Architects provide buildings; farmers provide food; foresters provide timber. What do landscape architects provide? Good outdoor space as a public good – for functional, aesthetic and sustainability objectives, in Geoffrey Jellicoe’s phrase, a Collective Landscape. The above video uses public domain images to illustrate this text:
In town and in country there must be landscapes where we can walk in safety, pick fruit, cycle, work, sleep, swim, listen to the birds, bask in the sun, run through the trees and laze beside cool waters. Some should be busy; others solitary. Rivers should be prized out of their concrete coffins and foul ditches. Quarries should be planned as new landscapes. Forests should provide us with recreation, timber and wildlife habitats. Wastes should be used to build green hills. Routeways should be designed for all types of user, not just for motor vehicles. Old towns should be revitalised and new villages made. In growing food, farmers should conserve and remake the countryside. Buildings should stop behaving like spoilt brats: each should contribute to an urban or rural landscape. But what is a ‘landscape’? In this website, the word is used to mean ‘a good outdoor place’: useful, beautiful, sustainable, productive and spiritually rewarding. [Quote from the Preface to the 1998 edition of Landscape Planning, by Tom Turner].
- Architects serve the interests of the specific groups who use and commission buildings.
- Town and country planners are employed in the public sector to serve the public interest.
- Landscape architects work with land owners to produce public goods.