10 Great Reasons to be a Landscape Architect

Where will you end up, Central Park; credit: Stuart Monk /

Just in case you forgot why you started here are 10 great reasons to remind you. Landscape architecture is what you encounter once you walk out of your front door. It is the rural environment, the urban environment and the profession acting as the interface between earth’s natural ecosystem and its people. Landscape architects are broad thinkers addressing global issues such as climate change, water shortages, sustainable communities and the prevention of hunger. They are natural leaders with the ability to communicate through different professions and lead multidisciplinary projects. Those within the industry will tell you landscape architecture is certainly a great career choice, however what are the top 10 reasons to become a landscape architect? From forming a strategic response to the ever pressing issue of sustaining life on earth through to continually searching for a design response to a landscape question, the field of landscape architecture is incredibly vast. Peruse through these top 10 reasons to become a landscape architect and share your thoughts!

Reasons to be a Landscape Architect

  10. To challenge yourself! Where else can you be an environmental strategist one day and facilitate a major art installation the next? Landscape architecture has certainly changed from Olmsted’s and Vaux’s Central Park in 1863, and it is exactly this evolution which is impelling. The opportunity to be a part of the changes to come and make a difference to your community both locally and globally is certainly exciting.

Olmsted’s and Vaux’s Central Park; image credit: Manamana /

Olmsted’s and Vaux’s Central Park; image credit: Manamana /

9. Put a value on the landscape Landscape architects are advocates for the environment itself. Relating to conservation, landscape architects often stand alone as the sole ambassador for the environment during the design, construction and maintenance of a project. As an arguably ‘new’ profession, the value of the landscape component in a project is becoming more and more realised. 8. Be a Leader Going hand in hand with innovation, landscape architects are presented with the opportunity to lead many projects globally. If you have ever considered working with a team of architects, interior architects, engineers and builders among many other professions, then landscape architecture should be at your forefront of your career choices.
Be a leader; image credit:  Dusit /

Be a leader; image credit: Dusit /

7. Innovation! The profession itself was the consequence of a crazy yet innovative idea by Olmsted and Vaux in 1863, and as a result we now have  Central Park in New York City. Landscape architecture supports the creative and crazy in each of us and even encourages it! A few thought provoking innovative ideas to be inspired by include The Afsluitdijk (IJsselmeer Dam) by West 8, The Orquideorama by Plan B Architects and the Pod Playground in Canberra by Taylor Cullity Lethlean. 6. Combination of environment, art and science
ATLANTA - AUGUST 25: Children play at Centennial Olympic Park August 25, 2013 in Atlanta, GA. The park commemorates the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Stock Photo: Image ID: 151747958 Release Information: Editorial Use Only. Use of this image in advertising or for promotional purposes is prohibited.  Editorial Credit: Copyright: Sean Pavone

Children play at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, GA. The park commemorates the 1996 Atlanta ; image credit: Sean Pavone /

This multifaceted profession is not solely focused on one specific area! If you are looking for a diverse mix of work opportunities, then landscape architecture is for you. The range of projects undertaken by landscape architects is staggering. Olympic park master planning, environmental research, national park preservation, designing public squares and residential design are all examples. 5. Educate As a professional landscape architect, you must share your knowledge! Teaching someone else about the importance of landscape architecture as more than just an afterthought when a building is erected, but as the first thought is certainly rewarding. The fragility of the success of a project is almost always directly related to the landscape. Landscape architects also have the opportunity to delve into teaching prospective students at university, contributing to the world of academia and lending expertise with regards to sustainable and healthy living in many volunteer projects in third world countries. Helping others learn in any capacity is not just good for the community; it is good for the soul. 4. The Power to Change Knowledge is power; moreover knowledge is the power to change. As a professional landscape architect, you have the ability to empower others around you to make a difference. Landscape architects have the power (and duty) to change how, when, why and if we should or shouldn’t develop, design, plan and build on the landscape. 3. Respond to Global Issues Landscape architects work on the front line when it comes to global issues such as, but not limited to, climate change, intensive farming, environmental degradation, overpopulation and resource depletion. The term ‘think globally, act locally’ is certainly relevant to the profession. Landscape architects work with these global issues through many processes including designing areas not solely reliant on cars for transportation, designing structures with the ability to adapt with the environment and utilise natural energy and the practical management of the earth’s water. 2. Create a healthy community
Healthy community engagment; image credit: Iakov Filimonov /

Healthy community engagment; image credit: Iakov Filimonov /

Much of what landscape architects do is focused on community and creating a space for gathering, play, activity and living. There is no other profession which looks to envelope all aspects of community life and seeks to improve it. Not just the built structure, not just the access roads or the local wetlands, but human interaction with a sustainable life. Landscape architects work on cleverly thought out ideologies to make life for  resident happier, healthier and easier. Examples include challenging areas for children’s play, interconnected road systems, road side verges recharging the groundwater and regenerating the environment. 1. Conservation Possibly the most important reason to become a landscape architect is to act as a buffer between people and the landscape. Landscape architects work towards putting guidelines, policies and law in place so as to protect the environment for future generations. Many landscape initiatives focused on conservation are in place, and it is these guidelines which allow for a healthy community.
Landscape of Samburu before storm, Samburu, Kenya Stock Photo: Image ID: 86426845 Release Information: N/A Copyright: Piotr Gatlik

Conservation projects. Landscape of Samburu, Kenya; image credit:  Piotr Gatlik /

A few initiative examples include the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative in Australia (which seeks to protect the natural landscape from Victoria through to far north Queensland), the Everglades Initiative in the Florida Everglades (seeking to improve water quality, control invasive weeds, improve fauna habitats and support the rural economy) and the Network of Protected Marine Areas in Spain initiative by the World Wildlife Fund (seeking to conserve important marine landscapes). Landscape architects are viewed as professionals in the area of conservation and seek to better understand the world in which we live, and in turn, protect it. Recommended Reading :

Article written by Tanya Wood. Featured image: Manamana /

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