Author: Paul Lincoln

Contact us if you are interested in joining our team as a writer on the subject of landscape architecture.

First book on BIM for Landscape published by Landscape Institute UK

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is transforming working practices across the built environment sector, as clients, professionals, contractors and manufacturers throughout the supply chain grasp the opportunities that BIM presents. The first book ever to focus on the implementation of BIM processes in landscape and external works, BIM for Landscape will help landscape professionals understand what BIM means for them. This bookis intended to equip landscape practitioners and practices to meet the challenges and reap the rewards of working in a BIM environment – and to help professionals in related fields to understand how BIM processes can be brought into landscape projects. BIM offers significant benefits to the landscape profession, and heralds a new chapter in inter-disciplinary relationships. BIM for Landscape shows how BIM can enhance collaboration with other professionals and clients, streamline information processes, improve decision-making and deliver well-designed landscape projects that are right first time, on schedule and on budget.

This book looks at the organisational, technological and professional practice implications of BIM adoption. It discusses in detail the standards, structures and information processes that form BIM Level 2-compliant workflows, highlighting the role of the landscape professional within the new ways of working that BIM entails. It also looks in depth at the digital tools used in BIM projects, emphasising the ‘information’ in Building Information Modelling, and the possibilities that data-rich models offer in landscape design, maintenance and management. BIM for Landscape will be an essential companion to the landscape professional at any stage of their BIM journey.

Available in hardback and e-version from the publishers.

Landscape Institute Calls Attention to Water Sensitive Urban Design

When it comes to water, flood prevention is one part of a much bigger picture for landscape architects – and that’s championing water sensitive urban design (WSUD). Landscape architects elsewhere in the world may know WSUD by different monikers, such as low-impact development (LID) or sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS). Regardless of the name, we at the Landscape Institute believe that attractive, liveable landscapes go hand in hand with smart water management.

While many Land8 members may be most familiar with our commissioned animations like I Want to be a Landscape Architect and Water Sensitive Urban Design, the Landscape Institute is also involved in many other initiatives to encourage people to rethink our relationship with water. As the Royal Chartered Institute for landscape architects with branches throughout the United Kingdom, we champion the profession from grassroots to government. 

When floods ravaged parts of the UK earlier this February, the Landscape Institute made front-page news with an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for an integrated approach to water management across the country. First published in the national Daily Telegraph, the letter, which was signed by the heads of 17 leading bodies for the built environment in the UK, was quickly picked up by other big news outlets including the Guardian, Financial Times, and the BBC.

The Landscape Institute’s educational efforts also formed the impetus for our collaboration with the Mayor of London’s Office on a recent ideas competition to transform former docks in the southeast of the city. Our 20 shortlisted designs caught the attention of the trade press with ideas encompassing wetlands, rain gardens, floating villages, a new park that would eliminate any need for mains water supply, and even plans to reroute the River Thames so as to leave the old riverbed ripe for transformation into a green space bigger than Hyde Park.

In addition to WSUD, a key part of any ‘liveable’ landscape is also one that promotes good quality of life. Public health is a central consideration within that and key legislative shifts in England last year prompted us to investigate landscape architecture’s role in creating healthy places. For a quick summary, our President Sue Illman covers the highlights in this recent Op-Ed for the Guardian. At the heart of the report are the Landscape Institute’s ‘Five Principles of Healthy Places’, as well as profiles of 22 UK projects where public health as been a key design driver.

(Related Story: Getting Lost in London: Eastern Curve Garden)

One such project is a thriving community garden in east London developed on a small derelict piece of railway land. The Dalston Eastern Curve is the first of our video case studies produced to accompany the report, and you can watch it below:


Keep in touch with our work by following us on twitter and visit our website.

We are always happy to discuss any aspect of landscape architecture, so please get in touch.

Paul Lincoln

Water Sensitive Cities – New film Demonstrates Benefits of Putting Water at the Heart of Urban Design

A new film, released tomorrow, demonstrates that by creating ‘water sensitive cities’ it is possible to address the major challenges of water shortage, flooding and pollution. The film, commissioned by the Landscape Institute and based on work by CIRIA, Arup and AECOM, explains the concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and argues the case for designing ‘with’ water when planning any new development. 

WSUD is an integrated solution to flooding, droughts and water quality, which promotes a more rational and frugal use of water alongside the creation of beautiful and resilient places. WSUD is about looking beyond the idea that a pipe in the ground is the best option for dealing with rain water – it is about prioritising all elements of the water cycle when designing and developing new places. WSUD reduces flooding, harnesses the potential of flood water, cuts the demand for potable water.

‘The excellent Landscape Institute videos on YouTube are a must-see.’ says the UK’s Architect’s Journal

From today’s edition of the Architect’s Journal:

“2012 will go down as the year British landscape design reinvented itself. Two of the main talking points, the Olympics and green infrastructure, have put the emotive power of quality landscape design firmly in the public eye and in professional consciousness. ……..

“The horticultural feast masterminded by the Olympic Delivery Authority’s John Hopkins and presented to a global audience by the Olympic Park landscape team (Hargreaves Associates, LDA Design, Nigel Dunnett, James Hitchmough, Sarah Price et al) made that promise real. The excellent Landscape Institute videos on YouTube are a must-see.”

Watch our new YouTube video on the landscape of the Olympic Park.


From: – paywall to access

Lectures: Urban Landscapes in the Twentieth Century – From the Garden City to the Green City

The green landscape of our cities is all too often under threat, falling prey to builders, tight development budgets or lack of maintenance. Join leading landscape architects, writers and specialists as they explore the urban landscapes of the last century.  And, at a time when everyone is talking about sustainable development and green space what can the experts tell us about the challenges of creating urban landscapes in the 21st century?

The series, programmed to accompany the exhibition From Garden City to Green City at London’s Garden Museum, will cover the shift from the ideal of every family being able to grow their own food to factory farming and back again, from the reinvention of the pleasure garden for the Festival of Britain to modern sports parks. 

Book now:



Supported by Landscape Forms and English Heritage

Landscape Institute Student Conference 1-3 July 2011

As the British government prepares to invest more than £400 billion in major infrastructure projects including High Speed 2, the building of new nuclear power stations and the creation of renewable energy plant, BIG LANDSCAPE 2020 looks to the future both for landscape schemes and for today’s students who as tomorrow’s professionals will be shaping that future.

Starting on Friday evening with seminars and a reception, the programme on Saturday looks at a wide range of themes affecting students over the next twenty years.  

Speakers include John Hopkins from the Olympic Development Authority who commissioned the soon-to-be-completed Olympic Park.

Sunday is devoted to a street-wide event in conjunction with Living Streets.

The conference is open to all students and  is an excellent opportunity to find out what is happening in UK landscape circles.

Sign up for the Big Landscape website.

Why Invest in Landscape? Arguing the case for investing in landscape. Download our new publication.

Why Invest in Landscape? – the new campaign from the Landscape Institute, shows how towns around the UK are seeing a positive bottom line benefit by investing in landscape.  From revitalising a small public square to planning for massive new estates, the economic benefits are clearly demonstrated. 

Landscape Institute president Jo Watkins said, “High streets, squares, parks and other public spaces should be special places.  Getting them right is the best investment you can make. Getting them wrong often has people voting with their feet.”

He continued, “When landscape is placed at the heart of the development process, developers profit while businesses and communities reap the economic benefits. Our campaign focuses on the positive impact on business and communities of investment in landscape.”

The campaign features examples from across the UK where councils, house builders and private developers are reaping the rewards of putting the landscape at the heart of their thinking.

  • At the Square, Barnstaple, Devon, landscape architects’ improvements have dramatically increased visitor numbers to the town centre.
  • For the Pontypool Regeneration Strategy in Wales, landscape architects showed how best to use the town’s natural assets to drive regeneration.
  • At Diglis Water, landscape architects significantly increased the saleability of residential property.
  • Cambourne in Cambridgeshire saved more than £12 million in development costs by following the advice of their landscape architects

Why Invest in Landscape? demonstrates how landscape architects have:

  • increased footfall to local business by creating places people want to spend time in;
  • increased the sale and rental values of private housing and commercial property;
  • optimised the full potential of a given location for a developer;
  • cut development costs through intelligent use of existing landscape features and innovative use of construction waste; and
  • put the built and natural environment at the heart of the regeneration process.

Why Invest in Landscape? can be downloaded from the Landscape Institute website at



Download Why Invest in Landscape?

Durham wins UK Landscape Award – see great films for the six finalists

The restoration of the Durham Heritage Coast – previously an industrial wasteland – was announced as the winner of the first-ever UK Landscape Awards in Liverpool on 8 November.

Durham Heritage Coast was awarded the title
of UK Landscape of Year at the UK Landscape Conference in Liverpool. The
project will now go on to represent the UK in the European Landscape Award
which takes place in Strasbourg in March 2011.

Durham Heritage Coast emerged as the winner from a diverse list of urban and rural finalists
which included:

  • A twenty five year campaign to improve the Mersey Basin
  • Creation of spectacular spaces and streets in the heart of Sheffield
  • Community-led rebuilding of Baxter Park, Dundee in Scotland
  • Conservation of the hill forts and heather moorland of Denbighshire in Wales
  • Regeneration of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland

Durham’s coastline suffered from 100 years of waste tipping by the coal industry with
over 1.5 million tonnes of waste per year being dumped over the cliffs onto the
beaches and into the sea. Durham’s beaches became known as ‘The Black Beaches’ and
looked so grim that they were used as film locations in Get Carter and Alien.

In their submission, The Durham Heritage Coast Partnership described the

“Where previously colliery waste was tipped onto the beach in enormous quantities, a costal path now leads you through a wonderful landscape mosaic of great natural, historical and geological interest with dramatic views along the coastline and out across the North Sea.”

Ian McMillan, poet and radio presenter, who was on the judging panel summed up the
views of the judges;

“This is an internationally important exemplar for transforming a despoiled landscape through careful investment and enormous amounts of enthusiasm and hard work. A bold vision has created a landscape of beauty rich in wildlife and cultural heritage in which local communities can feel justifiably proud. This is the beginning of a renaissance which will enable towns and villages of this part of the former Durham Coalfield to develop a relevant new identity.”

Full details are available from

Watch the films here:

Baxter Park, Dundee –

Durham Heritage Coast –

Gold Route, Sheffield –

Heather & Hillforts Project –

Lough Neagh Regeneration Project –

Mersey Basin Campaign –

Professor Simon Schama and Rene Bihan of SWA Group, San Francisco to headline UK Landscape Conference.

Simon Schama and Rene Bihan of SWA Group, San Francisco will be keynote speakers at the UK Landscape Conference 2010.

The conference opens on 8 November with the presentation of the six shortlisted entries for the UK Landscape Award and the announcement of the winner. At the conference dinner on 9 November, Schama will share his perceptions about how landscape has changed since he wrote Landscape and Memory, 15 years ago.

The conference will feature an array of high-profile speakers. Rene Bihan of SWA Group, San Francisco, will share his company’s experience of working in China, where the government is backing ambitious, large-scale projects to transform and reshape blighted industrial landscapes. Dr Mechtild Rossler, Chief, European and North America Section, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, will talk about Global Landscape Heritage and the challenges for conservation.

Steve Quartermain, the UK Government’s Chief Planner, will speak about how planning is being reformed under the new government, while Sir Michael Pitt, Chair of the UK Infrastructure Planning Commission, will speak about its work to date in implementing the Planning Act 2008.

The Heritage Lottery Fund will discuss its commitment to landscape with tips on securing funds, and the Landscape Institute will lead a session on valuing ecosystem services, ‘Putting a price on landscape’.

On 10 November, the conference will conclude with a specially chartered ferry trip up the Mersey River made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers who sang Ferry Cross the Mersey.

The awards ceremony, conference dinner and the Mersey tour are included in the conference price of £185. For more information on the conference, or to register, click here.

Showcase the best landscape projects in the UK

The UK Landscape Award is looking for the best landscape in the UK.

The Award helps to implement the European Landscape Convention (ELC) in the UK. The
Convention is the first international convention to focus specifically on landscape, and is dedicated exclusively to the protection, management and planning of all landscapes in Europe. The ELC became binding from 1 March 2007. The convention highlights the need to
recognise landscape in law, to develop landscape policies dedicated to the protection, management and creation of landscapes, and to establish procedures for the participation of the general public and other stakeholders in the creation and implementation of landscape policies. It also encourages the integration of landscape into all relevant areas of policy, including cultural, economic and social policies.

The ELC establishes a Council of Europe Landscape Award to recognise
quality stewardship of landscapes. Member states run national competitions to identify national winners who are then put forward for the European-level award. The Award has only been run once before.

This is the first time that the Award has been run in the UK.

Entries for the Award opened on 6 April and close on 27 August 2010. The winner will be
announced on 8 November 2010 at the European Landscape Convention Conference in
Liverpool. The UK winner will then be submitted to the Council of Europe’s European Landscape Award which will be announced in March 2011.

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