‘Rethinking the Urban Landscape’ Exhibition opens at London’s Building Centre. The Landscape Institute exhibition showcases sustainable solutions to urban challenges.
Floating landscape on the Regent’s Canal by Refolo and Frog Environmental. Image: Frog Environmental
The new exhibition curated by The Building Centre and the Landscape Institute opens 8 January. It exemplifies how landscape architecture can offer sustainable solutions to the big challenges facing contemporary urban society including flooding and public health.
Showcasing some of the UK’s most powerful contemporary landscape projects, including King’s Cross and the Olympic Park, alongside small, community-led schemes including pocket parks and community allotments, and a number of award-winning schemes from overseas, the exhibition highlights the importance of investing in green infrastructure if our cities are to become more liveable, healthy and safe.
The Herne Hill High Line by Urban Wild Project. Image: Urban Wild Project.
Noel Farrer, President of the Landscape Institute, says: ‘Proper land use is now becoming a matter of urgency, with concerns such as the housing crisis, flooding, public health and even food shortages coming to the fore. Lives are being threatened and billions of pounds are being wasted for want of earlier stage investment in the landscape. This exhibition is about highlighting the urgent need for a landscape-led approach to our towns and cities. Landscape architects are able to find solutions from within the natural landscape, avoiding highly engineered responses and ultimately creating schemes that are more sustainable, better-designed and nicer to live in.’
Colin Tweedy, chief executive of The Building Centre, says: ‘While this show features fantastic projects, it’s a major concern that most of our city planning does not meet these standards. We’re delighted to work with the Landscape Institute on this major celebration of the value of good landscape architecture.’
The show’s co-curators, Lewis Blackwell, executive director of strategy at The Building Centre, and Paul Lincoln, deputy chief executive at the Landscape Institute, call for earlier input by landscape architects into major projects in order to create healthier, safer and happier places in which people can live, work and play; and to counter blights on modern life such as flooding and poor air quality.
Regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth, London by HTA. Image: HTA Design
They argue for more long-term and joined-up thinking from government and developers, to ensure that landscape know-how is embedded into planning, transport and environmental policies.
‘Re-thinking the Urban Landscape’ will run until10th February. The exhibition features 45 leading contemporary landscape projects from the UK and abroad.
The seminar programme reflects many of the themes of the exhibition:
How did designing the Olympic Park influence landscape practice?
Thursday 22 January, 6 pm
The Olympic Park changed the public perception of landscape architecture. One of the most successful legacies of the park was groundbreaking design that created a place for the Olympics but also a place for the community. Legacy also goes further than the Park, as the influence on a whole range of landscape projects has been significant. Leading practitioners explain what they did next and the impact of the Olympics on their work. Speakers include Phil Askew (London Legacy Development Corporation), Tom Armour (Arup), Jenette Emery-Wallis (LUC).
Can we design out poverty by creating great landscapes?
Monday 26 January, 6 pm
Traditional thinking about tackling poverty rarely considers the impact of the designed landscape. However, good design and well-planned landscape can address inequality and raise aspirations, as evidenced by the projects featured in the Rethinking the Urban Landscape exhibition. Speakers include Pam Warhurst (Incredible Edible Todmorden), Julia Thrift (TCPA), Rolf Roscher (Erz) and Noel Farrer (Farrer Huxley Associates / Landscape Institute).
How do you pay for green infrastructure in an age of austerity?
Monday 9 February, 6 pm
As the election battles over investment in the health service and grey infrastructure, there is no question that these are primary services that must be funded. However, similar importance is not attached to green infrastructure projects, despite widespread acknowledgement of the importance of the environment and the multiple benefits it provides.
This event brings together leading policymakers to discuss this increasingly important issue. Speakers include Katherine Drayson (Policy Exchange), Ed Wallis (Fabian Society), Sue Ireland CParks Alliance) and Noel Farrer (Farrer Huxley Associates / Landscape Institute).
Text/images: Landscape Institute http://www.landscapeinstitute.org