Our time in the outdoors is always something we treasure. It’s a puzzle then as to why we devote so little time to better landscape design.
It’s interesting to work out what value we place on the great outdoors. If you ask people to talk about their visits to cities like Melbourne, Sydney, New York or Paris, and what they liked most about being there, most would answer that their best experiences involved the outdoors. Memories of a city visit or a trip into the wild have little in common apart from being outdoors.
Studies by Landscape architects have shown that individuals live a healthier and happier life in areas where they can experience nature and the green urban spaces. Landscaping design of outdoor spaces is one of the cheapest you can do, and provides the highest return on investment. We’re talking about community life, health and wellness as well as the surrounding businesses. More people are making the move back into cities, and green public spaces and colourful streetscapes are attracting factors.
Indoors V Outdoors
In spite of this, we have the tendency to provide greater financial support to buildings and interior decorating than we do to outdoor spaces. Values are set as to how many dollars a square foot costs for buildings, but we don’t apply the same for the outdoors. Isn’t it time we made a strong business case for the landscaping design of outdoor spaces? How can it be done? The first step is to utilise the combined skills of talented landscape designers and architects who are the best able to design and create amazing outdoor areas.
Utilising Landscape Designers
If ever there was a time in history for landscape designers to speak up, then this is it. Landscape design is a profession that works on a holistic basis. They have the ability to interface and mesh the natural environment with the built environment. Give them an inch and they will take the mile in providing leadership for shaping spaces outdoors and also making the public aware of them.
There are virtually hundreds of talented and inspired landscape designers who can lend their vision and design to outdoor spaces.
Imagine the Future
Industry can also lend a hand and operate in a constructive role. Can the people involved take up the challenge? investigate methods and make a convincing case to show there is a substantial return on investment for beautifully designed outdoor spaces. The return is measured in terms of the community, the environment and well-being against dollar spent. Innovation should be more than litter bins, a few odd benches and a bike rack to provide enjoyment for the public. We need to create a great outdoor experience. Just a couple of centimetres on the other side of the door is where the outdoor starts, so look at creating something in spaces adjacent to buildings. Technology can be thoughtfully integrated in public spaces, respecting the environment.
The whole concept of landscape designers working collaboratively with other design professionals is an exciting vision. It can make a significant difference to the urban landscape which is where the future should be heading.