A Diverse Profession - What is Landscape Architecture

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.

Members of the profession have a special commitment to improving the quality of life through the best designs. 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, parks, zoos, housing developments and thoroughfares. The attractiveness of these designs reflects the skill of landscape architects in planning and designing the construction.

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 large scale projects such as the:

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 the Mount Royal Park in Montreal, Quebec
Development of Stanford University site
Creation of Boston's "emerald necklace" of green spaces tying city to 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 Saudi University in Saudi Arabia
Restoration of Maryland's landscape along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway

Depending on the scope of the project for clients, 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, including the National Park Service and most local park planning boards, employ a large number of landscape architects. More and more private developers also now realize that the services of a landscape architect are an integral part of maximizing their projects' success and profitability.