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Future forecasting:landscape architects might save the world

Future forecasting:landscape architects might save the world

I predict we’re going to hear a lot more from landscape architects in the coming years. There has long been a misunderstanding about what they actually do – “something about gardens” being a common response. But the diversity and scale of work in landscape architecture is huge, and the mix of skills and expertise required shows real promise for dealing with the pressing issues facing Australian cities.

Whether climate change or urbanisation, population growth or densification, landscape architects have ideas for how to make our future cities liveable, workable and beautiful. All this was under discussion in Brisbane earlier this month at Forecast: the Inaugural Festival of Landscape Architecture, presented by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) at the State Library of Queensland – where the winners were also announced for the AILA National Awards, pictured here.

Forecast was an inspiring event. As an outsider, albeit from the aligned field of architecture, I thought I knew exactly what landscape architects did. But I was wrong. It turns out landscape architects are everywhere: working from the scale of a tiny green roof, to city-wide green infrastructure; from the remediation of a massive outback mine site, to the design of an inner urban “pocket park”.