transportation engineering," owing to changes in federal and city policy, and the ability of landscape architects to redefine, and expand, the role of their field.

As much as the field's rise can be traced to the efforts of its practitioners, it also owes its ascendence to "weaknesses in contemporary architecture and planning" including a focus on architecture-as-object and planning's fear of engaging with design, argues Brake.

"Landscape architects are offering redemptive visions for neglected, damaged, and underutilized places. Environmental problems may seem overwhelming and insurmountable. But landscape architects offer solutions to improve our roofs, our blocks, our neighborhoods, a nearby waterway, or the city at large."

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Published on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 in The Architect's Newspaper
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