Excerpted from the American Society of Landscape Architects Site
A Diverse Profession
Landscape architecture is one of the most diversified of the design professions.
Landscape architects design the built environment of neighborhoods, towns and cities while also protecting and managing the natural environment, from its forests and fields to rivers and coasts. Members of the profession have a special commitment to improving the quality of life through the best design of places for people and other living things.
In fact, the work of landscape architects surrounds us. Members of the profession are involved in the planning of such sites as office plazas, public squares and thoroughfares. The attractiveness of parks, highways, housing developments, urban plazas, zoos and campuses reflects the skill of landscape architects in planning and designing the construction of useful and pleasing projects.
From coast to coast, in every region of the world, examples of the landscape architecture profession can be found. Many landscape architects are involved in small projects, such as developing plans for a new city park or site plans for an office building, other members of the profession have contributed their expertise to numerous projects which include:
- Preservation of Yosemite Park and Niagara Falls
- Management plan for the Alaskan Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
- Design of the U.S. Capitol Grounds
- Design of Mount Royal Park in Montreal, Quebec
- Development of Stanford University site
- Creation of Boston's "emerald necklace" of green spaces tying the city to the suburbs
- Plans for Baltimore's park system and Inner Harbor area
- Design of "new towns" such as Columbia, Maryland, and Reston, Virginia
- Landfill reclamation for Fresh Kills in New York and Dyer in Florida
- Plans for Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California
- Sursum Cordan Affordable Housing, Washington, D.C.
- Design for water treatment and park facility in Hillsboro, Oregon
- Master plan for King Saud University in Saudi Arabia
- Restoration of the landscape along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Maryland
Depending on the scope of the project for clients, ranging from a local developer to the federal government, landscape architects may plan the entire arrangement of a site, including the location of buildings, grading, stormwater management, construction and planting. They may also coordinate teams of design, construction and contracting professionals.
Already, federal and state government agencies ranging from the National Park Service to local park planning boards employ a large number of landscape architects. More and more private developers realize that the services of a landscape architect are an integral part of a successful, more profitable project.