2021 IFLA Europe General Assembly and I International Congress of Landscape Architects in Spain “Landscape Here and Now”, 20-24 October 2021, Granada!
Credits: Manuel Sanchez, AEP Spain

About Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture combines environment and design, art and science. It is about everything outside the front door, both urban and rural, at the interface between people and natural systems. The range of ways in which landscape architects work is staggering. From master-planning Olympic sites to planning and managing landscapes like national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty to designing the public squares and parks that we all use, landscape architecture nurtures communities and makes their environment human and liveable.

“Landscape architecture is not just the profession of the future — but the profession for a better future.”

Landscape architects are broad thinkers who thrive on the big picture. They are playing an increasingly important role in addressing the great issues of our day: climate change, sustainable communities, water, housing and the prevention of hunger.

IFLA Definition of Landscape Architect

IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) definition (based on the existing definition by ISCO/08) about the profession of LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT

Landscape Architects plan, design and manage natural and built environments, applying aesthetic and scientific principles to addressecological sustainability, quality and health of landscapes, collective memory, heritage and culture, and territorial justice. By leading and coordinating other disciplines, landscape architects deal with the interactions between natural and cultural ecosystems, such as adaptation and mitigation related to climate change and the stability of ecosystems, socio-economic improvements, and community health and welfare to create places that anticipate social and economic well-being.

The tasks of Landscape Architects include:
(a) Developing and managing the landscape by carrying out actions and preparing and implementing projects for heritage protection, preservation of natural and cultural landscapes,rehabilitation of degraded landscapes, and new development through a process of design, planning, management and maintenance.

(b) Conducting research and analysis to develop sustainable landscape design, planning and management practices, theories, methods and development strategies to promote green infrastructure, the sustainable management of natural, agricultural, rural and urban landscapes and the sustainable use and management of global environmental resources.

(c) Carrying out feasibility studies and impact assessments to gauge the effect of development on the ecology, environmental character, cultural values and community health and welfare of landscapes.

(d) Collecting and documenting data through site analysis, including an appreciation of indigenous practices, land form, soils, vegetation, hydrology, visual characteristics and human-made and managed features.

(e) Preparing landscape documentation, including drawings, specifications, schedules and contract documents, and calling tenders on behalf of clients.

(f) Managing digital technologies and representation of spatial systems, and client and/or community presentations related to the environment and landscape.

(g) Engaging local communities, authorities and stakeholders by public participation in decision-making relating to projects that impact landscape.

(h) Providing expert advice and advocacy on landscape matters in conflict resolution, judicial courts and com-missions, competitions, media and public relations.

Examples of the occupations classified here:

- Landscape Architect

The profession of Landscape Architect may be adopted under different titles by non-English speaking countries.

Some related occupations classified elsewhere in ISCO 08:

· Building Architect – Number 2161
· Urban Planner – Number 2164

IFLA Definition of Landscape Architect was voted by IFLA World Council in September 2020 and IFLA Europe General Assembly in October 2020.
It was sent to International Labour Organisation for approval. We will inform our members when it is approved officially.

Worked out by IFLA Working group comprising: Fritz AUWECK – Chair | Carlos JANKILEVICH (IFLA Americas) | James HAYTER (IFLA Asia-Pacific - IFLA President) Carlo BRUSCHI (IFLA Europe – IFLA Europe Statutory Advisor)| Jala MAKHZOUMI (IFLA Middle East) Carey DUNCAN (IFLA Africa President) | Karin HELMS (IFLA Europe President) | Marina CERVERA (IFLA PPP Committee Chair)

To download IFLA Definition of Landscape Architect_EN

IFLA Definition of Landscape Architect - certified French version

IFLA Definition of Landscape Architect - certified Spanish version


About Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture combines environment and design, art and science. It is about everything outside the front door, both urban and rural, at the interface between people and natural systems. The range of ways in which landscape architects work is staggering. From master-planning Olympic sites to planning and managing landscapes like national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty to designing the public squares and parks that we all use, landscape architecture
nurtures communities and makes their environment human and livable.

Landscape architecture is not just the profession of the future — but the profession for a better future. Landscape architects are broad thinkers who thrive on the big picture. They are playing an increasingly important role in addressing
the great issues of our day: climate change, sustainable communities, water, housing and the prevention of hunger.

Landscape architects are often natural leaders, able to communicate with many professions and leading multidisciplinary projects. Landscape architecture is not just the profession of the future — but the profession for a better future.

In addition, landscape architects are also active in other fields related to the design of open spaces and landscapes: for example, in village redevelopment as well as in urban planning and inner-city regeneration projects. Here landscape architects have to co-operate with architects, town planners, civil engineers, biologists and social planners.

Landscape architects work for planning consultancies, for companies in the gardening and landscape industry, for government agencies and for local governments in public works and parks departments, water authorities or nature conservation bodies.

The following overview indicates how diverse their work can be:

  • Environmental precaution and protection in physical and regional planning
  • Regional landscape programmes and landscape structure plans
  • Regional development concepts, communal and inter-communal infrastructure studies
  • Environmental planning
  • Planning and programmes for leisure parks and large-scale landscape remediation
  • Concepts for landscape conversion and decontamination
  • Studies into the regeneration of disused industrial and settlement sites
  • Overall concepts for rivers, streams and lakes and their re-naturalisation
  • Research projects concerning conservation and environmental issues
  • Nature protection management

Landscape tasks in urban land use; planning and sectoral planning

  • Green and open space planning as part of urban land use planning
  • Landscape envelope plans
  • Environmental impact assessment in the context of site location and suitability
  • Studies regarding the environmental impact of planning and development programmes
  • Habitat planning and development
  • Mapping of landscapes and natural areas
  • Planning for national parks, biosphere and nature reserves, as well as landscape protection areas
  • Services regarding the legal and administrative procedures for protecting areas
  • Landscape maintenance plans in infrastructural development and project planning
  • Environmental impact assessment according to impact mitigation regulations
  • Planning for mineral extraction and reclamation
  • Setting up and maintaining documentation of impact mitigation measures
  • Maintenance and development plans; follow-up planning
  • Monitoring

Infrastructure studies, development planning and landscape programmes and cross-country skiing

  • Concepts concerning retention potential and rain-water management
  • Agricultural planning and expert reports concerning land consolidation
  • Forest planning
  • Concepts with regard to agricultural and forestry extensification
  • Land use planning
  • Development of green finger corridors and stepping stone concepts
  • Development plans for sport and recreation areas
  • Horizontal and vertical alignment of cycle lanes, footpaths and nature study trails
  • Planning of routes, loop trails, ski runs, sport complexes and

    arenas for winter sports, motor sports, water sports, riding, cycling

Urban planning and village redevelopment planning

  • Planning schemes and project designs for urban development and regeneration

  • Land use and structure plans
  • Concepts for green spaces in residential, commercial and industrial areas
  • Planning for allotments and garden areas
  • Contributions towards urban development and infrastructural projects
  • Structure plans for urban regeneration and village renewal
  • Townscape design and village design statements
  • Ecological housing and settlement planning; expert opinions on the sustainability of planning

Landscape architects are often natural leaders, able to communicate with many professions and leading multidisciplinary projects.

Project planning and design

  • Public and private parks and green spaces
  • Squares and plazas, public places, and city monuments
  • Pedestrian areas and traffic restricted zones, promenades
  • Sport complexes such as stadiums, arenas, grounds and pitches
  • Playgrounds and recreation spaces for children, young people and adults
  • Special installations like climbing walls, cycling and skating courses, and golf courses
  • Outdoor swimming pools, bathing areas and beaches
  • Camping and caravan sites
  • Spa parks and recreation spaces
  • Horticultural exhibitions and concepts for other outdoor fairs
  • Botanical and zoological gardens
  • Graveyards and memorials
  • Open spaces around public and private buildings; car parks
  • Planting of industrial and commercial sites
  • Design and integration of roadside and motorway service areas and rest areas
  • Private gardens and courtyards
  • Roof gardens and patios
  • Planting of conservatories and indoor spaces

Maintenance of parks and historic gardens

  • Documenting the history and keeping records of historic parks and gardens
  • Setting up inventories of historic gardens; producing park maintenance manuals
  • Concepts for the restoration of historic gardens and green spaces
  • Planning of plant layouts according to historical models and regeneration of historic planting designs
  • Proposals for the restoration of historic water features like fountains, cascades and ponds
  • Plans for the restoration of architectural features of historic parks such as statues, sculptures or other monuments

Project control, monitoring and implementation

  • Project management and control
  • Work planning procedures, construction site logistics, materials procurement
  • Specification of construction standards and materials
  • Concepts for minimizing the environmental impact of construction
  • Adhering to regulations regarding environmental impact minimization by using environmentally-friendly technologies
  • Project supervision, accounting of executed works and implementation control
  • Green space management, planning and organizing the development and maintenance of green spaces
  • Conflict management (in case of general problems and insolvencies)

Expert consultancy services, presentations and mediation

  • Organization and evaluation of design and architectural competitions
  • Supervision and execution of public planning procedures
  • Preparation of expert opinions
  • Conflict management and mediation
  • Organizing public participation and enquiries, project presentation
  • Visualizations, film and photographic documentation
  • Organizing exhibitions and presentations
  • Public relations

(source: BDLA, Germany)

Banner photo by Rafal Burczynski

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