Select Page

Landscape urbanism seems like a counterintuitive phrase at first; two things that are opposite. Instead, it ends up being a beautiful hybrid of both natural and man made. Let’s get into what it is and how it’s implemented worldwide.


What is Landscape Urbanism?

Early urbanization was always almost devoid of nature. Landscape urbanism utilizes principles that allow man made and nature to come together. To understand landscape urbanism, we must break down the two components. Landscape is relating to: land, water, vegetation, buildings and pavings. Urbanism is referring to: the way people who dwell in cities live, or their culture, urbanization in general, and city planning as a whole. Modern city planners will strive to integrate a city’s culture and way of life with nature.

Landscape urbanism is a concept of layers. The layers are: natural process layer, human process layer, and cultural process layer. The natural process layer refers to things like geology, ecology, and hydrology. The human process layer includes things like views, ownership, land management, and land uses and activities.The cultural process layer is about the artistic or intellectual pursuits of a given place, and the culture of a society,people, or time period.

The goal of landscape urbanism is to take all of the pieces (natural, human, and cultural, and plan cities and spaces) and implement them in a holistic way. There are some beautiful examples of landscape urbanism worldwide, such as Freshkills Park on Staten Island, Willamette Falls Riverwalk in Oregon City (OR), 11th Street Bridge in Washington, DC, and Klyde Warren Park, in Dallas (TX).


Benefits of Landscape Urbanism

Using landscape urbanism in designing modern cities can improve the quality of life in many ways. One way is sustainability. Using eco-friendly technologies and materials, as well as understanding and respecting the ecosystem of the area. Better city planning allows for fewer carbon emissions by allowing people to walk most places and implementing green transportation options. Beauty and quality are highlighted as focal points of modern city planning. These things, combined with access to more green and natural spaces, do wonders for the psyche. In some ways, landscape urbanism blurs or obliterates the line between man made and natural. Allowing humans to feel a part of (and harmony with) nature again is the future of city planning.