World Landscape Architecture Month

world landscape architecture month landform civil engineer land surveyor urban planner drone operator minneapolis elk river

Beyond Beauty: Celebrating World Landscape Architecture Month and the Power of Designed Spaces

Every April, we celebrate World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM) – a time to acknowledge the often-understated yet crucial role landscape architects play in shaping our world. But what exactly is landscape architecture, and why is it worth celebrating?

From Garden Design to Urban Planning: A Brief History of WLAM

While the concept of designing outdoor spaces has existed for millennia, landscape architecture as a formal profession emerged in the 19th century. Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the father of American landscape architecture, designed iconic landmarks like New York’s Central Park and Boston’s Emerald Necklace, demonstrating the power of landscape design to create public spaces that benefit both people and nature.

Over the 20th century, the field evolved to encompass aesthetics, functionality, and environmental concerns. Landscape architects began incorporating sustainable practices like rainwater harvesting and native plant selection. Today, our team works alongside our urban planners, civil engineers, land surveyors and aerial operations teams to create resilient and healthy cities that are inline with our SensiblyGreen® approach.

The Green Guardians: Landscape Architecture’s Impact on Sustainability

In an age of climate change and urbanization, landscape architecture takes center stage in promoting sustainability. Here’s how:

  • Green Infrastructure: Landscape architects design parks, green roofs, and bioswales that absorb rainwater, reduce flooding, and filter pollutants. These “green” solutions mitigate the impact of traditional infrastructure and create cooler, healthier urban environments.
  • Habitat Restoration: Our team plays a vital role in restoring natural habitats and promoting biodiversity. They may design wildlife corridors that connect fragmented ecosystems or create native plant communities that support local fauna.
  • Sustainable Practices: Landscape architects champion sustainable practices in every project, from choosing drought-resistant plants to incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels in parks.

Building Better Cities: Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning

Landscape architecture is integral to creating livable and thriving cities. Here’s its contribution:

  • Smart Design for Urban Heat Islands: By incorporating trees, shade structures, and reflective surfaces, landscape architects help reduce the urban heat island effect, making cities cooler and more comfortable.
  • Promoting Active Lifestyles: They design parks, bike paths, and pedestrian walkways that encourage physical activity and foster community interaction. Well-designed public spaces play a vital role in promoting public health and well-being.
  • Community Engagement: Landscape architects increasingly involve the public in the design process. This ensures that parks and green spaces cater to the specific needs and desires of the communities they serve.
landscape architect magazine landform professional services frauenshuh cancer center ferrari webber natural swimming pool minneapolis minnesota - 1
Landscape Architect Magazine, Winter 2023 (Click To Open & Read)

Landform’s Landscape Architects: Celebrating Our Team Members’ “Why”

With a combined experience of more than 1/2 a century, here’s how our published and award-winning team’s hearts shape the future:

  • Darren, RLA, President:  As a landscape architect, I’m constantly energized by the potential of the future and the growth in our industry. This vision informs my approach to translating emerging possibilities into tangible design solutions. My extensive background in site development serves as a critical foundation, allowing me to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and practical implementation. I take a proactive stance, fostering a collaborative environment where we can identify truly innovative solutions. The ultimate goal? Quality spaces that not only possess aesthetic appeal but also demonstrably enhance lives.
  • Josh, RLA, ASLA:  There’s magic in nature, a quiet power to soothe and mend. I knew this instinctively, even as a child, and it’s the very reason I became a landscape architect. Witnessing that transformation firsthand, seeing the space I helped create come alive with each changing season, year after year, fills me with a deep sense of connection to my surroundings. Those gardens and courtyards become living testaments to the cycle of life, a cycle we’re all part of. Nature’s variety and constant change are a never-ending source of inspiration. It’s a privilege to be a part of something much bigger than myself, to work with the environments we live in and create spaces that enhance our well-being.
  • John, RLA:  John enjoys learning about projects and sites and then discovering the possibilities that can come from them. Every project is unique, and every project consists of different goals. The excitement comes from flushing those out, coming up with interesting designs and solutions that are not always apparent in the beginning but end up being exciting and eye opening. My life-long passion is to work on an environmentally friendly golf course development project where I can make a positive impact on the environment and at the same time, provide living spaces and activity spaces for people to live there.
  • Sabrina, Intern: I’m passionate about creating spaces that enhance human health and well-being. Some of my favorite projects that I’ve worked on in school cater to the Minnesota landscape, focusing on sustainability, our state history, connection to our lakes and rivers, and enhancing community engagement with socially-centric spaces. I’m excited to move forward with pursuing my BLA degree so that one day, I can reflect these values onto real projects within local communities!

Celebrating WLAM is about recognizing that beautiful and functional outdoor spaces aren’t a coincidence – they’re the result of thoughtful planning and design. So, the next time you stroll through a park, relax in a rooftop garden, or admire a well-maintained public space, take a moment to appreciate the work of landscape architects – the green guardians shaping a more sustainable and livable future for all.