2021 Issue 2
Illuminating the landscape How light and sound are changing the face of landscape practice
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Stop, Look and Listen
EDITORIAL ADVISORY PANEL Stella Bland, Head of Communications, LDA Design Peter Sheard CMLI, Landscape Architect. John Stuart-Murray FLI, Landscape Architect. Jaideep Warya CMLI, Landscape Architect,The Landscape Partnership. Jo Watkins PPLI, Landscape Architect. Jenifer White CMLI, National Landscape Adviser, Historic England.
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Landscape is the official journal of the Landscape Institute, ISSN: 1742–2914
For those who live in the city, navigating it safely is hugely affected by the injunction of the Green Cross Code, ‘Stop, Look and Listen’. However, as well as official instructions, how we navigate and enjoy the city is often governed by the design of artificial light; yet the efforts that go into analysing the visual impact of changes to the landscape during daylight hours are not matched by a similar focus on the way in which light can be designed to illuminate, to dazzle, and at times, to destroy. Debates about wasted light are growing, and an increased awareness of climate emergency is focusing on the way in which the illumination of buildings, streets and highways is so often a poor use of energy. In the midst of the pandemic, the way in which we navigate the landscape during the day and the night has rarely been more important. As we went to press, Centre for London published a report on lighting in the capital with observations relevant for all of the UK: “Good lighting makes active journeys easier, safer and more enjoyable, thereby benefiting health, inclusion and decarbonisation... More people are walking or cycling, but our street lighting is intended to light the carriageway first, with footway and pedestrians second.”1 This edition looks at what landscape practitioners do with both light and sound. The river at the heart of London is home to an extraordinary open air public art exhibition based on light (p6) and Will Jennings offers a historical perspective on public lighting (p11). Karl Jones makes a plea for fully informed lighting and landscape design (p20), whilst Light Bureau and LDA
Design showcase the latest thinking in this area (pp22-28). Our LI Award winning guide ‘Thinking with my ears’ is showcased by Usue Ruiz Arana (p29), and in the first of a series of collaborations with the Cities and Health Journal, we consider the integration of soundscapes (page 33). Elettra Bordonaro considers the implications for equalities (p15), and Jill White considers the implications of visual disability and hearing loss in navigating the landscape (p38). We address climate emergency in three ways in this edition. Claire Thirlwall writes about the power of listening to the landscape (p51), the designers of Valley Gardens look at a response to climate emergency in the heart of Brighton (p42), and the winner of the David Attenborough Award for Enhancing Biodiversity explains how he created Cator Park (p47). We also look at Scotland in the run up to the parliamentary elections, the LI’s new entry standards, an update from the President, the appointment of new fellows, and learn the lessons of food stories in Lambeth. Paul Lincoln Commissioning Editor Seeing clearly: How lighting can make London a better city. Centre for London, March 2021. Joe Wills, Nicolas Bosetti 1
2021 Issue 2
Illuminating the landscape How light and sound are changing the face of landscape practice
Cover image: Illuminated River, Waterloo Bridge © James Newton
© 2021 Landscape Institute. Landscape is published four times a year by Darkhorse Design.
Lighting and nightscapes – F E AT U R E
Author: Antonella Radicchi
Integrating soundscape An Interdisciplinary Approach in urban design, planning and landscape architecture CASE STUDY
Lighting the heart of London
That’s how the light gets in
In the first of a series of collaborations with Cities and Health Journal, we publish an introduction to their most recent edition on soundscapes together with links to relevant articles.
uring the 2020 lockdown imposed by the world changing and tragic COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, we have witnessed people gathering on their balconies, at their windows and by their front doors to collectively send out supportive messages to healthcare workers and patients. The medium chosen was sound. In Italy, in the evening, quarantined people sang and clapped their hands from their balconies in an effort to keep up morale as the country faced the worst coronavirus outbreak outside China. In New York, at seven each night, people cheered for frontline workers by clapping their hands and making sounds using everyday life tools like boxes, keys and small bells. These are just two examples, but they highlight how sounds can convey positive emotions and feelings, and how human beings attach values and meanings to sound. By contrast, most studies in the field of healthy cities address sound as a negative by-product of the environment, measuring it via quantitative indicators such as decibels (dB). This approach is certainly useful when analyzing and mapping noise pollution, which is unbelievably the second most
Four case studies
prominent urban environmental stressor affecting people’s health in Europe. The WHO alerts us that long term exposure to noise can cause cardiovascular diseases, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, hypertension and annoyance, potentially leading to premature death. The associated decline in the population’s health because of noise has an economic impact, too. For example, in the European Union, the
economic impact of noise is estimated to be 35€ billion for annoyance, EUR 34 billion for sleep disturbance, and 5€ million for cognitive impairment in children. Furthermore, monetary costs can also be caused by reduced house prices, loss of working days and reduced possibilities for land use. Despite this alarming data, the number of people exposed to high levels of noise is not decreasing, and the 7th Environment Action Program’s
Thinking with my ears:
Guidance on sound for Landscape Architects
Integrating soundscape 33
Looking at the stars
Lighting the way in Denmark, Norway and the UK CASE STUDY
Creating healthy cities BRIEFING
Shining a light on inequality
Tripping the light fantastic
Navigating with sound and light
The impact of lighting on security
New life for an old square
Designing for sight and hearing loss
Climate change resources
Sound and Light
LI Climate Change Case Studies | Spring 2021
Landscape for 2030
Cross-party support for new landscape
Cator Park, Kidbrooke Village
’Tis the season of ‘emergencies’
Looking forwards to the Scottish Parliamentary elections
How landscape practice can respond to the climate crisis
CPD AND TRAINING
Kindly Supported by
An update for members
Jane Findlay reflects on her first year
Lessons from Lambeth
F E AT U R E
F E AT U R E By Sarah Gaventa
The ‘dark river’ at the heart of London is being brought to life entirely with light.
Illuminated River is the longest public art project in the world at 3.2 miles in length (calculated across both sides of each bridge), and in a normal year will be seen by over 90 million people. It will last for at least 10 years and the Foundation will fund all maintenance, replacement and electricity costs. © Illuminated River, Leo Villareal Studio, 2018
his spring, the lighting of an additional five bridges in the Illuminated River artwork will create the world’s longest public art commission. The Blackfriars, Waterloo, Golden Jubilee, Westminster and Lambeth Bridges will be illuminated by New York-based artist Leo Villareal’s subtle display of slowly moving light sequences, joining the four bridges already lit in 2019 – London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium. Illuminated River (IR) will transform the Thames at night, offering a cultural experience that is open air, free to view and accessible to all. With no ticketing or queuing, this monumental installation provides the public with the opportunity to enjoy the architectural beauty of London’s bridges, and gain an understanding of their relationship with the river flowing beneath them. Spanning the cultural, financial and political stretches of the Thames, the launch marks the culmination of five years’ work by the Illuminated River Foundation. The installation is the result of a collaborative initiative bringing together an American artist, Leo Villareal, and a British architectural practice, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, plus 18 specialist teams. Illuminated River’s extensive network of more than 50 stakeholders and project partners includes six London boroughs, public bodies Transport for London and Network Rail, as well as organisations such as Historic England, the London Wildlife Trust and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Funded almost exclusively by donations from four major philanthropists – Arcadia (a charitable
fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin), the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Reuben Foundation and the Rothschild Foundation – the ambitious project demonstrates an unprecedented level of collaboration across disciplines and a multitude of stakeholders, owners and local authorities. IR is the result of one of the most detailed and extensive pan-London planning processes the capital has ever seen (without an Act of Parliament as Crossrail and Tideway had), with 30 planning permissions and 18 Listed building consents granted. It has been developed in consultation and collaboration with over 50 organisations on and around the river. We have worked with City Cruises to compile data to create a clearer picture of Londoners’ relationship to their river. Many children living in London have never seen the Thames (1 in 10) and despite the fact it is the biggest “blue” and arguably the biggest public space in London, you cannot “enter” it for free. Therefore, many low income families have never experienced it (or have at least never been on the river itself). We have created very cheap guided boat tours in partnership with Thames Clippers (the same price as commuting) and free boat tours for local communities to help reconnect them with the Thames – but there is still much work to be done to make the river and its related spaces inclusive for all. We have collaborated with the charity Vocal Eyes, to ensure that those with sight loss will be able to enjoy the artwork through audio description, as a moving and largescale light installation can still be seen and experienced by many people with some form of sight loss. 7
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Our audio guide and map of the first four bridges highlight key sites of historical interest along the south bank. Meanwhile, our collaboration with student composers at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama has produced musical scores inspired by the bridges. These can be downloaded for free from SoundCloud, and they help create a more immersive experience as you wander through the landscape around the Thames. The first four Illuminated River bridges – London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium – made their debut in 2019 accompanied by a wide programme of engagement. The project was granted UNESCO patronage for its contribution to culture, science, architecture and heritage. Since their launch, the four bridges have been creating an evocative display every evening, from dusk until 2.00am. The previous lighting schemes on the London and Southwark bridges were lit from dusk to dawn, but we questioned this, feeling it was more responsible to turn them off after the bustle of the city ends, bringing darkness to the Thames, whose name comes for the word “Tamesis”, meaning “dark river”. Rather than flooding the river itself with light, we want to focus it on bridges revealing themselves, their relationship to one another and to 1
the neighbourhoods they connect on either bank. Smart LED technologies will replace outdated and inefficient lighting on the bridges, providing a more sustainable solution for lighting the Thames at night. By removing metal halides and halogens, and employing efficient LEDs with custom fittings, the new scheme reduces both energy consumption and light spill onto the river, providing a better environment for Thames flora and fauna. Illuminated River has refocused attention not only on the bridges, but also on surrounding public spaces, encouraging more people to come and enjoy the riverside areas and views of the river at night. In order for them to have the best experience, we worked with the local authorities to assess their public spaces and their own lighting, to look at reducing its brightness where appropriate, and to harmonise colour temperatures to make a warmer and people-friendly cityscape. We also noticed the lack of public seating in some areas, and the increase of retail, where in order to sit and enjoy the artwork you would have to buy a drink. We wanted this to be a really inclusive project, so we identified sites to install new high quality public seating, and Marshalls kindly donated wooden benches which have been very popular.
Given there are so many different landowners along the riverbanks, and how hard it is to identify who they are, it took us over a year to track them down and gain permissions – about the same time it took to gain 30 planning consents. We also worked with the BFI and the local booksellers to install amenity lighting under Waterloo bridge that would work for both their needs. We created an app which allows the booksellers to turn the levels up when they are in situ and the BFI to turn them down when they have gone. There are many other areas along the riverbank where a more connected and collaborative approach to the lighting would greatly improve the public’s experience of the nightscape. Mindful of the potential environmental impact, in planning this project, we commissioned the first luminance studies of the central Thames. When this was completed by Atelier Ten, we were shocked by the results. Albert Bridge chucks out as much light as a motorway, and many of the lighting schemes pumped direct light into the Thames (which our project removes). Many buildings are lit well over recommended limits too. This prompted us to instigate a lighting project with Centre for London and approach other partners to join us (GLA, City of London Corporation
1. Cannon Street Bridge dates from 1868, yet it is often overlooked and has never been illuminated before as it is has been seen more as infrastructure than architecture. © James Newton
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2. Millennium Bridge. Villareal created a monochromatic artwork which respects and delivers Sir Norman Foster’s original intent to create a blade of light. © James Newton
3. London Bridge demonstrated how the Illuminated River smart lighting kit was utilised by the Greater London Authority to create a special New Year’s Eve display replacing the art work for one night. © Illuminated River Foundation
4. Southwark Bridge illustrates the aim to paint with light in order to reveal the architecture of the bridge and work with its structure. Hiding the light source was an important objective. © James Newton
To share learning from the project for the benefit of all, the Foundation is making its extensive and unique research freely available as a public resource.
and Cross River Partnership). Centre for London’s report ‘Lighting London’, which reviews public lighting approaches in London, will share its findings in March 2021, which will hopefully encourage more debate and sharing of best practice around the light curation of our cityscape and how we might reduce and manage light levels. At the moment, the London we see at night is mainly what facility managers want us to see: our historic environment disappears, dominated by over-lit empty office and commercial buildings competing with each other. We have also conducted bat and bird surveys of the riverside areas. Data from all of these studies has been made available as a public resource. We hope they will increase understanding and inform the way we all think about and use the areas around the Thames. The river is currently London’s least-used transport artery, and commuting on it drops after dark. We hope Illuminated River will encourage travel along and across the river at night, and encourage people to walk across the bridges instead of taking a bus or a cab, in line with TFL’s plan to make London a more walkable city. The installation of the second phase of the project continued throughout the pandemic, which threw new challenges at us every week. Many partners had furloughed staff, there were delays in kit arriving, and staff numbers on site had been reduced to ensure socially distancing, making access difficult and meaning work took longer. In the midst of the pandemic, the calm and tranquil effects of this openair artwork take on an even greater significance; it encourages Londoners to walk along its length and to pause and take in the beauty of the city. Whilst we hoped Londoners would engage with it, the potential wellbeing importance from their visits (like our parks role during lockdown) had not really been anticipated. It is there for everyone to enjoy when they can. Even in this difficult time, it demonstrates that London continues to be a uniquely creative and innovative capital.
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5. Waterloo Bridge uses a simple line of light to highlight the length of the longest bridge on the Thames, whilst lights underneath reveal its spine which is visible from both banks. © James Newton
About Leo Villareal The acclaimed American artist Leo Villareal (b. 1967 Albuquerque, New Mexico), a pioneer of LED light sculpture, creates intricate light installations for both gallery and public settings. He came to international prominence through his project, The Bay Lights, which illuminated the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 2013. Initially conceived as a two-year display, the popularity of The Bay Lights led it to be transformed into a permanent installation, now an iconic visual element of the San Francisco’s landscape. He focuses on identifying the governing structures of systems and is interested in base units such as pixels and binary code. His installations use custom, artist-created code, which constantly changes the frequency, intensity, and patterning of lights through sequencing. About Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands Award-winning architects, design consultants and urban planners Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (LDS) have worked on major projects across London, including the Golden Jubilee Footbridges. The practice has a 25year relationship with communities and businesses in London’s South Bank, having both created the area’s urban design strategy, and worked with the Coin Street Community Builders to regenerate the area, through the 10
development of co-operative housing and commercial ventures to support new urban realm initiatives. About the Illuminated River Foundation An independent charity, the Illuminated River Foundation was set up to deliver the major public artwork, Illuminated River. The Foundation has received generous funding from Arcadia (a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin), the Rothschild Foundation, the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the Reuben Foundation. Seed funding was awarded from the Mayor of London’s Office for the initial competition, and from the City of London Corporation for replacing light fittings on London Bridge. Illuminated River is supported by the Mayor of London and governed by an independent board of trustees chaired by Lord Mendoza, Government Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal and Provost of Oriel College, Oxford University.
Sarah Gaventa is the Director of the Foundation, an Honorary Fellow of the Landscape Institute and a curator and public realm champion. She was the Director of CABE Space at the Commission for Architecture and Built Environment.
Resources Research on relationship between Londoners and the river: https://illuminatedriver.london/ discover/londoners-and-the-thames VocalEyes: https://illuminatedriver.london/ discover/vocaleyes Audio guide and map: https://illuminatedriver.london/ discover/download-our-newaudioguide-and-map-of-the-firstfour-illuminated-river-bridges Collaboration with Guildhall School of Music: https://illuminatedriver.london/ whatson/new-music-for-theilluminated-river-bridges-a-liveperformance Luminance survey: https://illuminatedriver.london/ discover/illuminated-riverspioneering-luminance-survey Bat and bird survey: https://illuminatedriver.london/ discover/river-thames-breedingbird-assessment Environmental information: https://illuminatedriver.london/ discover/category/environment Centre for London report on lighting in the capital: https://www.centreforlondon.org/ publication/lighting-london/
The Foundation has also organised free walking tours especially for NHS workers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ – a programme that will be expanded for other key workers as distancing restrictions are lifted.
F E AT U R E By Will Jennings 1. View through the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo InterAmerican Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. Astronomers Clara Martínez-Vázquez and Cliff Johnson noticed one of their images, the 333 seconds-exposure seen here, contained at least 19 streaks that they quickly surmised were due to the second batch of Starlink satellites launched that week. © Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License from Noirlab
That’s how the light gets in
Will new technology light the way, or are we better off looking at the stars?
ne night last May, I looked up to the blackness above London. Where once our ancestors saw depthless constellations of shimmering stars, there was only a darkish haze, and no stars were visible at all through the cloud of light pollution. Then, into that black came a staccato rhythm of small white lights, carving through the emptiness in a straight line.
As Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites pinpricked the night, symbols of human potential and mankind’s reach into new realms, my thoughts were not taken to a sci-fi future, but instead to the flat rural Suffolk landscape of my childhood. In the 1980s, there was a growing trend to illuminate historic architectures with overblown, glaring floodlights. Framlingham Castle, for instance, wasn’t so much washed in light than waterboarded with it,
flattening the subtle patina of history, and I recall a rural church relentlessly hovering in the dark at some indeterminate distance, an architectural apparition dislocated. Putting light into the darkness is a recurring human desire. In myth, allegory, faith and landscape, shadows are something we have sought to banish in search of a secure clarity and progressive visibility. But perhaps we should stop and ask if all light is good, 11
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for whom the light glows, and what this exponential luminosity means for places we design. Our cities have come a long way since the earliest lighting strategies. Through the early middle ages, we barely had any strategies in place – most of our activities were carried out in daylight hours, withdrawing to the family and hearth when the sun set. Anyone who ventured out into the streets after nightfall was looked upon with suspicion, a ne’er-do-well stalking the shadows. In 1383, as with many European cities, a London mayoral proclamation forbid people from walking the streets after 9pm, residents not allowed to leave their abode unless a magistrate was satisfied a good enough reasoned permitted them to be in the street. Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s 1988 book Enchanted Night explores the European urban brightening, describing how in the street, night watchmen patrolled carrying a torch to light their path, making visible the control and surveillance they provided. Over time, the permissions to venture into the streets at night were loosened, though people did have to carry a lantern with them, with a 1467 Leicester decree cited by Goronwy Salusbury-Jones in his 1938 book Street Life in Medieval England stating: “no man walked after IX of the belle streken in the nyght withoute lyght or withoute cause reasonable in payne of empresonment.” As cities grew and laws developed, life and light entered the evening streets. Citizens still had to carry a torch (or pay a link man to guide their path) but also have a candle lantern fixed outside their home when the moon was “dark” from October to March, according to a 1599 act. The intention of this was to mark out each abode, to ensure residents were at home, though it had the accidental effect of partly illuminating the streets, and thus began the process of artificially lighting our cities, extending the hours available for both leisure and work. The late 1600s was a period of great competition between inventors and new companies dedicated to urban lighting, and emergent technological improvements spread 12
2. San Jose moonlight tower in 1881. © Wikimedia Commons
The late 1600s was a period of great competition between inventors and new companies dedicated to urban lighting, and emergent technological improvements spread light further.
light further. Glass reflectors were installed around London’s Cornhill and Piccadilly, before the emergence of oil lighting and contractors to manage the systems. By 1735, lighting was a structural part of the capital’s fabric, with new laws setting the spacing and hours of the 1,000 lamps in the city, which by 1739 had increased to 5,000. The darkness was becoming banished. It wasn’t just British cities lighting up. Paris glowed brightest, and a 1760s competition for a new kind of street light (the 2,000 franc prize donated by the police chief) introduced the réverbère, an oil reservoir with several wicks joined to two concave reflectors and a hemispherical top restricting the light downwards. But not all welcomed this newfound
visibility, and in the turbulence of an ever-revolting France, lighting was seen as an imposition of controlling powers above. Lantern smashing becoming a nightly pastime for those seeking to carry out tiny acts of rebellion against symbols of control and surveillance, but their stones were to no avail, the increase in urban lighting has grown ever since, each technological advance outshining the last, the réverbère was only the start. Perhaps in response to keeping those lanterns intact, and perhaps connected to the new centralising of power, propositions emerged which would do away with a network of thousands of lights, to be replaced with an array of urban lighthouses, perpetually lighting the night from just
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3. Arc lamp designed by Peter Behrens. © Holger Hahn, Collection: Selux Museum, Berlin
4. Taman Anggrek mall is wrapped in a massive digital veil employing the design of multiresolution ribbon that became the world’s longest LED screen. StandardVision curated site specific work from a team of international artists. © StandardVision
a few towers. The first proposition was a 1799 submission by DondeDupré to Napoleon, for a network of lighting towers across the city and one central sun monument in the Place de la Revolution, as recorded only through a single surviving pamphlet in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. He envisaged overlapping rays lighting the city like “an artificial meteor” – perhaps summoning the cultural memory of the Great Meteor of 1783 which shot across France inspiring scientific conversation across the continent – providing such a glow that “no shadows will remain”. The idea for such a system never took hold in Europe, but in newly expanding America, they were erected liberally. Starting in Richmond, Virginia, “moonlight towers” of up to 150 metres spread light across growing settlements, Detroit alone having 122 in what was the largest system in the country. While touring the USA, an electrical engineer named Sébillot was wonderstruck by the moonlight towers. Partnering with architect Jules
Bourdais on his return to Paris, he designed a monument to mark the forthcoming 1889 Exposition. Their proposal was to build a moonlight tower like no other, a 360m tall column to illuminate the whole capital from a single source. The “electric lighthouse”, ideally located at the heart of Paris near the Pont Neuf, would radiate light for a radius of 5.5km and would, in Sébillot’s words, “penetrate inside houses and flats”. It was never constructed, the Eiffel Tower getting the nod instead. A beacon was added to 3 its summit. There is a scene in Blade Runner 2049 where Officer K walks through dystopian Los Angeles to his apartment, skyscraper-high video screens jostling for attention with holograms and neon-esque LED tubes. Once inside, glaring lights from vast projected adverts and passing drones blast into his room, a reminder of the same perceived oppression and control as the Parisian lamp-smashers. Will
such imaginaries of cyberpunk-noir urban lighting become true? Certainly, we will see a rapid rise in LED-wrapped architecture and “media facades” of such scale to render Piccadilly Circus a quaint artifact. These are already appearing in the rapidly growing Asian Tiger economies – a 3000m2 LED screen envelopes the 125m height of the Chongqing’s Maoye Department Store, while the Mall Taman Anggrek in Jakarta is wrapped in a 357m long undulating screen capable of being seen 10km away. But 10km is nothing if Russian startup “StartRocket” has their way. With a remarkable tagline – “Space has to be beautiful. With the best brands our sky will amaze us every night” – their project “The Orbital Display” would be a 50km2 “spaceboard” fixed in the night sky 500km above, available for you to advertise your brand to a “potential audience of 7 billion people” for only $200,000 per 8 hour slot. There are
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also reported plans in Chengdu, China, to replace the city streetlights with an “artificial moon”, eight times as bright as the one we have now and capable of lighting an area 80km wide by reflecting distant sunlight from a satellite. Soon, not only will we see no stars, but the lights we can see will be mechanisms of power looking back at us. Observing, illuminating and marketing. These are grotesque conflations of spectacle, capitalism and control of nature, and whether these speculative propositions happen or not (and both schemes have gone quiet of late), the drive to put lights higher and brighter will continue, likely driven by the two powers of advertising and surveillance. What would George Orwell have thought of such an illuminated imposition? What would the archchronicler of society Charles Dickens have made of such grandiose plans to watch over citizens below? Dickens was fond of a night walk, the hazy lamplit streets helping brew stories in his head, characters emerging from shadows. In his book Nightwalking, Matthew Beaumont considers historical “noctambulists” such as Blake, Poe and Dickens (the flâneur is nearly always a cis white man) and the creative invention exuded from darkened, emptied cities. One sees a different city at night, the same streets and architectures but a different place. The towers of financial centres are not populated by bankers and managers, but minimum-waged workers cleaning, keeping secure and maintaining the systems with invisible labour. But what kinds of stories could writers of the future imagine in a city without shadows, where artificial moons and “Blade Runner” LEDs have removed the crevices and shadows from which ideas are dreamt? Trapped between the surveillance and lighting coming from both above and the screens in front of our faces, what space is left for what Horace Walpole named gloomth, that Gothic ambience of just enough light to get by, and plenty of darkness for imagination to play in. If, as Jun’ichiro Tanizaki wrote in In Praise of Shadows, Japanese lacquerware reveals a depth and richness under the flickering light of a candle’s flame that is unobservable 14
when lit by harsh electric lamps, then should we not think in a similar vein of the surfaces and landscapes of our built environments? But then the damage of light pollution and over-illumination to our creative spirit is perhaps the least of our concerns. In our age of climate breakdown, the imagery of falling icecaps and floods may make iconic headlines, but a real impact of the Anthropocene is smaller and more local, with devastating effects upon the ecosystems of which we are a part. Countless species which depend on darkness, including glow worms whose communication is lost with light, or moths who feed and mate in the dark, are affected by our drive to illuminate. Frogs carry out their night-time mating calls less often, bats are abandoning or never leaving their roosts, and birds have lost their sense of the seasonal clock, their chicks hatching and dying before food is available. Some of these impacts can be reduced with new technologies, such as “wildlife-friendly” wavelength light developed for the Netherlands town of Zuidhoek-Nieuwkoop, home to rare and vulnerable species, and latterly installed along the A4440 near Warndon Wood nature reserve in Worcestershire. The future of Smart Cities may carry concerns of surveillance and data-scraping, but systems including AI streetlighting can regulate when and where is illuminated, saving money and lowering the glow of our urban footprint. In a world of climate breakdown and 6 recession anxiety, cities too are perhaps withdrawing from the age of spectacle, with architectural lighting schemes reducing spill and taking a more subtle approach designed into schemes such as the Illuminated River project, gently washing Thames bridges with lighting designed by artist Leo Villareal. Perhaps we don’t always need new technology to save us where traditional methods can work – in Leeds certain street lights are turned
off between midnight and 5.30am to reduce carbon emissions and save money. Where it is safe to do so, could we lower our lighting as much as possible, and as we currently design green corridors, could we not also have dark corridors? If bright light is a symbol of modernism and progress, now that we are in an age of climate breakdown, should we not demand a new kind of progress, one which repairs the errors of our past and questions the trajectory of human desires? As we consider an idea of progress rooted in degrowth and dismantling systems which we recognise have taken us to the brink of extinction, could we not also consider lowering our brightness and once again looking at the stars?
Will Jennings is a writer and visual artist interested in connections between culture, politics, history and architectures. His works can be found online at www.willjennings.info
5. Light fitting outside the Mansion House, City of London. © Paul Lincoln
6. Sign in Leeds 2014. © Wikimedia Commons
F E AT U R E By Elettra Bordonaro
Shining a light on inequality after dark 1
The work of the Light Follows Behaviour studio demonstrates that public housing estates are often lit with a view to the security of the landlords rather than the satisfaction of residents. 1. Harsh lighting creates the impression of an unsafe space after dark. © Catarina Heeckt
ur cities and towns all function as complex urban fabrics, where public realm and outdoor spaces have increasingly come under the spotlight as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although at times subtle, social inequality takes on many forms such as wealth, status and knowledge, this is also seemingly linked to the design of the spaces people inhabit and use. The social inequalities we aim to tackle as designers of urban spaces are related to inequality of resources centred around the human being. Upscale areas seem to have greater access to green open spaces, a greater variety of offered activities, greater priority for pedestrians, and better upkeep and maintenance. Cross an
invisible line and suddenly it becomes clear that the funds have not extended to all areas. Planting becomes sparse, upkeep is a lower priority, activities offered are limited, and vehicle access is given priority. While the majority of debates and discussions about public space inequality are focused on the percentage of green, accessible space, pedestrian and gathering space, cycle lanes and pollution, it’s notable that lighting is rarely mentioned as one of the elements that can create inequality. Even though lighting is a critical element in understanding our surroundings after dark, it is repeatedly forgotten or overlooked. The evolution of LED technology has no doubt revolutionised the lighting design profession, allowing designs which were previously impossible
to become a reality. The amount of light a small LED light can provide far exceeds what a traditional light was able to provide only a decade earlier, using less than half of the energy and at a much more competitive price point. Yet these changes have also resulted in a gradual increase in the amount of lighting used to illuminate outdoor spaces. We have now come to associate higher light levels with increased safety and security despite official data showing the opposite. Lighting, as a result, seen outside the context of high-end developments, has taken on a purely utilitarian role ignoring the very context of what is being illuminated. Crossing many cities after dark, it becomes clear that lighting reveals and even enhances the inequalities that 15
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may not have been as apparent during the day. We often see bad lighting creating non-spaces after dark; spaces which by day appear quite normal but at night are transformed into uninviting floodlit spaces, which imply safety and security but encourage passers-by to continue walking and not dwell. This, of course, has a knock-on effect to the surroundings, to the extent that we repeatedly document people altering their routes after dark to avoid these types of spaces. It is an everyday experience for most to travel through a city after dark. And for many, it is also a common experience to travel from very welcoming zones to more threatening ones, at least in terms of perception. This is due to many factors, but excessive brightness, high contrast, poor light quality, and aesthetic of light fixtures are contributing factors. This is a very typical experience in London and particularly apparent when crossing social housing estates. Having worked within housing estates in London extensively, we repeatedly come across the same issues regardless of
their location. When we discuss the estate after dark with residents, we typically hear that the space is too dark or too bright, that some spaces feel unsafe, or that there are concerns about excessive lighting through bedroom windows. While some issues are fundamental problems arising from poor placement of lighting, others are more difficult to resolve as they require a broader understanding of the dynamics of the site. In many ways, we can largely anticipate what the after-dark conditions will be without even visiting the site. Floodlights illuminating open spaces, and bulkheads used to light outdoor walkways – consequentially also lighting the surrounding spaces to an unnecessary bright level. Curiously, although the estates were built at varying times throughout history and feature vastly broad designs and layouts, it seems a manual of how to light social housing estates was circulated at some point in history, resulting in the monotonous lighting approach we see today. Lighting is a marker of social
inequality. However, it is now often seen as a luxury appropriate for the wealthy in areas where light is not a tool used for control, but simply a way to add value and character to the surroundings. In social housing estates, lighting is simply a functional tool, with no consideration for improving the environment, the wellbeing of residents of the estate or the wider public, but instead focused largely on deterring unwelcome activity. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many of these issues to the forefront by highlighting the lack of good lighting in playgrounds and the lack of welcoming and safe atmospheres, creating spaces which cannot be enjoyed after dark. For this reason, it is critical to approach each project as unique and strive to gain an understanding of each place and the many uses that are essential to achieving a successful design. Aside from the traditional site analysis, to gain a technical and spatial knowledge of the space, it is vital to understand the complex environment often found in social housing estates and community spaces. In our design work, we aim to create a link between the lighting of each space and the needs and concerns of the many stakeholders using the estate or public spaces. As we begin to transition to more equal public spaces after dark, it is important to acknowledge that the way forward is to design spaces not with less or more light, but instead by providing better lighting. The topic of ambience is one that we at Light Follows Behaviour studio (LFB) focus on heavily. Ambience refers to creating a desired feeling in a space through lighting as opposed to a product-led approach. In this way we approach each project free of constraints or pre-existing assumptions that another design approach may take. With the needed landscape or architecture in place, it is possible to create a boulevard atmosphere or a playful village atmosphere in a housing estate. Creating atmosphere is not about following a systematic rollout approach to each project with lighting elements, such as tree uplights, path lights, and columns, but instead analysing the wider space to understand where the
2. Bulkheads along external walkways create over-lit spaces and unnecessary spill light. 3. Entrance spaces are lit in the same manner as roads. 4. Lighting does not enhance architecture or space and obtrusive light through windows does not support wellbeing of residents. Images 2, 3, 4 © Catarina Heeckt
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5, 6. On-site mockups and lighting trials offer a new way to demonstrate lighting effects. © LFB
7, 8. Resident involvement and feedback can inform the development of design and encourage participation. © GWEL
It is critical to approach each project as unique and strive to gain an understanding of each place and the many uses that are essential to achieving a successful design.
opportunities and challenges exist and how design, including lighting, can help address these issues and transform the space for the better. While lighting has the ability to reshape how we experience a space, it is also a difficult medium to communicate the intended results. A render or sketch cannot capture the feeling of a space in a way that is easy to understand for the wider public and non-lighting professionals. As a result, we are trialling new methods of engagement and design with residents across a number of London estates this year, and hope to see the use of temporary installations and mockups used more frequently as a means of tackling decades long lighting problems, and to help the public reassess these forgotten spaces through a new lens where atmosphere and ambience take precedence. At LFB we have focused much of our work in tackling and raising awareness of inequalities linked to lighting in London as well as internationally in Paris, Rhode Island and Sao Paolo, among others. And although we regularly participate in conferences and write for publications, lighting design magazines and events seem to be the primary publications and platforms talking about the design of public spaces after dark, creating an insular environment for discussion and evolution. As an intrinsic design element in the public realm, we hope in future more publications and awards criteria covering public spaces evaluate and document spaces, both by day and night, in order to take the design of the lighting into consideration, as this would represent public spaces as they are truly used by the public. Elettra Bordonaro is founder and director at Light Follows Behaviour, a lighting design studio which aims to design with people and for people. Elettra is a lighting designer with over 15 years experience in public realm lighting projects focused on community engagement and co-design and a Senior Fellow at the London School of Economics, member of Configuring Light Research group which aims to use social research to inform lighting design approaches. 17
F E AT U R E 9, 10, 11. Narrow Way, before and after.
LFB Case Studies:
© Light Follows Behaviour
12. Architectural lighting is not an element that is present in housing estates, but it is prevalent in higher end developments. © Catarina Heeckt
13. Well placed lighting helps create a calm and welcoming ambience. © Catarina Heeckt
14. Lighting enhances the transformed landscape and provides the required light levels in a new way for an estate. © Catarina Heeckt
15, 16, 17. Southside Cultural Centre. © Naho Kubota
The Urban Lounge, Hackney Narrow Way Narrow Way in East London is a prime example of the power lighting can have in transforming a space and enhancing character. The site’s constraints, the needs of the residents living above the shopfronts and the retailers themselves created a unique opportunity to deliver more than another typical street in East London. The aim to create an urban lounge atmosphere resulted in lighting which was primarily focused on creating a welcoming ambience without compromising the needs of the various stakeholders. To complement the transformation into a pedestrianised thoroughfare, the streetlighting was replaced with catenary lampshade lights suspended above the street, creating a busy route which is now also a space which can be enjoyed both by day and night in many ways.
The Playful Village, Shadwell Estate Shadwell Estate has undergone a transformation under the Peabody Improve programme, which has seen the largely tarmacked open spaces within the estate transformed with planted mounds and eclectic play equipment in response to the needs of residents and to the playful landscape designed by Turkington Martin. In a drastic shift in approach for lighting of a housing estate, the focus was to move away from the harsh floodlights which were illuminating the estate to lighting which helped create a village atmosphere, in which the open spaces became the focal elements within the unique estate. Architectural lighting frames the estate entrances in a way unheard of in housing estates yet very common in higher end developments and, while simple in application, the various lighting elements come together to completely transform the space, giving the residents of Shadwell Estate, as well as neighbouring estates, a welcoming and well-lit space which is designed with the human experience in mind.
The Contemporary Community Hub, Southside Cultural Center We are no strangers to working on challenging community projects and delivering good quality at many budget levels. Southlight is a project close to our studio, as it is a key example of how good design can have a positive impact within communities. In partnership with the RISD School of Architecture and Ultramoderne architects, what was initially a temporary light installation, aimed at highlighting the opportunities forgotten public spaces have, quickly gained widespread attention from a variety of stakeholders within the city of Providence, resulting in a permanent much-needed event space created for Southside Cultural Center, the local community centre. Despite being located in one of the most deprived and dangerous areas of the city, the lighting brings the event space and landscape to life after dark, enhancing the contemporary design of the event space while subtle lighting to the landscape and surroundings helps create an outdoor auditorium for larger events and social gatherings without the use of high levels of lighting that many would interpret, given the site’s location, as a knee-jerk reaction to preventing crime.
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By Karl Jones
Lighting and nightscapes an interdisciplinary approach 1
Making the case for fully-informed lighting and landscape design.
he pleasure of seeing a starlit sky has been likened to that gained from seeing the scenic beauty of landscapes; from those that we actively travel to for enjoyment and to those environments that we seek to protect for this very reason. As landscape and environmental professionals, we take pride in our work to protect and enhance
these. We understand the value and contribution the environment makes to the quality of everyone’s lives, through good landscape planning, assessment, design, implementation and management. The UK has some of the largest areas of dark sky in Europe. The International Dark Sky Association (darksky.org) currently lists eighteen Dark Sky Reserves in the world, and
seven (or over 38%) of those are in the UK. In the same way that people seek naturally scenic places for recreational purposes, astrotourism (travelling to destinations that have dark skies and associated natural scenery, visiting observatories, etc.) has taken off, so to speak, around the world. Yet this valuable environmental asset has not, to date, received adequate recognition in our planning policies and associated
1. Illuminated Britannia Bridge over the Menai Strait: Lighting design and event production by Ben Dodds on behalf of Enlightened, leading specialists in temporary and permanent architectural lighting. www.enlx.co.uk © Ben Dodds
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2. London City Lights. © Shutterstock
work, although this may be about to change. At the end of 2020, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dark Skies published its Ten Dark Sky Policies for the Government to reference when it updates the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in 2021, potentially giving nightscapes greater prominence in strategic planning and planning decision-making than ever before. In the UK, as much as 16 hours of the day can be “night-time”, yet, even in an increasingly 24-hour economy, landscape professionals usually only focus on the daytime – the night-time is considered to be the preserve of lighting professionals alone. Whether it be at a strategic planning level, through contribution to an evidence base in relation to (daytime and night-time) landscape character assessments, or through Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) and design input into development proposals containing lighting, landscape professionals should recognise the important role they have in relation to nightscapes. Guidance on undertaking environmental assessments generally requires specialist professionals to assess effects in relation to their environmental aspect. A lighting professional would not be expected to undertake a LVIA on night-time
landscape character any more than a landscape professional would be expected to produce a lighting impact assessment. So interdisciplinary working is essential when considering the environmental effects of Artificial Lighting at Night (ALAN). Only through effective communication, at all stages in a project’s life, can the various professionals then understand the considerations to be taken into account, their relative importance and the design solutions available. This then allows multi-purpose, fullyinformed design and land-use planning options to be devised. Of course, lighting can spectacularly transform a place, literally overnight, becoming a defining key characteristic of a locality, as found in vibrant cityscapes, or it can highlight key townscape features. This must be done in a co-ordinated and hierarchical way to legibly tell the story of the site. Conversely, a dark landscape undisturbed by artificial light, with starlit skies in a tranquil setting, may have inspired poets, songwriters and artists in relation to a place providing a valued cultural aspect to a locality’s landscape character, and may also contribute to perceptions of tranquillity and ‘wildness’. The majority of populated areas have a night-time character that lies somewhere between the darkest of skies and inner-city locations – a
wide gamut, as demonstrated by the nine-level numeric Bortle Scale which grades the ‘darkness’ of locations’ night skies based on the observability of different celestial objects. As demand for new housing and development increases, there will inevitably be increased numbers of artificial sources of light (internal and external, including vehicles) in the changing landscape, and the pressures on our night-time environments, on areas of dark green infrastructure and on dark skies will increase in parallel. Dark skies and landscapes can be adversely affected by sources of light tens of kilometres away (whether through visibility of light sources or ‘sky glow’ light pollution effects), bringing cross-boundary effects and decisionmaking into consideration also. There is a fundamental connection between the stars and ourselves: when we look up at the night sky, we look deep back in time to where our existence began. This connectivity also provides a link to our previous family generations who all experienced this same view, when light pollution was largely absent, in the context of an otherwise very different world. Starlit skies are natural and cultural assets worthy of preservation where they are, and restoration where they are not (as with other forms of pollution) and, through interdisciplinary working, we can achieve this. The joint overall aim should be to ensure that the quantity, quality, location, visibility and timing of light, has been sufficiently considered and optimised to minimise adverse effects on nightscapes and receptors at, and distant to, that location, and to maximise the positive ‘place-making’ opportunities presented through fullyinformed lighting and landscape design. Karl Jones is a chartered landscape architect and chartered environmentalist, and has over 25 years’ experience in environmental design, assessment, management and planning. Karl is Managing Director of Crestwood Environmental, and has served on the Technical Committee of the Landscape Institute and at the Registration Authority for the Society for the Environment. 21
CASE STUDIES By Paul Traynor and Arve Olsen
Four case studies from Light Bureau Projects in Denmark, Norway and the UK illustrate both urban and rural approaches to designing with light.
Musicon Copenhagen, Denmark About 30km from Copenhagen is the city of Roskilde on the island of Zealand. In 2003, the municipality bought the former concrete factory and gravel pit, and since then it has developed into a dynamic urban development. Because of its industrial heritage, there was a legacy of old factory buildings, and these attracted curious and creative people to the district. Temporary events and spaces helped to activate Musicon, and early settlers included skaters, artists and a dance theatre. Alongside the re-purposed industrial sites, new buildings are being erected – the most recognisable arguably is the Ragnarock Museum, designed and built for young people, with a huge, cantilevered overhang to give shelter for concerts and events outdoors. There are already skate parks, and as an initiative to encourage cycling and walking between Musicon and the train station, the municipality
conceived a permanent intervention – one that would really come into its own after dark. The Musicon path, better known as the Pump Track, is a piece of urban landscape with a difference. Central themes in its development were play and learning. The track is undulating, and the lighting concept was based on the flow of water. As water can exist in many different states – calm, agitated, flowing – the Pump Track was designed to react to the user. Based on how fast the rider navigates the track, sensors in the lighting columns pick up the speed and create a coloured light trail; the faster the rider can go, the longer the trail becomes, so encouraging competition between riders and keeping the track interesting. When the track is ‘resting’, the light projection reverts to white light, so after about 10 seconds, the track is again ready for the next attempt. Safety obviously cannot be ignored at the expense of creativity in a public
1. The lighting consists of two layers; the architectural layer in the front (white) and the behavioural layer that emerges behind the cyclist as they ride the track (blue). © Tomasz Majewski / Light Bureau
project, so the concept was supported by 2 principles – or 2 layers. The first is architectural: ensuring that there is sufficient amenity and visibility. The second layer is the behavioural layer: the flowing wave, which is responsible for the playful interaction between user and track. Light Bureau’s Copenhagen office was responsible for the project, working with public artist Simon Panduro. There are 23 projector heads mounted on 7 posts. The heads are finished red and fitted with honeycomb louvres to avoid glare for the users. The sensors are LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) – compact, fast and reliable laser devices – technology that is being used in autonomous vehicles. Different scenarios are programmed, so for special events like the music festival, the lighting can be turned a different colour, controlled via SMS. Vandalism is unfortunately a fact of life,and Musicon has its own share of such problems. But the Pump Track has given local people a preventative diversion in their neighbourhood, and it’s a great example of a city being well connected to its inhabitants.
2. The 90 metre long pump track is a fun ride for all ages. © Tomasz Majewski / Light Bureau
The track is undulating, and the lighting concept was based on the flow of water. 2
3. When entering the tunnel the interactive light wheels starts spinning. © Christian Ankerstjerne / Light Bureau
4. The wheels have a solid design that protects them from vandalism. © Christian Ankerstjerne / Light Bureau
5. The orange colour refers to the logo of the cycle super highway secretariat (SCS). © Christian Ankerstjerne / Light Bureau
6. At night the light dims to minimize the need for dark light adaption when leaving the tunnel. © Christian Ankerstjerne / Light Bureau
7. The spinning light wheels also have a safety function, as they indicate whether you can expect any traffic in the tunnel.
Cycle Super Highway Gladsaxe, Denmark
The fixtures selected give off warm white light, creating quite strong circular pools of light centrally, and reinforcing the wheel motif.
Cycling is a really popular form of transport in Denmark – 36% of all Danish adults commute by bicycle to work daily or at least once a week, and 45% of Danish children cycle to school. Providing good lighting to support these journeys is at least as crucial as lighting roadways. The Cycle Super Highway project is a 21km route connecting urban centres in the Gladsaxe Municipality. Known as the Farum route, there are 12 tunnels to be navigated by cyclists, and at the time this project commenced,
they were doing little to promote a feeling of safety or accessibility. The project also wished to address how to create a recognisable visual identity through means of light that would encourage more people to cycle. Light Bureau’s Copenhagen office co-created the project of Tunnel 11 by collaborating with an urban planner and lighting design students from Aalborg University in Copenhagen. The students carried out user surveys as part of their semester project for one selected tunnel. Users reported that they found the tunnel to be unsafe and that the transition between the outside in daylight and inside the tunnel was hard to adjust to. Three core values were identified: identity, flow and presence. Identity is achieved through the form of the bicycle wheel and the orange colour as determined through collaboration with the urban planner. The second – flow – is the dynamic effect of the concealed light which rotates in the same direction as the cyclist’s wheel. And presence, where the rotation effect decelerates gradually, leaving a sense of activity for the next cyclist who enters the tunnel. There are 2 forms of lighting in the tunnel – the dynamic wheel and soffit mounted downlights. The latter are
needed particularly during the daytime to balance the light levels on the inside with the outside, overcoming the transition issue. The fixtures selected give off warm white light, creating quite strong circular pools of light centrally, and reinforcing the wheel motif. Also, because they are directional, they reduce the spill light to the tunnel sides, so that the wheels’ impact is not diluted. Control is automatic: a daylight sensor at the tunnel mouth adjusts the dimming of the amenity lighting, and motion sensors detect the approach of cyclists and trigger the wheel’s light rotation. Different effects can be accessed through the control system by SMS. Resilience is needed in outdoor locations, and that quality was demonstrated by the designers hitting the wheels and hanging off them physically.
optical quality we sought – narrow distribution in terms of path width, but wide spread along pathway lengths to avoid light spill to the grassed areas. We also wanted to achieve a high quality warm white light. Our column height was 4 metres; at a human scale and high enough for good light distribution and economical spacing. We designed the pathway columns to include small, directional coloured LED feature lights at 2.4m to light trees alongside the pathways. The column design followed the pipe theme. The columns were bespoke; fabricated from cylindrical galvanised steel. At the post-ends, we introduced the single colour LED to denote which path the pedestrian is using. At nodes, we used narrow
8. Good lighting for amenity and face recognition was a necessity for this play park. © Paul Traynor
9. The playful pipe theme extends to the New Cross railway underpass. © Paul Traynor
10. Height and drama emphasise the nodes, making navigation more legible. © Paul Traynor
Fordham Park UK Fordham Park is a communal space located between New Cross and New Cross Gate stations in South London. It is a key green space, and provides an intersection between transport hubs, shops and houses. There are two schools at the park boundary. The Landscape Partnership, with whom we worked, were keen to introduce play as a major theme. When we studied the existing park, we noticed that at several locations at the park perimeter there were ventilation pipes coming out of the ground. We used this motif as a basis of the lighting equipment for our design. The Landscape Partnership worked out a scheme with nodes at three key access points to the park and then linked them by desire lines. There were many mature trees
through the park, and we were keen to include them to give context and interest to night-time pedestrian journeys. To help distinguish these three arteries through the park, we decided to include colour in our concept. We are now all used to LED light sources, but in 2009, when this project was designed, they were still very new. This specification was not innovation for the sake of it; with conventional light sources we could not achieve the
beam sources to punch light on to the ground, giving some drama and announcing changes in direction. The principle for play spaces was to ensure great, vertical light so that children could navigate safely, and carers and parents could keep an eye on them. The final element was the underpass between Pagnell Street and New Cross Station. We continued the play theme into the tunnel. Both sides of the tunnel are decorated with networks of pipework including (again, standard) linear opal diffuse fittings to give good amenity and safety, and to thematically connect with Fordham Park.
The principle for play spaces was to ensure great, vertical light so that children could navigate safely, and carers and parents could keep an eye on them.
11. Bespoke bollard luminaires lead the way along the path like torches. Lighting the cliff faces make the surroundings legible. © Fovea.Studio
12. Bespoke bollards with adjustable mini spotlights illuminate feature landscape elements. © Fovea.Studio
13. After crossing the 150m long bridge to the island, you arrive at the first destination where light levels are balanced against the moonlight. © Kristofer Ryde
Jørpelandsholmen Nature Walk, Strand Municipality, Norway The restrained use of light resulted in a scheme that respected the nocturnal environment of the island...
The island of Jørpelandsholmen, situated just outside of Jørpeland in Strand Municipality, Norway, had prior to 2017 only been accessible by boat from the mainland. Historically used as farmland, but now disused, the municipality saw untapped potential in the island as a recreational area for the residents of Jørpeland, and as a destination for the 200,000+ tourists visiting the nearby Pulpit Rock every year. A pedestrian bridge connecting the island to the mainland was established, and landscape architect Anita Ellefsen Hus masterminded the new 2.1km nature walk around the island that included a number of key destinations along the route. She also subtly adjusted the landscape to enhance views out from the island, as well as making the path accessible to all. A year after the nature walk opened, Light Bureau was approached to design a lighting scheme for the path. Being the first
to introduce electric lighting to a previously unlit island was a rare opportunity to explore just how little light is needed for people to see, and for us to make their experience truly magical after dark. Light Bureau approached the project with a strategy of balancing the artificial light against the night sky and avoiding any glare, so that the nocturnal vision of walkers was maintained and views out across the fjord preserved. Working at this threshold of ‘just enough light’ is a challenge, since most standard luminaires are designed for high brightness urban environments. Through onsite light tests and discussions with the landscape architect and client, it was clear that a bespoke range of luminaires was required. The products were designed by Light Bureau and manufactured by expert local metal workshops that normally build for the oil industry. The luminaires had to withstand the harsh salt water environment of the island,
Paul Traynor is head of Light Bureau. Key projects include the NATO Headquarters in Brussels and the Royal Academy in London. Paul was President of the Professional Lighting Designer’s Association and is visiting lecturer at Wismar University of Applied Sciences and KTH in Stockholm. He also teaches at the University of Greenwich.
frequent rainfall, the grazing sheep maintaining the landscape and children playing on the island. Corten steel was the material of choice, due to its robust qualities and natural patina that would blend in and complement the natural environment both during day and night time. One of our main takeaways from the project is the importance of involving local craftsmen. It evokes a strong sense of ownership within the community when they know the people that built it. For the municipality, it is a no brainer as most of the money spent on the project was invested right back into local businesses. Nobody loses, everyone wins. The restrained use of light resulted in a scheme that respected the nocturnal environment of the island, and that added a very low carbon footprint by use of locally manufactured products with minimal power consumption. It is estimated that the lighting for the 2.1km path used 575W in its dimmed state, less than 0.3W per metre.
Arve Olsen is Design Director at Light Bureau. His experience includes lighting design for the Royal Academy in London and developing a lighting masterplan for Longyearbyen – the northernmost town in the world. Arve is a guest lecturer in lighting design, mentors industrial design students at the School of Architecture in Oslo, and is past president of the Norwegian Lighting Designers Association. 25
FUTURE-PROOFING OUR TOWNS AND CITIES The easing of lockdown restrictions will slowly present people with the opportunity to return to their pre-pandemic daily routines and behaviours. Urban economies largely depend on commuters and visitors, but with many now accustomed to working from home and shopping online – both HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group have recently announced sharp reductions in office space – there will be a challenge in attracting people back to work, shop, eat and drink. For architects and landscape designers, this represents an opportunity to design, create and regenerate urban spaces. But alongside ensuring they are attractive enough to lure people back, they also need to be safe and secure, with protection that is in-keeping with the surrounding aesthetics. ADVE R TO R I AL
USING PROTECTIVE STREET FURNITURE TO CREATE ATTRACTIVE, SAFE SPACES A key objective in the design and build will be to ensure protective methods don’t impact the look and feel of a space. At Marshalls Landscape Protection, we support architects, planners and landscape designers in tackling the threat posed by intentional and accidental vehicle collisions, while maintaining the design considerations of the space in question. We’re one of the only manufacturers in the world offering a range of decorative street furniture – from seating to planters – that is crash-tested to the latest standards in Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM).
These standards are the means by which products are evaluated on their performance to prevent a hostile or errant vehicle penetrating a specific area. They are designed to provide those responsible for their installation with the assurance that what they specify will work, tested using vehicles in a range of weights and speeds to ensure product performance corresponds with the threat level. Products accredited to PAS 68 / IWA 14.1 – the top level of these certifications – are capable of stopping a 7.5 tonne vehicle travelling at 50mph. At the opposite end of the scale, the PAS 170 accreditation offers protection against vehicles weighing up to 2.5 tonnes travelling up to 10 or 20mph. Each project is unique, so having products that meet various different standards
As the UK tentatively emerges from what is hoped to be its final lockdown, work will begin on attracting people back into towns and cities for work, leisure and socialising. Jaz Vilkhu, Managing Director at Marshalls Landscape Protection, outlines how architects and landscape designers can tackle this challenge while ensuring urban spaces are safe.
provide a more flexible portfolio of protective street furniture that offers numerous benefits. The Marshalls Landscape Protection range has been manufactured with both security and aesthetics built into the design. This means that cycle stands, planters, litter bins and benches can all be used to protect the public and create a space where people feel safe, which in turn will increase footfall and breathe new life into it. As the country bounces back from the economic effects of the pandemic, this will be vital to the regeneration of high streets and town and city centres. A BRIGHTER FUTURE By opting to use protective street furniture products the risk of fortifying ADVE R TO R I AL
a space is minimised, meaning people can make the most of an area while ensuring they feel safe. Metal barricades, barriers and concrete blocks are often the go to choice and can deter people from using a public space. Using designled street furniture not only brightens and lightens an area but also makes it enjoyable for those using it. We work hard to understand the best ways to minimise our impact on the environment, paying close attention to sustainability when designing, selecting materials and manufacturing our products. We take pride in choosing ethically sourced materials in our product ranges, which include FSC®certified timber, and we’ve also signed up to the Carbon Trust Standard which represents our commitment to reducing the carbon footprint in our product
manufacturing processes year-on-year. Architects and landscape designers are in a strong position to create safe and attractive urban spaces that will be crucial for attracting people back into towns and city centres. By implementing protective street furniture products and taking a design-led approach to security, our public spaces can be future-proofed in a way, keeping people safe… not scared® for years to come.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON MARSHALLS’ PROTEC TIVE AND NON-PROTECTIVE STREET FURNITURE PRODUC TS PLEASE CONTAC T +44(0) 1422 312 993 OR VISIT W W W.MARSHALLS.CO.UK/ LANDSCAPEPROTECTION
C A S E S T U DY By Sophie Thompson 1. Whitfield Gardens – after. © Michael Grubb Studio
2. Whitfield Gardens – before. © Michael Grubb Studio
Tripping the light fantastic 1
When LDA Design began work on Whitfield Gardens as part of Camden’s West End Project in 2018, the challenge was to make a once-loved urban square and gardens feel safe and inviting again.
hitfield Gardens enjoys a view of Heal’s elegant flagship store on Tottenham Court Road, but it had large areas of overgrown planting and felt degraded. Lighting was poor, mostly borrowed from adjacent streets, and anti-social behaviour had made it a no-go area after dark. Local residents wanted to reclaim the space and create a welcoming space which belonged to everyone. Getting the lighting right was a key part of that transformation. Michael Grubb Studio’s lighting strategy creates a cosy “outdoor living room” in busy central London, by selecting a very warm colour temperature, 2700 Kelvin (K). The look and feel of a space is greatly affected by the colour of the light, measured in Kelvin, such as 6000K for very cool daylight or 2000K for candlelight. Whitfield Gardens’ warm atmosphere evokes a distinct and tranquil space where you would want to sit and chat, but it also feels bright enough to encourage exploration.” 28
Michael Grubb points out that it is combining different layers of light that opens up a space. “We accentuated the dramatic features of Whitfield Gardens by uplighting the canopies of the London plane trees and the restored Fitzrovia Mural, painted 40 years ago as a record of the life of the local community. There’s also integrated lighting along the new linear timber seating. It was decided, though, that while the routes should be lit by columns from dusk to dawn, decorative lighting should turn off at 11pm. We wanted to conserve energy and preserve darkness, to help protect ecology and wildlife.” The space has been made safe in many other ways too. Tim South, principle landscape architect at LDA Design and the project leader, says that the shady corners with their intimidating den-like spaces had to go. “We re-configured the space and for the gardens, we introduced a new planting palette suitable for woodland understorey, with a concentration on white flowering plants. It is lush but low, to provide direct views throughout.”
“Natural surveillance is key to improving a public space like this and so there is a range of seating, including cube clusters, to encourage people to linger and colonise the place. We’re hoping the long dining table will prove as popular in the evening as it already is at lunch time.” Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden, says that this green space is loved by many. “We are very proud of the work, which demonstrates our commitment to making beautiful, safe and usable public spaces that everyone can enjoy”. Sophie Thompson is a director at LDA Design
F E AT U R E By Usue Ruiz Arana
Thinking with my ears Winner of the Landscape Institute Innovation Award, this guide was described by the judges as: ‘A compelling, timely and immersive study that breaks new ground exploring an area of landscape practice not commonly known or understood.’ 1. Active use of sound in design, High Street Glasgow, a prospective public realm scheme developed by OOBE © OOBE
his guide borrows its title from an article by composers and sound artists Bruce Odland and S am Auinger: “Hearing Perspective (Think with your Ears)”.¹ In the article, Odland and Auinger questioned why the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) sculpture garden sounded like any taxi stand in NYC, or why quiet cars were quiet only on the inside. The answer to those questions, they proposed, is that we live in a culture that privileges the eye in decision making and budget allocation, while the solution is to think with our ears. Many professions think with their ears. Doctors for example, train their listening to detect abnormal sounds in the internal organs of patients; similarly, plant engineers and car mechanics attune their ears to detect sound changes in motors. Despite the crucial
role that landscape architects play in shaping the soundscapes that surround us, listening does not play a primary role in their training and practice. Landscape architects mainly consider sound as noise to be mitigated. Sound as a positive feature is less frequently thought of, except in the creation of sensorial landscapes that seek to include features that target all the senses. In the last twenty years, considerable research has been carried out on soundscapes from a variety of perspectives. In urban planning, this wave of research was triggered by the Environmental Noise Directive (END, Directive 2002/49/EC) that recognised the detrimental effect that noise has on human health and wellbeing, and required the identification and management of noise pollution and
the protection of good environmental soundscapes in the form of quiet areas. A subsequent technical guide to identify quiet areas was produced that included the soundscape approach as a suitable methodology to that end.² This approach researches the soundscape first through human perception, and afterwards by acoustic measurements, and is guided by the following publications: 3 with further parts to be developed. This article introduces the reader to key aspects of a guide that builds on this research and expands beyond it to incorporate findings from acoustic ecology, ecoacoustics, bioacoustics, sound studies and sound art to demonstrate the many advantages of incorporating attentive listening and sound into landscape architecture practice. The guide starts with general 29
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recommendations, followed by practical advice applicable to each stage of the life of a project. Tuning in Classifying and assessing a soundscape is a complex task, as research demonstrates that judgments on sound are ultimately individual and vary according to context. Despite this complexity, we must train our listening to develop an understanding of how we alter soundscapes. The first step towards training our listening is to tune in to the soundscape, a process that Canadian composer and educator Raymond Murray Schafer, termed ‘ear cleaning’ in the late 60s. Schafer carried out several exercises with his students at the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver to “clean” their ears, including being silent for a day to focus on the sounds of others or keeping
a diary of sounds encountered. Participating in or organising soundwalks is another useful exercise for tuning in. In a guided soundwalk, participants are taken through varied soundscapes in silence, perhaps stopping at specific points to come together and gather their experiences. Soundwalks bring attention to the acoustic properties of different spaces and to the background, foreground and unique sounds of a place. We can easily incorporate similar exercises to the ones described above into our daily routine. For example, a recent exercise carried out with MLA students at Newcastle University included going on a soundwalk for five consecutive days. Through the exercise, students unfolded how their immediate soundscapes changed throughout the day and in time, and recorded their emotional responses in a sound diary.
Strategic definition, preparation and brief In the initial stages of a project, a soundscape assessment can be carried out through a combination of methods including soundwalks, sound recordings (to extract sound measurements if required), and review of noise and quiet area maps. The purpose of the soundwalk is to collect information on the environment, sound sources and user perceptions. With regards to the environment, information should be collected on the geometry of spaces, materiality and weather conditions as they affect the experience of sound. With regards to sound sources, sound is an expression of the activities and events that happen within the space and in the vicinity4, and can, therefore, give us a lot of information about the character of the site and
2. Soundscape assessment: effect of geometry and materiality of spaces in sound perception. © Edwin Yeung, Newcastle University
In a guided soundwalk, participants are taken through varied soundscapes in silence, perhaps stopping at specific points to come together and gather their experiences.
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3. Tuning in exercises: Sound diary, Changqing Park, Wuhan. © Mian Han, Newcastle University
what is happening around it. Sound sources can be classified into background, foreground and unique sounds, and then according to their origin, as described in ISO 12913. When recording non-human sources, it is important to note that an animal orchestra in tune is the sign of a healthy ecosystem.5 Finally, with regards to user perception, descriptors can be employed to record the affective response to a soundscape or sound. Descriptor examples from ISO 12913 include pleasant, chaotic, vibrant, uneventful, calm, annoying, eventful and monotonous. The soundscape assessment can be illustrated through a map to capture the above information, supported by recordings and images. Concept design At this stage, a positive soundscape concept can be developed to strengthen
the overall concept for the site, increase positive sounds and reduce negative sounds identified through the soundscape analysis. Soundscape moods can be the starting point for strengthening the overall concept for the site. For example, a suitable mood for an urban square would be a vibrant soundscape. To develop a vibrant soundscape, we can look at theoretical models of soundscape perception, such as the one developed as part of the Positive Soundscape Project.6 According to this model, a vibrant soundscape would include a suitable number of sound events, perceived to harmonise with one another, and with a degree of variation over time. Sound events need to be considered carefully during this stage. Sound events result from the proposed activities and users of a space, as described earlier. Sound emanating from them is altered by the environment before it reaches
our ears. The resulting sound events can affect the behaviour and activities of the people experiencing that space. Accordingly, some sound sources might be able to share an acoustic space, and it might be beneficial to do so, for example, to create vibrancy, as detailed above. Others, however, might need isolating. The soundscape concept can once again be illustrated through mapping. Developed and technical design During this stage, we can make use of the direct and emotional connection that listening offers for the detailing of materials, presentation of proposals, and developed design. Listening provides a direct engagement with the landscape, which triggers an emotional response to it in a way that sight does not. When it comes to detailing of materials, soft and hard materials will alter the acoustic properties of spaces 31
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and their perception. An example of this is how different footsteps sound according to the pavement material walked on. When it comes to presentation of proposals, auralisations can be used in conjunction with visualisations, or on their own, to sell our schemes through the ears. Finally, with regards to developed design, sound or sound strategies can be actively used. To that end, sound artists can be the source of advice and inspiration. Sound strategies can be linked to the arrangement of spaces. For example, a sudden change from a loud environment to a quiet one can have a sound amplification effect, a principle used by sound artists Will Schrimshaw and Jamie Allen for their Acoustic Subtraction installations that can be incorporated into the design of a site. Construction, handover and in use During the construction and postconstruction stages of a project, sound can be used to monitor the
health and changes in a habitat, but also as part of the training of our listening. Monitoring how the soundscape of a site and of our designs evolve throughout the day, and in time, will help us to predict what future soundscapes will sound like, with applications at all stages of a project. Going forwards The journey towards thinking with our ears will require time, collaboration with other professionals, and the development of a new set of design tools, skills, and knowledge. Those skills should be an essential part of the training and development of all landscape architects engaged in the management and development of meaningful landscapes. To that end, a standard approach that relates to existing working practices, such as that introduced in the foregoing guide, is required to accompany landscape architects on their journey.
Usue is a landscape architect and lecturer at Newcastle University. She leads the Master of Landscape Architecture, and teaches across design studios, design thesis and construction modules. In her research, Usue investigates the role of listening in the affective engagement with the landscape, and the active use of sound in landscape architecture practice.
4. Soundscape assessment: effect of geometry and materiality of spaces in sound perception. © Edwin Yeung, Newcastle University
5. Detailing of materials based on sound: footsteps on gravel. © Usue Ruiz Arana
¹ Odland, B. and Auinger, S. (2010) Hearing Perspective (Think with Your Ears), O + A. ² European Environment Agency (2014) Good practice guide on quiet areas. Luxemburg: Publications. Office of the European Union.
S ISO 12913-2:2018 B Acoustics: Soundscape part 1 (Definition and conceptual framework), 2 (Data collection and reporting requirements) and 3 (Data analysis).
Blesser, B. and Salter, L. (2009) Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Mitpress.
Krause, B. (2013) The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places. Profile books.
Davies, W. J. et al. (2013) ‘Perception of soundscapes: An interdisciplinary approach’, Applied Acoustics. Elsevier Ltd, 74(2), pp. 224-231.
F E AT U R E Author: Antonella Radicchi
Integrating soundscape in urban design, planning and landscape In the first of a series of collaborations with Cities and Health Journal, we publish an introduction to their most recent edition on soundscapes. 1. Hush City App’s icon. © Antonella Radicchi 2017
uring the 2020 lockdown imposed by the world changing and tragic COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, we have witnessed people gathering on their balconies, at their windows and by their front doors to collectively send out supportive messages to healthcare workers and patients. The medium chosen was sound. In Italy, in the evening, quarantined people sang and clapped their hands from their balconies in an effort to keep up morale as the country faced the worst coronavirus outbreak outside China. In New York, at seven each night, people cheered for frontline workers by clapping their hands and making sounds using everyday life tools like boxes, keys and small bells. These are just two examples, but
they highlight how sounds can convey positive emotions and feelings, and how human beings attach values and meanings to sound. By contrast, most studies in the field of healthy cities address sound as a negative by-product of the environment, measuring it via quantitative indicators such as decibels (dB). This approach is certainly useful when analysing and mapping noise pollution, which is unbelievably the second most prominent urban environmental stressor affecting people’s health in Europe. The WHO alerts us that long
term exposure to noise can cause cardiovascular diseases, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, hypertension and annoyance, potentially leading to premature death. The associated decline in the population’s health because of noise has an economic impact, too. For example, in the European Union, the economic impact of noise is estimated to be 35€ billion for annoyance, 34€ billion for sleep disturbance, and 5€ million for cognitive impairment in children. Furthermore, monetary costs can also be caused by reduced
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house prices, loss of working days and reduced possibilities for land use. Despite this alarming data, the number of people exposed to high levels of noise is not decreasing, and the 7th Environment Action Program’s objective of reducing noise pollution in Europe, of moving closer to the WHO recommended levels by 2020, has not been achieved. Worryingly, the European Environment Agency estimates that the number of people exposed to high levels of road traffic noise is likely to increase because of future urban growth and an increased demand for mobility. Facing such a dramatic scenario, what actions can urban design and landscape professionals take to help meet the WHO recommendations? Whilst it is imperative to continue implementing noise reduction measures to safeguard health, protect the environment and save costs to society, it is equally important for us to realise that the pursuit of an exclusively anti-noise quantitative approach can be limiting, and for at least two reasons. Firstly, the application of anti-noise, sound reduction, measures can lead to “silencing our public environment”, with the unintended consequence of reducing or even losing positive environmental and human sounds which are beneficial to our health. Indeed, for most people sound is fundamental to wellbeing, and complements other senses. Sound helps us communicate and orient
ourselves in space, and sound moves us emotionally, both consciously and unconsciously. Secondly, sounds are inherently both objective and subjective in nature: the same physical quantum of sound pressure can be perceived as pleasant or as annoying depending on the sound source, for example if the sounds originate from a water fountain or a car, from a friend having a party or a noisy neighbour, or whether sounds are perceived as appropriate to the context or not. As such, in addition to quantitative indicators, it is imperative to integrate qualitative approaches. The concept of “soundscape” captures such an approach into the assessment and management of the acoustic environment. This means accounting for people’s perceptual responses to the acoustic environment. The definition of “soundscape” is the “acoustic environment as perceived, experienced, and/or understood by people, in context”. In terms of management, a soundscape-based approach implies creatively and collectively composing the acoustic environment through positive sounds to support a healthy place-making agenda. In other words, in the same way that health cannot be defined as “merely the absence of disease” (WHO), the mere absence of noise is not sufficient to ensure an acoustic environmental quality for our physical and mental health, social wellbeing, and the environment.
But how do we capture and define what we mean by “acoustic quality”? Inclusive multiform governance of the acoustic environment may be needed to ensure that needs and desires of different groups and stakeholders are accounted for through open and continuous participatory processes for assessing, planning and managing the acoustic environment. This vision intentionally resonates with the imaginative metaphor of the “soundscape of the world as a huge musical composition, unfolding around us ceaselessly [where we] are simultaneously its audience, its performers and its composers.” (Schafer 1977). So with health and wellbeing in mind, let us then conceptualise the acoustic environment as a “musical composition”, as a collective piece! Let us pursue a multidisciplinary approach as scholars, as professionals and as activists across the fields of urban design and planning, acoustics, public health, ecology, mobility, psychology, new technology and the arts in pursuit of soundscapes for healthier environments.
Policy-making, plans and soundscape design projects The term soundscape was coined, and used for the first time, by Michael Southworth in 1966 in his research The Sonic Environment of the Cities, where he investigated the soundscape of the peninsula of Boston. Southworth also gave recommendations for implementing the “sonic design” of “large open spaces”, “small sonically responsive spaces” and “sonic signs”. A participatory soundscape approach as a codesign method was applied for the first time in
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Sound helps us communicate and orient ourselves in space, and sound moves us emotionally, both consciously and unconsciously.
the renovation of Nauener Platz, a square-park located in the Mitte neighbourhood of Berlin. Residents were included in each stage of the project development by means of different engagement measures, such as a party and flea market, a public hearing, soundwalks, workshops and narrative interviews. Drawing on people’s preferences and shared desires, renovation measures were implemented to alter the soundscape of this public open space, such as the introduction of bird songs and ocean waves, which local people wished to hear when visiting. The City of London released its Noise Strategy 2016 to 2026 to set the strategic direction for noise and soundscape policy in the financial heartland, the Square Mile. The strategy recognises that “the noise resulting from the vibrancy of the City for many is iconic, invigorating and an essential element or ‘buzz’ of the City ‘soundscape’”. It also sets out the actions needed to maintain and, where possible, improve the City’s soundscape. With the release of its Noise and Soundscape Action Plan 2018–2023, the Welsh Government is possibly the first national government in Europe to explicitly refer to the emergent science of soundscape in national policy. The Plan recognises that a healthy acoustic environment is more than simply the absence of unwanted sound, and it stresses the need to collectively create appropriate soundscapes in spatiotemporal context. The Municipality of Berlin also experimented with the soundscape approach for the update of its Berlin Plan of Quiet Areas within the context of the public participation campaign “Berlin wird leiser”, held for the preparation of the Berlin Noise Action Plan 2019–2023. Two public group soundwalks were organized with stakeholders and citizens in two districts of Berlin (Mitte, Pankstraße area, and Altstadt Köpenick) in order to involve people in mapping and assessing quiet areas. The Berlin Senate promoted the use of Hush City, a free citizen science app, which enables people to identify and assess quiet areas and upload the data to an open access, web-based map.
In Ireland, the city of Limerick, Green Leaf City 2020, has announced the adoption of the Hush City app and the organization of Hush City Soundwalks for involving residents 2 to map tranquil spaces in and around Limerick City for the creation of the Limerick Plan of Quiet Areas. These examples, taken as a whole, suggest both potentialities and challenges of the soundscape approach. On the one hand, it can favour new forms of participation, the return to an “intimate sensing” of places, and the use of citizen science technology to mobilise citizengenerated data for public policy. On the other hand, the implementation of the soundscape approach can face risks especially related to data quality and participation. Drawing on urban commons and citizen science, research and engaged scholarship may be useful to help overcome these challenges, and contribute orienting agendas for the integration of soundscape and health in urban design and planning and landscape architecture.
Towards the integration of soundscape and health in urban design and planning and landscape architecture
the public health community in addition to those in the built environment’s creative and technical fields. Society’s attention to and understanding of urban sound is woefully inadequate. Let’s be at the forefront of building awareness about the acoustic environment as an urban common; let’s integrate soundscape and health into urban design and planning and landscape architecture; and let’s use emerging research and practice to influence behavioural changes in pursuit of urban health, now and for future generations. This article is a summary of ‘Sound and the healthy city’, 2021, Cities & Health, 5:1-2, 1-13. The original journal article is by Antonella Radicchi, Pınar Cevikayak Yelmi, Andy Chung, Pamela Jordan, Sharon Stewart, Aggelos Tsaligopoulos, Lindsay McCunn & Marcus Grant. All references can be found here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/ 10.1080/23748834.2020.1821980 Antonella Radicchi is an architect, urbanist, researcher and activist currently based in Berlin. Her research focuses on how to make healthier and more sustainable cities. In 2017 she launched the Hush City app.
Adopting a soundscape approach is an invitation to urban design and landscape architects to join new forms of leadership for healthier urban environments, supporting the establishment of transdisciplinary groups for “healthier sonic environments”. Teams should include 35
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Landscape partners with Cities & Health journal We are pleased to announce a collaboration between Landscape and the international academic journal Cities & Health. This initiative is part of the ambition to help the profession better access the research evidence base. Selected articles related either to themes within Landscape, or special issues of Cities & Health, will be featured – with the publisher Routledge also providing three months free access. Marcus Grant, who is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cities & Health, is a longstanding CMLI, and has served on the LI Policy and Communications committee. Marcus has a passion for bridging the academic-practice divide, and this is embodied in the aims of the journal. Although the journal has “health” in its name, the focus is not at all on NHS-style health services. Rather, published articles examine how the governance, planning and design of built environments impact on people’s health, on health equity and on planetary health. It takes in its stride a vast scope of relevant research, such as community involvement, open space, access to nature, placemaking, place identity, urban food growing, trees and active travel. We hope you both enjoy this collaboration and can take from its practical ideas, inspiration and case studies to use in your own practice.
Selection of articles from the special issue Sound and the Healthy City of Cities & Health, Volume 5, Issue 1-2 Curated by Antonella Radicchi and Marcus Grant 1.Sound and the healthy city This main editorial expands on the article published in this issue. Providing more detail on all aspects, especially: moving the focus beyond noise, as expressed in decibels; the concept of soundscape; how people perceive and relate to their sonic environments; and creative approaches to sonic urban environments. REF: Antonella Radicchi, Pınar Cevikayak Yelmi, Andy Chung, Pamela Jordan, Sharon Stewart, Aggelos Tsaligopoulos, Lindsay McCunn & Marcus Grant (2021), Sound and the healthy city, Cities & Health, 5:1-2, 1-13, DOI: 10.1080/23748834.2020.1821980 2. From noise to soundscape in the service of urban health This article serves as a short summary to the special issue aimed at practitioners and policy makers. REF: Antonella Radicchi & Marcus Grant (2021) From noise to soundscape in the service of urban health, Cities & Health, 5:1-2, 15-19, DOI: 10.1080/23748834.2020.1851344
3. Ecological connectivity of urban quiet areas: the case of Mytilene, Greece A case study from a town on a Greek island. Two quiet areas were assessed using the DPSIR (Driving force– Pressure–State–Impact–Response) framework. Results show the potential of this method in preserving urban quiet areas, promoting ecological connectivity and limiting the negative effects of noise on human health and the environment. REF: Aggelos Tsaligopoulos, Aimilia Karapostoli, Antonella Radicchi, Chris Economou, Stella Kyvelou & Yiannis G. Matsinos (2021) Ecological connectivity of urban quiet areas: the case of Mytilene, Greece, Cities & Health, 5:1-2,20-32, DOI: 10.1080/23748834.2019.1599093 4. How can citizen science advance environmental justice? In this article the ‘noise paradox’ is explored. Using a sense-of-place model, the article highlights citizen science that could be employed to discern differences between decibel-based and perception-based assessment of noise in diverse urban and suburban environments. REF: Brittany Carson, Caren B. Cooper, Lincoln R. Larson & Louie Rivers III (2021) How can citizen science advance environmental justice? Exploring the noise paradox through sense of place, Cities & Health, 5:1-2, 33-45, DOI: 10.1080/23748834.2020.1721222
5. Soundscape and its contribution to health in the city Introducing the Soundscape Standard, this article highlights how a soundscape approach underlies a holistic concept based on the expertise of the people involved, stressing an urgent need to get communities involved in its use. REF: Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp (2021) Soundscape and its contribution to health in the city, Cities & Health, 5:1-2, 71-73,DOI: 10.1080/23748834.2019.1585692 6. Adaptive soundscape design for liveable urban spaces: a hybrid methodology across environmental acoustics and sonic art This presents doctoral research under development at Goldsmiths University of London, aimed at identifying and implementing soundscape improvement strategies in urban areas. The innovative approach is based on placing outdoor loudspeakers and the use of a computer-based system for adaptive soundscape generation, integrating sonic art practice with acoustic engineering rigour. REF: Mattia Cobianchi, John L. Drever & Lisa Lavia (2021) Adaptive soundscape design for liveable urban spaces: a hybrid methodology across environmental acoustics and sonic art, Cities & Health, 5:1-2, 127-132, DOI: 10.1080/23748834.2019.1633756
It takes in its stride a vast scope of relevant research, such as on community involvement, open space, access to nature, placemaking, place identity, urban food growing, trees and active travel.
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Navigating with sound and light Landscape practitioners are increasingly aware of the benefits of designing with sound and light, but the importance of working with people with sight and hearing loss should be at the heart of this work, argue Rory Heap and Bunty Levene.
Image © iStockphoto
BRIEFING By Jill White
fell down a kerb recently and, as I lay sprawled in the road, I thought that I should have seen it. It made me wonder – how do people navigate the streets if they are not using sight or hearing as their main inputs? I asked Rory Heap, who has been completely blind since birth, and Bunty Levene, who has long experience of hearing loss in her work and life, what helps them to access and enjoy the environment in urban and rural settings and at heritage sites.
JW: Does environmental and artificial noise get in the way of this interpretation then, sometimes?
© Connie Heap
Rory Heap has spent much of his career improving inclusiveness for disabled people. He worked extensively on the development of the British Standard ISO 29138 User Accessibility Needs.1 RH: Urban landscapes have a dominant visual content, but I can “sense” some of these elements. For example, if I walk along a colonnade or series of pillars, I will notice this through hearing the sound. The atmospheric pressure and humidity seem to affect my ability to sense obstacles, too.
JW: So, do landscape features such as water features affect this? RH Yes, definitely. Water features often make so much noise that I can’t hear the edge. However, I can judge where a water’s edge is in a lake or pond, for instance, by tiny sound differentiations like ripples. I can also gauge roughly how far down the water is using this method.
RH Well, actually a certain amount of traffic noise is good because the sound reverberates and gives me all kinds of information. For example, the width of streets, the direction of traffic or the massing of the buildings. Also, different shops use varying kinds of air-conditioning units, so they act as handy navigation beacons in a street that I’m familiar with, because I can tell where I am. When I lived in North London, I was a keen aircraft enthusiast and I knew all the approach routes into Heathrow, so I could use this to tell which direction I was headed when walking about there and used it broadly to navigate routes. The COVID lockdowns have really brought this home to me, as it has been so quiet everywhere with less traffic and people. It’s actually been harder to navigate my way around because of this!
JW: Do different building materials have any bearing on the sound you use? RH: Yes, on a good day I can tell if I’m next to a wooden fence, or brick wall or hedge, by gauging the sound reverberation. If I’m walking along a long run of the same material, like a long wall or hedge, it’s reassuring because I can know what’s around me and this takes some of the stress out of negotiating the street. That’s good for a transitioning experience, but if it’s a site I’m there to explore then making an environment more varied, through the use of differentiated tactile materials, is very interesting for me.
JW: How do you use sound in rural environments? RH: Trees are amazing! I can hear the canopy and can get a strong sense of their presence. I do have to filter out natural sounds in the countryside though, when I’m walking down a lane. I cannot hear electric cars or bicycles at all on a windy day, so that can be very stressful. I enjoy distant sounds in the landscape and have used sound markers like roads to navigate. I can also really appreciate any feeling of openness in the landscape. I am able to “sense” overlooking or openness, and will be much more likely to use a bench if I get that feeling of overlooking something, like a lake for example. Because of the sound of foliage, I’ll also use benches more which are set into a hedge or planting.
JW: What is your experience when you visit organised landscapes, such as heritage sites or formal gardens? RH: Formal gardens are often poor for blind people as they have little large foliage and no trees, usually. With heritage sites, it’s very organisationally complex to visit. For example, are there any audio-guides? If so, have these actually been designed for blind people? How easy is the device to operate and use? Are the buttons easy to find and differentiate? I did have a superb experience at Stonehenge recently, mainly due to a very good human guide provided by the site. She asked if I could “sense” the stones’ density and proximity (yes) or work out the layout (no). She was intuitively able to quickly work out that she needed to walk me around the site and perimeter to appreciate the arrangement and massing, and get me to touch certain permitted stones. In an environment like that, a human guide who
understands the user’s needs is vital. Some sites have Braille interpretation boards, which is good if you can actually locate them in the first place!
JW: So, what would you say are your top three sounds for experiencing the environment? RH: I would say traffic, foliage and the sound of a consistent surface (i.e. a long run of walling, fencing or hedging).
good as you can see and potentially lip-read everyone who is talking. If it’s against a wall, so much the better, as you don’t have to worry about what is happening behind you and there would be less competing background noise. Green space away from traffic is especially important for people with hearing loss and the kind of layout matters too. With shared space for instance, although a profoundly deaf person may be able to see the road arrangement, they still cannot hear the revving sounds of engines and so cannot gauge the speed of a vehicle so accurately, so they have much less warning of vehicles and the drivers may not realise that.
JW: Do you think people with a hearing loss use visual clues to a much greater extent?
© Julie Conway
Bunty Levene is a hearing therapist and has worked for many years to improve the experience of people with hearing loss. She co-authored the book “Managing your hearing loss: Impairment to Empowerment”.2 BL: Environmental or man-made sound, such as traffic noise, makes it particularly difficult for those using hearing aids. Especially sudden, unexpected noise. Standing under a flyover, I can “tune out” the constant roar, but on a road with traffic right next to me it is really much harder to deal with it. This makes a big difference to where a person with a hearing impairment will choose to sit on a bench, because they will seek to avoid one close to mechanical noise (like a road or an extractor fan). I would like to see much more use of tables in public areas. Round tables are particularly 40
BL: Yes, and lighting is very important for this. The old sodium lighting was much better than the LEDs which are more common now. Although LEDs are very bright, they are always used with a much narrower beam and so don’t provide the broad “wash” of light over an area. This reduces confidence, because a deaf person cannot hear any warning sounds around them and is relying more on vision to gather what is around them, and if the lit area is very restricted, it creates problems. One thing that is really good for deaf people is mirrors. You can’t have enough of them! Olympic Park was a fantastic example of this. They had a huge mirror wall and many people with hearing loss loved it. You can see
exactly what’s going on all around and behind you, so you can’t be taken by surprise and that makes for a much more relaxing use of a space. Mirrors are really underused. Many people with a hearing loss will constantly look at reflections in the glass of shop windows and doors to check what’s going on around them.
JW: So the ability to perceive warnings and avoid the unexpected is an important factor? BL: Yes, definitely. It reduces anxiety. Hearing is not just used directly for chatting and direct needs like that, all of us use it for gauging what’s happening around us and whether danger is present or something is about to happen. The incidental background sounds we take for granted, like a clock ticking, wind in the trees or birdsong are equally important, they provide an auditory background which is fundamental to our need to feel connected to our environment. Many people with hearing loss will hear low frequency sound but cannot hear high pitched frequency, such as birdsong or wood-sawing. Without warning sounds you can be taken by surprise and it is unsettling and frightening. It would be really useful if there was some kind of internationally standard signage that warned people that they might experience difficulty understanding speech because of the degraded quality of sound, caused by it reverberating off the hard surfaces – in swimming pools, for example.
1. Waterside benches at Riverside, Norwich. © Evan White
The incidental background sounds we take for granted, like a clock ticking, wind in the trees or birdsong are equally important, they provide an auditory background which is fundamental to our need to feel connected to our environment.
JW: Do the same factors apply if you’re in a rural environment?
JW: What affects people with hearing loss if they visit a heritage site?
BL: Well, hearing aid users would be OK negotiating a country lane. But someone who is profoundly deaf could find a very badly or low-lit environment extremely disorientating, to the extent that it would affect their gait. They would not be alerted by footstep sounds that the ground is becoming uneven, nor would they see it if they are concentrating on lip-reading. In a rural area, the visual enjoyment is heightened and it’s easy to judge where you are. In the winter, when there isn’t much foliage, you can see further and so you can tell what’s going on outside of your direct area of vision, which is pleasant and reduces anxiety. Signage is important too – you can’t ask the way because you worry that you’re not going to be able to hear and understand the answer. It is important to have a high contrast colour scheme to help users see the information clearly.
BL: Deaf people may be concerned that they are not going to enjoy the visit because of poor communication access, such as no subtitles on video screens. Outside guided tours are better, as inside a building there may be less room to move to the front of the group to facilitate lip-reading and there is more echo. Hearing aid users may not be satisfied with the sound on audio-guides because they end up with double the amplification. Staff training is vital on heritage sites, such as a Deaf Awareness course.
JW: What would be your top three most useful factors for experiencing the environment? BL: Signage – plenty of it and using a high contrast colour scheme; good broad-beam lighting; and good acoustics, through absorbent surfaces that don’t echo or reverberate too much.
Some useful points have been made in these conversations that landscape practitioners should carefully consider, notably:
Rory Heap attended special schools from age 3 to 19, and obtained a degree from the University of Bath. He has specialised in community development, particularly in Liverpool, national training and development in local government, with an emphasis on accessibility, and has worked in the probation and prison services as a disability specialist. Rory has also worked extensively with the British Standards Institute on national and international accessibility projects. Bunty Levene trained as a hearing therapist in 1979 at the CityLit in London. She was responsible for developing the service in two London hospitals, then organised the training course from 1989 – 2000. Bunty is currently working for the charity Deaf Plus as a course tutor. Jill White CMLI is a landscape architect with particular interest in community spaces and creating accessible and inclusive landscapes.
ritish Standard ISO 29138 User B Needs – initially aimed at information technology, it offers any designer 11 principles or goals of accessibility which are applicable in a great variety of contexts, including usability, legibility and understandability.
anaging your hearing loss: M Impairment to Empowerment, Bunty Levene and Val Tait (2005) Hearing Concern -now Hearing Link UK hearinglink.org ISBN 13: 978-09551365-0-4
– The siting of benches and shape of tables and use of a variety of settings to suit a range of potential users is critical, for example, with an outlook, set in a planted area, or against a wall and away from the roadside – How lighting is used makes a huge difference; don’t restrict the beam area narrowly, where this is avoidable. Include reflective surfaces in designs – A range of surfaces on sites with multiple users is very beneficial; less sound-reflective surfaces in one area will suit people using hearing aids whilst an increase in tactile surfaces will be appreciated by those with sight loss – A good amount of clearly legible signage is invaluable. If Braille is used, make sure that a blind user can actually locate the board, don’t put it out of easy reach somewhere inaccessible – Providing properly trained guides on heritage sites is key to interpretation planning – Predominant use of deciduous trees in plantings is welcomed – Maintaining as long a run as possible of a single boundary material along the length of key routes can offer simple, but effective, assistance to navigation
British Standard ISO Standard 20071-2015 Guidance on Audiodescription – extremely useful for those dealing with site interpretation. RNID – have conducted research into noise in the environment in relation to hearing loss and also advocate for good communication rnid.org.uk DeafBlindUK – for information and advice relating to people with both sight and hearing loss deafblind.org.uk
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Valley Gardens Brighton & Hove City Council has been run by Conservative, Labour and Green administrations. Over its ten-year evolution, all have been supportive of this major public sector project, the value of which has been highlighted in relation to both climate emergency and the pandemic. By Fenella Griffin and Murray Smith
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1. Detail of perennial planting at Victoria Gardens South © Edward Bishop
2. View from Circus Street development showing Victoria Gardens South as a green lung through central Brighton, with South Downs in background © Edward Bishop
... we designed a 650m long richly biodiverse “river of flowers” perennial garden, realised with thanks to specialist support from Professor Nigel Dunnett of Sheffield University...
he sense of both “Valley” and “Gardens” had become lost from Valley Gardens in the heart of Brighton, so proposals aimed to reinstate both, by reconsidering the site’s developmental history, from seasonally inundated commons, to promenading gardens. The design has been developed as a “linked park system”, with a series of integrated landscape layers, from highways to parks, hard to soft, roads to paths to lawns to gardens, coordinated into a new network of mutual relationships, where the formerly traffic-dominated and polluted environment has been transformed into a rebalanced, democratic and fully accessible public space for the use and enjoyment of all. The parks’ potential has been unlocked by unpicking the tangled spaghetti of traffic gyratories and contraflows through Valley Gardens to achieve a 25% reduction in road area and a 33% increase in parks and public realm. This improves access to the parks from the city’s commercial centre and North Laine district. A new dedicated cycle lane has been threaded through the parks’ east side, connecting The Level with the Old Steine and seafront beyond. A new setting has been created for St Peter’s Church by reducing and relocating its car park to the rear and forming a tree-lined square to the front. A new extended lawn to the foreground of the church replaces the Richmond Place crossover, and a second new public space, Richmond Square, has been created between St Peter’s and Victoria Gardens. Alongside extensive new tree planting to support climate change impact mitigation, site-wide soil restoration and installation of high-performance lawns, we designed a 650m long richly biodiverse “river of flowers” perennial garden, realised with thanks to specialist support from Professor Nigel Dunnett of Sheffield University, who ensured both a high impact but low maintenance approach that was acceptable to BHCC’s Parks team in a context of diminishing resources. Valley Gardens is a public sector project, commissioned and delivered by Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) with funding from the Department for Transport, through the Coast to Capital LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership). The project has progressed through two significant changes in administration, its significance and value to the city illustrated by broadly cross-party support. A decade in the making, we were appointed alongside Urban Movement in early 2012 to prepare concept designs for the whole site from The Level to the Old Steine, leading to initial developed designs in early 2015 of the core area of St Peter’s Church and Victoria Gardens North & South, Untitled Practice then progressed the developed design with highways engineers Project Centre, to secure planning permission in late 2017. The project started on site in 2018, with completion in 2020. The site existed as an undeveloped open space in the middle of the city because of its topography, lying at the confluence of two valleys in the watershed between the Downs and the sea. These valleys frame the main routes into central Brighton, the A23 London Road (and mainline
railway), and the A270 Lewes Road, which converge at Valley Gardens on their way to the seafront (at Brighton Palace Pier). The Gardens lie to the east of the Old Town, which represented the extent of the city’s development until the mid-18th century. Historic images show it as a marginal zone, a public common, used for grazing and drying laundry. This was a consequence of the site’s seasonal inundation by a winterbourne stream, the Wellesbourne, which created boggy ground conditions in the valley floor, precluding building development. By the time the stream was culverted as part of Brighton’s sewer system in 1874, the varied pattern of building frontages onto the open space was established, alongside the Gardens’ use for promenading. The site covers most of the Valley Gardens Conservation Area, which includes John Nash’s famous Grade I listed Royal Pavilion. The Pavilion Gardens and Grade II listed North Gate define the southern extent of the project site adjacent to Victoria Gardens South. Charles Barry’s Grade II* listed St Peter’s Church defines the north end of the site, sited between Victoria Gardens and The Level, where the London and Lewes Roads converge. In 2014, Brighton became one of the world’s first UNESCO Urban Biosphere Reserves, and the first completely new Biosphere in the UK for nearly 40 years. Valley Gardens lies strategically central within the urban “transition area” of the Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere – known as “The Living Coast” – between the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) of the South Downs National Park and the Marine 43
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A comprehensive soil restoration strategy was developed with soil scientists Tim O’Hare Associates to address soil health and concerns regarding carbon loss associated with exposed soils. Over time, the existing amenity grassland had been unable to recover from damage caused by successive large-scale events, leaving extensive areas of highly compacted bare soils unable to drain. High performance lawns areas have been created following comprehensive decompaction to loosen and aerate soils with the application of a washed sand blinding layer, improving drainage and increasing wear tolerance. A rhizomatous tall fescue (RTF) turf grass mix was selected for its deep-rooting drought and wear tolerance and resilience to the maritime climate. By improving site wide infiltration and designing falls to footpaths and cycleways to facilitate surface water drainage via vegetated zones within park areas, or to tree pits within the public realm, the project manages water effectively within the shallow gradients of the valley floor, which average 1:200 longitudinal falls. Resilience planning for the National Elm Collection has resulted in a legacy planting of 46 young elms from seven different species distributed throughout the spatial corridor, preparing for the eventual decline of veteran trees. Replacement specimens such as English, Field, Jersey, Cornish and Wych Elm, are augmented with a proportionately greater number of disease resistant New Horizon and Columella elms. In total, 140 new trees have been installed, selected for their tolerance to the maritime and site conditions, to the
Conservation Zone along the English Channel. Encouraging active and sustainable travel choices that cut carbon and other emissions is at the heart of the project, and has been realised through the provision of legible, generous walking and cycling routes alongside the rationalisation of the road layout. This included removing on-street parking to discourage casual car journeys and reducing general car access to the west of Valley Gardens to promote and incentivize the use of public and sustainable modes of transport over private car use. The carriageway reduction achieved has enabled ‘grey to green’ land reallocation to expand park and public realm areas by a third, which has provided the opportunity to develop more consistent, better connected green infrastructure, increasing habitat and biodiversity benefits. As part of our wider strategy, new street trees have been planted wherever possible to shade surfaces and reduce the urban heat island effect, alongside the use of light-coloured materials, such as locally sourced bound gravels, that help to reduce surface heat absorption and latent release. 44
3. Valley Gardens Link Park System Plan © Urban Practice
4. View at VGN showing new path across park, and carriageway reduction to 2 lanes with new footway and mature elms re-set into extended park lawns © Edward Bishop
5. View showing new cycleway between perennial gardens © Edward Bishop
A comprehensive soil restoration strategy was developed with soil scientists Tim O’Hare Associates to address soil health and concerns regarding carbon loss associated with exposed soils.
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6. Perennial garden planting detail at VGS with students sitting in background © Edward Bishop
7. View along path with perennial gardens and disused sculpture plinth © Edward Bishop
8. View across VGS with wildflower meadow strip to foreground, and new Circus Street development in background © Edward Bishop
9. View across perennial gardens to King & Queen pub, Victoria Gardens South
© Edward Bishop
urban stresses of reflected heat and light, and for their predicted performance in climate adaptation, contribution to biodiversity, air quality, and carbon sequestration. These include: maidenhair, field maple, holly, and ornamental pear; “arboretum” species such as fastigiate beech, “Great White Cherry”, Persian ironwood, Indian chestnut, swamp cypress, yellow buckeye and Austrian pine; Yoshino and hybrid Schmitti flowering Japanese cherry. The pandemic has provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the critical role of external spaces in supporting our everyday lives – placing emphasis on the relationship between humans, space and nature. Healthy places deliver ecological services that underpin the triple bottom line benefits of green infrastructure (GI). In our view, virtually everything and everybody benefits from GI approaches, and that we believe the Gross Natural Product provides a significant indicator of a civil society. Valley Gardens opened incrementally to the public through 2020, offering a renewed resource to Brighton as it emerged from the first lockdown. Still snagging, we watched with interest as people inhabited the new park spaces with awareness of social distancing. The new design configuration makes more space for everything, except cars. Being generous with space allocation was supporting people to move safely and comfortably. Wider footways next to businesses and two new public squares facilitate flexible use for socially distanced street trading while maintaining pedestrian movements. In time, when it is safe to do so, they will also contribute to the city’s vibrant events programme. Perhaps Valley Gardens’ primary function during these difficult times has been as a resource assisting people to access nature in the city, supporting their physical and emotional health and wellbeing with its softer, wilder, wetter wiring of GI, while playing its part in overcoming social isolation and landscape fragmentation. The new lawn areas are framed by extensive tree planting, species-rich meadow fringes and the seasonally shifting, sometimes immersive perennial gardens (approx. 3,800 m2 ). In its first season, we witnessed this being visited by a mesmerising number of foraging pollinators, attracting a lot of attention from park users whose responses ranged from meditative states to animated conversations. The impact of the perennial gardens for biodiversity net gain and people’s enjoyment has been almost immediate. The ecological services provided by other aspects of the natural environment, such as the 140 new trees, will amplify over time, improving air quality and water management, and contributing to carbon capture and habitat value as they develop. Untitled Practice is a landscape and architecture practice, specialising in public realm environments where complex infrastructure needs to be reimagined, to meet the changing needs of people and nature. UP’s reputation is founded in their collaborative engagement-based approach, which prioritises climate and social justice through landscape.
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F E AT U R E By James Lord 1. View of the biodiverse chalk stream. The Timber bridges link the surrounding green streets into the Chalk Stream. © HTA Design LLP
Cator Park, Kidbrooke Village Cator Park won the Sir David Attenborough Award for Enhancing Biodiversity and the President’s Award at the 2020 LI Awards. The judges said: ‘Cator Park is an inspiring example of applying a new, nature-inclusive approach to parkland design. The redesign shows a new attitude to nature, benefitting biodiversity and the local community.’ The head of the landscape team that delivered the scheme explains the thinking behind it and the experience that led to its development.
ator Park, located in Kidbrooke Village, South East London, is an inspiring example of applying a new, nature-inclusive approach to parkland design, that enhances biodiversity and delivers an inclusive outdoor space.
The thinking that went into Cator Park started more than twenty years ago, with the formation of our landscape discipline. Our design approach has evolved during this time, changing in emphasis from the creation of formal and hard landscapes to a focus on bringing people and
nature closer together, by creating softer, biodiverse spaces as typified by Cator Park. This shift in approach reflects a broader change in practice across the country and of our clients. It has been supported by legislation such as the introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain and Urban Greening Factor 47
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2. View of the naturalised SuDS pond. © Nick Harrison
3. The native meadow border. © Nick Harrison
targets in the NPPF and London Plan, and growing activity in response to the climate emergency. HTA Design LLP first started as an architecture practice rooted in community architecture, focusing on improving people’s homes and the way they lived. From the 1970s onward, we have spent time with local residents, helping to transform public housing, which still remains an important part of our regeneration work on major estates including Acton Gardens and the Aylesbury Estates, amongst other projects. We soon came to the realisation that, to truly transform people’s lives, we need not focus solely on buildings, but also on the surrounding place and environment in which people live – so beginning the practice’s creative collaboration between landscape and architecture, urban design, planning, and communications. For us, a fundamental part of our design approach is to spend time with and get to know the communities for which we are serving; to understand a site’s past, so that it can inform its future, and to create places where nature and people can coexist in harmony. The essence of our landscape design is people, place and nature. Our earlier schemes at Hanham Hall [featured in Landscape winter 2016] marked the realisation of our collaborative approach at HTA, where each discipline played an integral role in shaping this new neighbourhood. The 48
development was England’s first large scale volume house builder scheme to achieve the zero-carbon standard, and is one of the flagship Carbon Challenge schemes promoted by the Homes and Communities Agency. At the core of our approach was a belief that building sustainable communities is about more than meeting the requirements set by codes. It means creating a place where people want to build their lives, where they are inspired to live harmoniously with their environment, and where a sense of community is fostered through the shared spaces and shared interests. In this case, we provided allotments, greenhouses, orchards and play areas, set amongst retained trees, hedgerows and meadows.
The new residential development was immersed in a wildlife rich landscape. Moving away from formal, overly curated, manicured spaces to introducing allotments, hedgerows, swales, ponds, and grasslands that are managed to the benefit of wildlife. This experience directly influenced our approach to Cator Park, which in turn provided us with the opportunity to apply a more biodiverse approach on a park-wide scale. The park forms the focus for the major estate regeneration scheme, Kidbrooke Village, and is Berkeley Homes’ flagship Biodiversity Net Gain Project. HTA Design have been working collaboratively with Berkeley Group for over 15 years. They have a strong understanding
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4. Kite Park – a destination playable landscape at the heart of the Kidbrooke Village community. © Nick Harrison
5. Seating steps. © Nick Harrison
6. A native planting mix defines the meandering edges of the Chalk Stream. © Nick Harrison
Our design requires significantly less maintenance compared to more traditional approaches, and produces a multisensory experience for visitors, who can enjoy the colours, scents, and sounds of nature.
of the value that thoughtful and innovative landscape architecture can bring to places and the people who inhabit them. In 2016, Berkeley set an industry-leading commitment through their business to “develop and apply an approach to ensure that all new developments create a net biodiversity gain.” In 2017, we started working with Berkeley and the London Wildlife Trust in leading a team of experts to remodel and rewild the 20 acre park, with a focus on enhancing biodiversity to fulfil the Group’s commitment to ensure that there is an ecological gain on each of its sites. This unique partnership was key to unlocking the potential of the site, as all teams could share their expertise and experience, working cohesively and with shared goals in mind. To create a biodiverse landscape with a high ecological value, we focused on restoring natural balance to the area, with a diverse planting palette, featuring 99% native species, while transforming large areas of amenity grass into wildlife-attracting meadows. Our design requires significantly less maintenance compared to more traditional approaches, and produces a multisensory experience for visitors, who can enjoy the colours, scents, and sounds of nature. The new marginal habitats have attracted herons and kingfishers, and a peregrine falcon has taken up residence on the roof of one of the park side buildings. On completion, Kidbrooke Village will have achieved a net biodiversity gain of over 200%. The landscape design of the park considers the history of the site with a main pathway tracing the line of the former Kyd Brook, a historic waterway that gives its name to the entire development. The water features form an integral part of the wider water management network and ecological network. Meanwhile, the topography of the park creates a patchwork of habitats sewn together by the considered design of areas of interaction and contemplation. This includes a play area made of recycled natural materials (blending play provision with the natural ecology of the site), a nature trail, a pond with a viewing platform, and benches and stone reliefs to sit on and enjoy the natural surroundings.
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neighbourhoods we design use less space for cars and leave more room for green space and infrastructure that positively contributes to the health and wellbeing of residents. Placing landscape architecture and green infrastructure at the heart of schemes not only has a positive impact on biodiversity, but also builds a legacy for the local community and wider city.
Establishing the landscape early with Berkeley provided an immediate sense of place and signifies their aspiration for the wider development. Working with clients who recognise the importance of harnessing nature in the city is incredibly powerful; large scale housing projects and estate regeneration takes time, often decades, to be delivered, so informed and meaningful change is often required. What is essential is establishing a shared core vision between all stakeholders from the very beginning, so that as a development evolves, value is added. Cator Park acts as an example that other urban development should follow, making places that are genuinely shared by people and nature. Not only has nature returned but the
LI Climate Change Case Studies | Spring 2021
Landscape for 2030 How landscape practice can respond to the climate crisis
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parkland transformation has received an overwhelmingly positive response from local residents. Increasingly, the
HTA’s redesign of 8.1 ha Cator Park in Kidbrooke Village opened to the public last year. Working in collaboration with the London Wildlife Trust, the scheme returns nature to the city and challenges the perception that urban brownfield development cannot contribute to the wider ecological and biodiversity network whilst creating successful spaces for the community. We responded to the brief from Berkeley Homes with a landscape led vision for Cator Park and the wider Kidbrooke Village, proposing a mosaic of varied habitat, topography and biophilic spaces including lakes, water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) wetlands, meadows, open amenity and wild spaces. These wilder green spaces provide more valuable habitats for birds, bees and other wildlife, as well as dealing with local flood mitigation and water management, and providing more interesting, varied and engaging places for the local community to spend time close to nature. This project is on course to deliver a 200% gain in biodiversity based on DEFRA’s own metrics, and provides valuable lessons for how traditional urban parkland can be adapted to help nature recovery. Drawing upon the history of a lost river that crossed the site and
James Lord is a landscape architect and partner at HTA. James established the landscape design discipline at HTA and is responsible for design quality and business development across HTA’s landscape portfolio. He leads a team of 25 landscape professionals across studios throughout the UK.
from where the village takes its name, the Lower Kid Brooke, a new chalk stream creates a palimpsest of the ancient waterway as a dry chalk stream winding its way from the north to the south of the park. The chalk stream forms the backbone of the landscape approach, connecting the existing water bodies with a dry riverbed, acting as a path and inviting the public to discover and interact with the natural environment. At the source of the chalk stream, we have created a 3,000m2 wild play space creating a biophilic experience for ages 0 to 100. Limestone outcrops and climbing walls enclose the space, and bespoke natural play towers create a dramatic focus for the space. Materials used in the construction have been repurposed and upcycled from standing deadwood trees (air-preserved and reused as climbing frames), to greenheart groynes pulled from redundant Thames jetties to be used as climbing walls and benches. With nature returning to the site already, and with a really positive reception from local residents, this new park offers a legacy for the local community and London. Kidbrooke Village received the Mayor’s Award for Sustainable and Environmental Planning in 2020.
7. Climbing wall made from recycled British Rail sleepers and a telegraph pole rope walk. © Nick Harrison
8. The LI’s new publication ‘Landscape for 2030’ features Cator Park as a case study. Download a copy https://www. landscapeinstitute. org/news/ new-publicationlandscape-2030/
BRIEFING By Claire Thirlwall 1. Soundscape of Mount Rainier, showing marmot, bird, insect and aircraft noises. © National Park Service
Climate change resources – sound and light Could sound recordings of the landscapes we work in provide insight into the impact of climate change?
A By recording the biophony at the same location, at the exact same time of day or night and using similar recording equipment, changes in density and diversity can be detected.
P Aspden, ‘The Great Animal Orchestra – collecting the sounds of endangered lives’, 2019, https:// www.ft.com/ content/64202126deb5-11e9-b8e0026e07cbe5b4 [accessed 18 February 2021].
B Krause, S Gage & W Joo, ‘Measuring and interpreting the temporal variability in the soundscape at four places in Sequoia National Park’, in Landscape Ecology, vol. 26, 2011, 1247-1256.
s landscape architects the focus of our work is often on the visual elements of a landscape. However, the work of pioneering sound ecologist Bernie Krause shows that the aural elements can provide insight into the health of ecosystems. Detroit born Krause began his career in the late 1950s as a musician, initially performing with the folk band The Weavers and then becoming an exponent of electronic music. He worked in music and film until the late 1970s, and his work includes the synthesised sound of helicopter rotor blades for the iconic opening sequence of Apocalypse Now.1 From 1979, Krause concentrated on the
recording and archiving of wild, natural soundscapes from landscapes around the world. In 2001 Krause and his colleague Stuart Gage were commissioned by the US National Park Service to “quantify and assess the diurnal and seasonal character of the park’s soundscape.” The recording sites were selected to represent a combination of elevation and vegetation diversity.2 As part of this work the team developed three terms to define the sources of sounds. These are: Biophony: the collective acoustic signal generated by all non-human sound-producing organisms in a given habitat at a given moment, such as insect noise, birdsong or animal calls.
Geophony: naturally occurring nonbiological sounds, such as water, wind or thunder. Anthrophony: human generated sound, either direct, indirect or via electromechanical devices, such as voices, traffic or music. By recording the biophony at the same location, at the exact same time of day or night and using similar recording equipment, changes in density and diversity can be detected. One way to show these changes in the ecosystem is to use a spectrogram (fig 1) – a visual representation of the sounds recorded, with the vertical axis representing the sound frequency and the horizontal axis time.
2. Sugarloaf State Park – progressive effects of drought. Spectrogram showing 15 second recordings from the same location. The reduction in biophony follows the progress of the California drought which began in 2011. https://youtu.be/ N2z54euleGU © Bernie Krause
The California Drought – Sonoma Valley Every spring for decades, Bernie Krause has recorded the dawn sounds of the area close to his California home. Using similar equipment each time, he has captured the sound of Sonoma Creek, which runs through Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. When the habitat is in a healthy condition, the recordings include the sound of amphibians and birds as well as the sound of the river. However, December 2011 saw the start of a severe drought
In 1989 Krause used a decade of recordings to show that, despite assurances from logging firms, selective logging was impacting the local wildlife. Visually, the changes were minimal, but the recordings showed the decline in insect and bird noise.3 Tragically Krause’s home was destroyed in October 2017 when Nuns Fire, one of 18 wildfires, devastated the region. His recordings were backed up off-site, but all the couple’s belongings, including original recordings, photographs and correspondence, were destroyed.4 Whilst not replacing detailed habitat surveys or in person recordings, high quality automated sound recordings can be useful when other sampling techniques are impractical, or when trying to find rare or elusive species. Work by sound ecologists has shown the impact of the anthrophony, 52
that lasted 340 weeks, ending in March 2016. An estimated 102 million trees died and low water levels had a devastating impact on the ecosystem. Despite the drought ending, additional weakened trees are expected to die in future years. Krause’s work visualises this decline – in 2004 and 2009 the recordings are full of natural sounds, including the sound of running water shown in the low-frequency section of the spectrogram (fig 2). In 2014 the soundscape is dramatically reduced, with the high frequency rhythmic clusters of birdsong much
the sound we make as a species, on other organisms. When artificial sounds are added to natural habitats, organisms struggle to perceive sounds, locate food, navigate or communicate. Some species have adjusted their vocal calls in an attempt to be heard – for example, male great tits (Parus major) change the sound frequency of their call in noisy environments. It is a difficult situation for the male birds as female tits prefer mates with lower frequency calls, but if they stick to a lower frequency they risk not being heard.5 Noise pollution also affects bat, owls, frogs and many marine mammals.6 By recording the biophony, the intricate relationship between organisms can be shown, along with any decline or improvement in that intricate relationship, and existing recordings have the potential to provide
fainter. By 2015 the landscape is almost silent. The recordings for Sonoma Creek are just one part of the Wild Sanctuary Audio Archive, created over 50 years by Krause and his wife Katherine, that holds over 50 years of field recordings from many different habitats. Scan the QR code to listen to the recording.
‘Bernie Krause on Preserving the Voices of the Wilderness Before They Disappear Forever’.
This used to be “ so alive”: Glen Ellen sound artist’s life work lost to wildfire’, in Sonoma Index-Tribune, , 2018, https://www. sonomanews. com/article/news/ sonoma-valleysoundscape-artistbernie-krausesearching-for-refugeafter-nu/ [accessed 17 February 2021].
Halfwerk et al., W ‘Low-frequency songs lose their potency in noisy urban conditions’, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 108, 2011, 14549-14554.
ischa, ‘Noise m pollution and the environment’, in Curious, 2016, https://www. science.org.au/ curious/earthenvironment/ noise-pollutionand-environment [accessed 18 February 2021].
a reference point to monitor change over a long timescale. Recording declines in the sound of insect populations or reductions in the noise of river flows, rather than waiting until there is a visible change to a habitat, provides us with an additional tool to assess the impacts of climate change.
Claire Thirlwall is a director of Oxfordshire based landscape practice Thirlwall Associates. Her book “From Idea to Site: a project guide to creating better landscapes” for RIBA Books was published in 2020.
City Lights. Layer.studio designed the beacon of regeneration that shines through the heart of Manchester at Hardman Square, Manchester. Cut into the dense understorey planting are a series of routes and spaces, which form pockets of organically shaped seating opportunities, for users to seek respite. The wrap-around, beautifully lit seats allow for individuals and groups alike to gather and get away from a bustling urban environment. Landscape Institute Awards 2019 Finalist - Design for a Small-Scale Development category.
Client: Allied London Landscape Architects: Layer.studio Architects: Sheppard Robson, Manchester Main Contractor: BAM Construction Contractor: Ground Control Lighting: Neon Workshops and Quartzelec Hard Landscape Supplier: Hardscape Materials supplied: Pink Pearl and Cloudy Violet granite setts, Kobra granite paving, Crystal Black granite kerbs and bespoke Pink Pearl granite seating with anti-skate features and LED lighting. For further information on all our paving and bespoke seating products please visit: www.hardscape.co.uk or telephone: 01204 565 500.
F E AT U R E By Dilraj Sokhi-Watson
’Tis the season of ‘emergencies’ The LI’s Policy and Partnerships Manager in Scotland reflects on current priorities in the run up to Parliamentary elections in May.
he title of this piece is more than a passing nod to Donovan’s 1966 cult classic ‘Season of the Witch’. For starters, not enough can be written about the year that was 2020. In March 2020, less than a year into the Scottish First Minister’s declaration of a ‘climate emergency’,1 Scotland along with several countries, embarked on a long arduous journey of dealing with the mother of all emergencies: a global pandemic. While COVID-19 and the ensuing response measures have resulted in the twin public health and economic crises, a number of other touchpoints have also come to light during this time: the fragility of our global public health system, the connections between biodiversity loss and increase in the risk of pandemics2 and exacerbation of pre-existing inequalities3. When we review the impact of the pandemic through the lens of inequalities, COVID-19 has not been the great leveller. In fact, if the pandemic has highlighted anything at all, it is that we are not in this together. There are multiple causes of inequalities and a combination of these have resulted in restricting positive, social, health and environmental outcomes for many during lockdown. Donovan’s words ‘When I look out my window, many sights to see, and when I look in my window so many different people to be’ may hold a different meaning, are however, still relevant in describing the unequal experience of the pandemic. For some, the experience of lockdown 54
for something as basic as access to nature has been simply availed by looking out of one’s window or stepping out into a nearby green space, whereas for many it has been about being crammed with others in urban spaces, with no green space within reach. Limited access to good quality landscape has further led to poorer physical and mental health outcomes. In Scotland, health inequalities from the perspective of green spaces are caused by poor landscape quality and deprivation. One of the reasons for poor landscape quality is under investment. In the post COVID-19 era, to tackle persistent inequalities in our communities and augment positive outcomes for health, public parks, and greenspaces, the government should focus green infrastructure investment in those places which have the greatest need. Currently, through the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention (GISI) funding programme, for the period of 2016 to 2023, £40 million (a mix of European Regional Development Fund and match funding) has been committed to improve multifunctional green infrastructure on a major scale in Scotland’s urban spaces, while the GISI funds green infrastructure in deprived areas of Scotland to improve habitats and biodiversity, transforming derelict land, addressing flood risk and creating new community spaces. The Scottish Government has now officially published its finalised Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) 4 for the next five fiscal years. The inclusion of ‘natural infrastructure’ and ‘nature assets’
within the plan widens the scope of the definition and, by extension, the scope of the plan. However, investment decisions on infrastructure needs and priorities, including natural infrastructure, have not been made yet. This has been deferred until an assessment is done. As this has implications on the future of green infrastructure spend, it is a key area of interest for landscape practitioners in the coming parliamentary sessions. In addition to the health, economic and climate emergencies, our natural environment is also in a state of crisis. In 2019, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published a report5, which was the most comprehensive assessment of its kind. It found that nature is declining globally, at an ‘unprecedented rate’, with a million species threatened with extinction, and stated that we need to bring about a ‘transformative change’ to halt the global decline. In late 2019, the ‘State of Nature Scotland’6 report provided a health check on the status of Scotland’s wildlife. The key findings were that of the 8,431 species assessed, 15% are now at risk of extinction. Some of the notable pressures recorded on Scotland’s large scale green infrastructure and directly affecting habitat and wildlife wereland use change, climate change and urbanisation. Incidentally, earlier in the year, the Scottish Parliament passed the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019. The Planning Act was introduced to reform the planning system in Scotland. The planning system has an important
... nature is declining globally, at an ‘unprecedented rate’, with a million species threatened with extinction...
F E AT U R E
role to play in safeguarding existing green infrastructure and ensuring new developments also deliver on, good quality green infrastructure. One of the key aspects of the Planning Act is that it strengthens commitment to existing strategies and targets on climate change in relation to the effect national developments have on the environment. While the Planning Act introduced biodiversity safeguards to the extent that positive effects are considered as an outcome for the National Planning Framework, it fell short in providing for developments accounting for net gain. Decisions on development, land use or land management should not negatively impact on land quality or biodiversity, as it may lead to net loss. In fact, change can be used to enhance landscape quality, offset adverse impacts and deliver biodiversity net gain. For Scotland, the next opportunity to deliver on green infrastructure objectives through planning is through the Fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4). The NPF4 will integrate Scottish Planning Policy, where for the first time spatial and thematic planning policies will be addressed in one
place. The NPF4 will be put before the Parliament in September 2021 and is likely to be ratified in early 2025. In addition to the NPF4, Scotland’s Land Use Strategy will be published in March 2021. It is an important mechanism that ensures that land is used sustainably, and that Scotland can respond to the climate and nature emergencies. The Committee on Climate Change suggests that, for Scotland to be able to meet the new emissions reduction targets of 75% by 2030, and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, significant land use change is required. For an effective response to the twin emergencies of climate and nature, land use change requires an integrated approach, with clear linkages of land use decisions and the consequent benefits and impacts. Scotland’s Land Use Strategy is a strategic framework that provides the opportunity to employ an integrated approach and sets out the government’s vision for achieving sustainable land use in Scotland. So, what does the future look like in this season of emergencies? Well, the answer is we do not even know what the present looks like, let alone foretell what the future will be. The
pandemic is still ravaging the health of the population and the economy, while the ways in which we work and live are continuing to evolve. As we respond to these changes, the roadmap to green recovery should consider opportunities such as investment, maintenance and renewal of green spaces, and reduction of environmental related health inequalities, securing positive effects for biodiversity and reaching Scotland’s net zero carbon reduction targets. Nature will not wait, and neither should we. Dilraj Sokhi-Watson is the LI’s Policy and Partnerships Manager in Scotland. https://www.gov.scot/news/action-to-addressclimate-emergency/ 1
https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/ documents/govscot/publications/research-andanalysis/2020/09/the-impacts-of-covid-19-onequality-in-scotland/documents/full-report/full-report/ govscot%3Adocument/Covid%2Band%2BInequalities %2BFinal%2BReport%2BFor%2BPublication %2B-%2BPDF.pdf 3
New public garden at The Palace of Holyroodhouse
Situated on Abbey Strand, the new public garden at The Palace of Holyroodhouse can be freely enjoyed year round by the people of Edinburgh and visitors to the Palace. It will also be used by school and community groups to explore how plants have historically been used to improve health and wellbeing. Both the garden and the adjacent Learning Centre were created as part of Future Programme, a major programme of investment at the Palace of Holyroodhouse by The Royal Collection Trust. The garden was designed by landscape architects J&L Gibbons under the direction of Future Programme’s Lead Designers, Burd Haward Architects, with specialist planting advice supplied by Catherine FitzGerald of Mark Lutyens Associates. Research undertaken by Royal Collection Trust and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh informed the design process. The new garden contains medicinal and culinary plants that would have grown in the Palace’s original 17th-century physic garden. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021
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LI life By Lucy Pickford
Entry standards update
The new framework helps us ensure that we’re meeting the ever-growing needs of the sector as we fight against the climate crisis whilst ensuring we maintain robust and rigorous standards of professionalism. Jane Findlay, FLI, President of the Landscape Institute and Director of Fira
traditional fields of practice, it will also bring us in line with other chartered membership bodies and provide us with a flexible framework that can grow and adapt to suit the needs of the profession.
Overview The Landscape Institute has been working towards some very significant changes over the last few years, and part of this has been the development of a new Competency Framework and entry standards to membership. As the professional body for landscape architects, planners and managers, it is the LI’s role to continually reflect the changing needs of practitioners, helping them remain trusted, relevant and successful, today and in the future. It is with these aims in mind that the LI embarked on the review of entry standards. The focus has been on the revision of routes into the profession, the membership grades available, and most importantly, the standards against which professionals are measured. Not only will it put us in a stronger place as an organisation and help us to broaden the profession whilst maintaining and strengthening
The history behind entry standards This important body of work began back in 2017 as part of a 5-year strategy to renew and reinvigorate the way the LI operates, supports its members and deliver better inclusivity and diversity of access to the profession. After a period of research, the LI began working with the sector to develop a competency framework that reflected current and emerging areas of landscape practice. It was the first major update to our entry requirements in over a decade, and the framework would underpin the routes to membership and replace the LI Elements and Areas of Practice document and the P2C syllabus.
Before we did anything, we needed to understand the current state of the industry and what changes had to be made in order to tackle any issues that we collectively faced. This took the form of the ‘The State of Landscape’ practice review and the Education Review in 2017. These sought to help us understand the challenges faced by the industry, but most importantly, join the dots between education providers, employers and other professional bodies that sit alongside ours. The ‘Future State of Landscape’ report was published in 2018, collating the results of this research and setting out the key areas that we needed to focus on. A united approach We endeavoured to engage with as broad a range of stakeholders as possible, whilst not forgetting our core. As part of the process, we’ve undertaken consultations, surveys,
Timeline of the development of our Competency Framework 2017 • Education and practice review research. This included ‘The State of Landscape’ practice review seeking the views of landscape professionals and the Education Review to help us understand current challenges and trends in the sector, joining the dots between education providers, employers and professional bodies
2018 • Publication of the ‘Future State of Landscape’ report which collates the findings from the above research and sets out the case for updating our entry standards. and developing a Competency Framework • Development of competency areas
2019 • Consultation on competency areas • Establishment of new Entry Standards Steering Group • Recruitment of a team of Technical Authors • Member approval for a new Technician grade of membership
2021+ • Phased implementation of the Competency Framework • June – New online management system for Pathway to Chartership and Pathway to Technician • July – Pilot scheme launches
Entry Standards Steering Group Members Michelle Bolger, previous Chair of EMC Nick Harrison, Chief Examiner Vanessa Howell, Chartered Institute of Housing Sue Ireland, Consultant (past Director of Open Spaces, City of London) Andrew Linfoot, Jacobs Steve Millington, Institute of Place Management Dawn Parke, Birmingham City University
2020 • Board approval of draft Competency Framework • Public consultation – the subject of this paper • Board approval of Competency Framework for consultation – to follow this consultation • December – New Competency Framework published
LI life workshops, established steering groups and more. In particular, in 2019, we established an Entry Standards Steering Group and recruited a team of Technical Authors. From here we received approval by the membership for a new Technician grade of membership and board approval of the competency framework for consultation. At this point we were keen to share the final result of the collaborative work, and in 2020 the framework and new entry standards went out to public consultation. The culmination of this work came with the publication of the framework at the end of 2020, and it was time to move on to the next stage. What does it mean for you? 1. You will begin to see the competency framework underpinning all LI activity over the next few years. Initially, application of the framework will be piloted during 2021, with results being reviewed before a wider roll out. It will become the basis for entry for all corporate membership grades, and
will eventually replace our current LI Elements and Areas of Practice document and the P2C syllabus. 2. For most of our members, this work won’t have a direct impact on your membership status. If you’re already on your P2C then you don’t need to worry about changing your approach. Instead, it is the beginning of a gradual implementation of the framework for new member enrolments. 3. We have already adopted the framework as the basis for recording CPD activity in our recently launched LI CPD recording system, and the competencies will be used as a way of categorising the level and topics available in our CPD events programme. It will also begin to inform how we frame our policy and technical work, and it will shape our communications moving forward. 4. Moreover, it will open up the routes to entry to the profession. The first cohort of students on the new Level 3 Apprenticeship are starting this spring and Level 7 Apprenticeships
have been approved and are awaiting funding allocation. These new routes will sit alongside our existing accredited courses, providing a wider range of access to the industry. 5. T he new Technician Grade of membership will offer a home for landscape practitioners across a wide range of fields of practice, from landscape designers to parks managers. By measuring skills for these grades against the new standards, we can enable the sector to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change and act as guardians of the natural and built environment. A full overview of progress on the revision of entry standards and the details of the framework are on our website: https://www. landscapeinstitute.org/education/ introducing-the-new-entry-standardsand-competency-framework Lucy is the LI Membership Marketing Manager and a former landscape architect
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LI life By Jane Findlay
President’s Update it made for a lively and engaging event. I was honoured to welcome 14 new industry leaders to the LI College of Fellows, including seven through the invited route, as well as seven new invited Chartered members (see page 62 for details). I also had the privilege of presenting the 2020 LI Volunteer of the Year Award to Karen Fitzsimon CMLI, in recognition of her career and achievements spanning 32 years of landscape design and history, and her accomplishments as a leading female role model and Ambassador for Landscape1. 1
hen I last wrote for the journal as your President, we were eight weeks into our first lockdown. Now, at the time of writing, we’re in week ten of our third. We’re approaching the end of my first presidential year, and the moniker ‘Digital Jane’ is still going strong. Thankfully, so is our Institute. Together, as a body and as a sector, we have risen to meet a tremendous challenge, and I couldn’t be prouder of our efforts. It’s been very hard for all of us, but I have the privilege of being able to reflect on a successful year full of
remarkable achievements. From a series of excellent CPD events to LI Campus, through to our first ever fully online LI Awards ceremony, our recent Jellicoe lecture focusing on diversity and our policy work on climate change and the greener recovery – we have much to celebrate. Annual General Meeting 2020 The LI held our first fully virtual annual general meeting on Thursday 4 February 2021. We welcomed over 100 delegates – including international attendees – and with LI staff members fielding questions behind the scenes,
Landscape Institute Awards 2020 I am also delighted to be able to reflect on our online Awards ceremony on 26 November 2020. Lockdown has clearly demonstrated the importance of access to nature, as well as inequality of access, and the huge pressures parks and greenspace managers are under to keep these spaces healthy and fit for use. COVID has provided a stark warning about the challenges of urban density, and the need for professionals like us to step up and reimagine our urban environments. We celebrated outstanding projects that put nature first; that deliver for communities; that make people healthier, happier, and more
1. Jane Findlay hosting the Greener Recovery Festival from her attic office. © Jane Findlay
2. Dan Cook and Jane Findlay welcome speakers to the Jellicoe Lecture 2020 (available to view on LI Campus). © LI Zoom
3. Dan Cook on stage at the LI Awards 2019 as part of the LI’s 90th birthday celebrations. © Paul Upward
4. Jane Swift, who has recently joined the LI to take up the post of Interim CEO. © Lily Swift
LI life 5, 6, 7. During lockdown, Jane Findlay regularly tweeted her walks focusing on #25minutesoutside #MentalHealth Awareness © Jane Findlay
To meet the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and the health and wellbeing crisis, we need to be at the top of our game.
Catch up at landscapeinstitute.org/ news/agm-2020-report 1
See the winning projects at awards. landscapeinstitute.org. 2
Find more information on this work and our next steps at landscapeinstitute.org/ member-content/liindependent-review. 3
connected; and that boost biodiversity, tackle climate change, and create sustainable, resilient places2. Our thanks to CEO Dan Cook Our achievements against the odds during this past year are only the most recent in a long period of positive transformation at the LI. Helping power this progress behind the scenes has been the LI staff team, led by CEO Dan Cook. We said goodbye to Dan earlier this year, after nearly five years of exceptional leadership. In this period, the LI has made tremendous steps towards becoming the supportive, agile, forward-looking membership body that we aspire to be. Over the past years, he and the team have together: – broadened and grown the landscape profession over the past five years from 5,300 to more than 5,700 members. Our new entry standards, published in December 2020, will ensure increased inclusive growth over the coming years. We also developed new international ethical principles with our global body IFLA. – expanded the LI’s CPD and training offering, with a new CPD event programme, plus online options such as LI Campus, livestreaming and the webinar programme. – refreshed the LI Awards, with new, more inclusive categories and record numbers of entries in 2020. – digitised the LI, delivering new online services to members, including online CPD recording, the My.LI member portal, and new member directory. – created the #chooselandscape careers website and launched
themed editions of the Journal. – taken real action in response to our Climate and Biodiversity Emergency Declaration in 2019, and started to address equity, diversity and inclusion across the LI and our sector. – partnered with bodies in place and landscape management, such as the Institute of Place Management and the High Streets Task Force. – ensured pay equity, flexible and remote working, and better training and development for the LI team. In guiding the Institute through a period of modernisation, Dan has helped provide the foundation for a successful future. The Board and I would like to thank and congratulate Dan for his many achievements. Next steps Under the direction of interim chief executive Jane Swift, we are now moving forward into a period of evaluation and transition. Working closely with the Board and Council, Jane will guide the Institute in consolidating our work to date and focusing on the operational delivery required for the next phase of our journey. The pandemic hasn’t diminished the other pressing issues of our lifetime. To meet the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and the health and wellbeing crisis, we need to be at the top of our game: relevant and visible, highly skilled, and trusted. Demonstrating public benefit is one of the Institute’s charitable objectives, and an important part of good governance. Other crucial components include managing conflicts, being open and accountable,
and taking responsibility for our staff and many volunteers. Recognising that this aspect of governance needed more attention, the Board of Trustees commissioned an independent review last November to support us in improving the LI’s ways of working. An external consultant has now produced a report and recommendations to the Board. This report was published in February and is available for all members to view and download in the LI members’ area, alongside an initial response to the report from the Board. Many of the improvements recommended are already underway. We’ll be using the 2021-22 business year to consolidate our work to date and develop a plan of action to take the report’s recommendations forward3. Working together While this work is underway, we’ll also continue to build on our partnership work with other organisations. These partnerships will be crucial in delivering our objectives over the coming years: growing the influence of the profession; increasing access to landscape education; broadening the range of professional disciplines we support; building supportive networks for practitioners from all backgrounds; and creating a profession as vibrant and diverse as the communities we serve. Despite a challenging year, we’re proud to have watched the LI continue to grow and adapt. We’re excited for the next steps we’ll take together as an organisation. Follow Jane Findlay on twitter: @JaneEFindlay
LI life By Laura Schofield
Fellow appointments At the LI’s AGM in early February, the Landscape Institute welcomed 14 new industry leaders to its College of Fellows, including seven through its successful invited route, as well as seven new invited Chartered members.
© LI Zoom
utgoing Chief Executive Dan Cook, who helped recruit many of the new Fellows, said: “It’s great to see such impressive industry leaders from a diverse range of disciplines and locations who stand ready to help promote landscape. They are ready and willing to champion our response to today’s most important issues – including climate, biodiversity, and inclusion – and to help attract the next generation to this profession.” In addition to awarding professional recognition to landscape architects, the Landscape Institute recognises the need to welcome more practitioners who work across the breadth of landscape fields; reflect new and emerging areas of practice; and attract, include and support professionals from wider and more diverse backgrounds. After a period of research starting in 2017, the LI has been working with our sector to develop a new Competency Framework that reflects current and emerging areas of landscape practice. This is the first major update to our entry requirements in over a decade. As part of the emerging Entry Standards, we have sought applications 62
from experienced landscape practitioners to: – Build a wider pool of senior experts from diverse disciplines to enable the profession to broaden involvement of other landscape fields of practice – Encourage those leaders to be part of the LI, helping to grow the profession – Create better diversity by age, gender, and ethnicity to become more inclusive – To act as ambassadors for the profession Fellowship of the Landscape Institute is the highest form of Chartered Membership, awarded to our foremost innovators, leaders and ambassadors. Fellowship recognises the top experts in Landscape, as well as those who have made a special contribution to the development and promotion of the profession. In recognition of their outstanding achievements as Chartered Members of the Landscape Institute, the Board has conferred Fellowship on the following individuals, confirming their status as experts and senior leaders in landscape: Colette Bosley FLI Peter Hutchinson FLI, PPILI Susan Lowenthal FLI
Vanessa Ross FLI Julia-Nerantzia Tzortzi FLI Simon Ward FLI Simon White FLI Thanks to our successful invited membership route, we are also able to welcome these new Fellows to the LI, in recognition of their outstanding work in parks and greenspace, green infrastructure, conservation, and many other landscape-related fields: Zoe Banks Gross FLI Matthew Bradbury FLI Andrée Davies FLI Sarah Eberle FLI Paul Hamblin FLI Dr Gemma Jerome FLI Louise Wyman FLI Our invited route considers all possible grades of membership. As well as new Fellows, we welcomed a number of new invited Chartered members over the past year, in recognition of their specialist skills and contribution to the profession: Arit Anderson CMLI Ruth Childs CMLI Demet Karaoglu CMLI Dominic Liptrot CMLI Aaron Minson CMLI Sarah Price CMLI Paul Van Damme CMLI Interested in joining or nominating a peer for membership? If you wish to join the LI, are an existing LI member wanting to apply for Fellowship, or wish to nominate an accomplished peer for membership, please get in touch at membership@ landscapeinstiute.org.
Laura Schofield CMLI is the Membership Development Manager at the LI.
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LI life By Rhys Jones, Joana Ferro and Samuel Perry
Food Stories and Lessons from Lambeth The Autumn 2019 edition of the journal introduced the work of the Humanitarian Landscape Collective. Here is an update on their work on food security from the past year.
n November 2019, just before the pandemic struck, The Trussell Trust reported that between 8-10% of households in the UK were described as “food insecure”1, and that Trussell’s network of food banks had seen the number of emergency food parcels provided to people in crisis increase by 73% over the previous 5 years2. It’s hard to draw comparisons we reached out to local charities and between pre- and post-lockdown community groups to understand the figures, but it is estimated that food extent of the emergency response insecurity amongst adults quadrupled and how to address the crisis. during the first lockdown due to a Some of our network were based combination of food shortages in in the Lambeth area, so we linked shops, a loss of income or a need to up with the Lambeth Mutual Aid self-isolate3. The pandemic has made it Group, a collective of individuals and very clear how unequal, unsustainable organisations who came together and fragile certain aspects of our food during the pandemic to support system are, mostly affecting groups their neighbourhood’s vulnerable such as the elderly, BAME households, members. Through their virtual and disabled people4. meetings, we heard the stories and The Humanitarian Landscape realities of grassroots organisations Collective is a network of like-minded and community groups battling to built environment professionals, feed their vulnerable neighbours with academics and NGOs who want to little to no government support. We use our skills to address society’s learnt that food banks were facing an greatest challenges. We saw the crisis unprecedented surge in demand, and at home as being too big to ignore, so the concerning gap between their 64
supply and demand mobilised us to address the food shortfall. We reached out to community gardens, allotments, and city farms across London to source surplus fresh produce, but they all had the same answer: “…you’re too late, we’ve already harvested everything.” It turned out that the pandemic coincided with the ‘Hungry Gap’, a period between harvesting the winter crops and sowing new crops in the spring. Although there was no surplus produce to be found, our efforts did yield an idea from one allotment owner: to make the most of the Clap for Carers movement on Thursdays to encourage food bank donations. Organised through neighbourhood WhatsApp and Facebook groups, neighbours were asked to leave one item of food on their doorstep and nominate someone to collect and later drop off the donations at their local food bank. We named this the Food Share Initiative and spread the word as far as we could, picking up interest from as far as Manchester and Gloucestershire, with our Facebook profile recording 15,000 views in just two days. Recording the impact at this initial stage was challenging, but we asked people to take photographs of their donations as they scurried up and down their streets at 8:05pm picking up tins and packets of food to donate. Although food banks have a purpose in catering to immediate food shortages, they are, however, not a long-term answer to food insecurity. If we want to push for a more equitable and environmentally sustainable food system, we will need to address the issues through all levels of society. For
The Trussell Trust, 2019. State of Hunger. https:// www.stateofhunger. org/wp-content/ uploads/2019/11/ State-of-Hunger-ReportNovember2019-Digital. pdf 1
The Trussell Trust, 2019. https://www. stateofhunger.org/ 2
King’s College London, 2020. Vulnerability to food insecurity since the COVID-19 lockdown. https://foodfoundation. org.uk/publication/ vulnerability-to-foodinsecurity-since-thecovid-19-lockdown/ 3
Cetin, E., P., d., 2020. Black people, racism and human rights: understanding food poverty. https://committees. parliament.uk/ writtenevidence/11581/ html/#_ftnref11 4
LI life 1. Food Share Initiative collection in Leckhampton Hill, Cheltenham (23rd April 2020). 2, 3. left to right: ‘Before’ shot of the Youth Centre’s Garden (2nd June 2020); Cook to Care volunteers in an ‘after’ shot of the Youth Centre’s Garden (30th November 2020). 4. Sowing the first seedlings (30th July 2020).
example, food and agriculture charity Sustain is advocating for policy change at the national level, and grassroots organisations are striving to provide better access to healthy food for vulnerable people in their localities. Forming partnerships with this sector could help us to understand the food security realities on the ground, an essential first step to understand how landscape architects can help build and improve the UK’s food security future. It is through this logic that we decided to partner with Jojo Sureh, the founder of Cook to Care, an emergency food relief service born out of the pandemic which prepares and delivers nutritious food parcels to vulnerable families and individuals shielding or lacking access to healthy affordable food. Cook to Care began by preparing and delivering meals to their vulnerable neighbours in Streatham, South London, and quickly expanded their services across the entire South London area due to the extraordinary demand. Running operations from Sureh’s private home quickly became unfeasible with the lack of adequate space and facilities, but fortunately Cook to Care was offered a space at a disused youth centre kitchen in a deprived neighbourhood in Lambeth that just so happened to have a neglected outdoor space with unmaintained raised beds. The opportunity to reinstate the food growing area gave rise to integrating Cook to Care’s needs and counselling programmes into the space too, becoming an extension for therapeutic, meditative, safe and sensory experiences for young people
to also enjoy. The project was an opportunity to bridge the gap between poverty in the area and to increase food security, with the aim of reframing young people’s relationship with food while building their practical skills and awareness around the importance of healthy diets. The project aimed to facilitate a rich cocreative design and build process with youngsters, but unfortunately, after the second workshop, communication with the centre began to break down due to a myriad of challenges, from lockdowns to internal organisational restructuring at the youth centre. We may not have had the opportunity to actively engage with young people in this project, but a few volunteers, led by our valued HLC member Sam Perry, managed to improve some aspects of the outdoor space with some light touch designs, as seen from the before and after photographs below. Through our introspection, we realised incidentally that learning by doing was a highly valuable method for building our knowledge base, methodologies and approaches on how our skills can be used to serve impoverished communities and encourage landscape professionals to pursue community driven projects. Sharing the failures of projects and learning early and often should be normalised so we can inspire a culture of innovation and learning within this sector. Our aspirations to complete the outdoor space in Lambeth with the youngsters by mid-summer 2020 fell short, so this year we have decided to
reconfigure our approach by focusing on building partnerships between the landscape profession and food charity organisations. By shifting to support Cook to Care’s objectives and needs, we hope to bring stories of success soon, including more details on a third initiative which entails mapping all the existing and potential areas of land suitable for food growing in Lambeth using GIS mapping, from rooftops, disused car parks and desolate spaces using open-source data sets. We hope this opportunity will generate a comprehensive food-growing map of Lambeth that can inform future local development of the area and increase food security, particularly in more deprived neighbourhoods within the Borough. We know that the magnitude of the issue is huge and so is the complexity, however, we implore the
LI life profession to start educating ourselves long-term resilience building than about the processes, policies, and crisis response. economics of agriculture that affect – As landscape architects, we’re used urban and regional agriculture. The to working in a project with RIBA pandemic, much like any other sudden, Workstages, but our number one extreme crises (war, for example), mistake at the Youth Centre was to offers the tantalising possibility of see it as another project. What they exercising radical change, so we urge needed was a mentor who could the profession to consider taking help them build up an interest in the serious action towards strengthening outdoor space, take them through our regional and local food system the design and build process, and resiliency. To conclude, we would like then have an ongoing presence. Due to share our most significant lessons to our physical distance from them and approaches to tackling localised and time commitments, we couldn’t food insecurity in London from the past be that mentor and build that trust year, with varying degrees of success: with the youth – so Cook to Care will – Food Share Initiative was a great be that interface going forward. success as a knee-jerk reaction to – Supporting our local food heroes food banks facing a sudden gap must happen in two steps: first, between their supply and demand, listen to their stories and build a but it came as a result of us being strong relationship with them; everyday people trying to help our second, decide together how your neighbours – rather than being skills could be most helpful. Each landscape professionals. We’re person’s case and our capacities long-term, strategic thinkers and this to help will be different, but we experience evidenced the theory can guarantee that it will always be that our skillset is more suited to mutually beneficial. LIJ-HalfPage-2020.ai 1 27/01/2020 14:49:06
Now, take these lessons and start your own food story.
Rhys Jones is a co-founder of HLC and Consultant Landscape Architect at LUC. He is also currently studying MSc Environment & Sustainable Development at UCL. Joana Ferro is a Landscape Architect and experienced urban designer, and has a Master’s degree in architecture from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She has an interest in understanding the way people live, and works towards designing and shaping inclusive, equitable and environmentally sustainable cities. Samuel Perry studied Landscape Architecture at Kingston University and is a Freelance Landscape Architect. He is also a member of the Landscape Institute’s Diversity & Inclusion Working Group.
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Join us live or catch up on LI Campus, the LI’s online training and events platform. Follow the links to find out more.
Are you ready for the year ahead? Browse our CPDs, Webinars, Conferences and Events for all the latest industry updates. Learn at your own place and time. – CPD resources tailored to your selfassessment – learn and record your CPD activity on the go – Interactive webinars – Conferences and other industry events
Latest available events include: – LI Webinar: Technology, People and Place – LI Webinar: Inclusive Play in Natural Environments – LI CPD: Health, Wellbeing and Place: How landscape delivers positive change – LI Webinar: Placemaking Pioneers – Collaborating with Public Realm Artists – LI Webinar: GLVIA Misconceptions and Best Practice
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Vectorworks: The Golden Thread – How to set up your work with the end result in mind Available on LI Campus Katarina Ollikainen, Landscape Industry Specialist, Vectorworks UK We always come back to workflows. It doesn’t matter how many cool tools and tricks you have if you can’t put them together in a good workflow. This is where the magic happens, and things suddenly make sense. I’m not talking about a cookie-cutter approach where you precisely follow every step of a recipe, but more of a way to look at the desired outcome and create a map to get there. The last webinar in our series will tie together the pieces we looked at previously – BIM, GIS and 3D modelling – and how to make the most of the amazing resources available. We will follow a small project from start to IFC export and focus on how to make it flow – how to set it up for what you need to produce further down the line. However, we want to do this with a very specific angle in mind. Today, ecology is sorely under-represented in BIM and this must change. It has to be part of the design process from the start, not an afterthought towards the end of a project. We’ll look at what Landmark can do to further this, especially with the power of GIS. It’s quite interesting when you start looking at GIS – it’s not so much a new tool but more a new background to work from, and it’s the link between the real world and our model. With the ability to combine to OS mapping coordinated (Northing and Easting coordinates) with GIS (Latitude and Longitude), you have a system that works for both worlds. A few places where GIS plays a (background) role: • Y our BIM project needs to be placed correctly in the world to enable collaboration – GIS will take care of this. • A tree survey is recorded on site and then fed into Landmark to create individual 2D and 3D trees, each and every one in its right place – GIS again.
Vestre: Materials Matter: A guide to specifying for more sustainable outcomes Available on LI Campus Romy Rawlings, UK Commercial Director, Vestre With over 40% of global carbon emissions being emitted by the construction industry, we all have a part to play in minimising the impact of the materials we specify for our projects. For instance, cement is the source of around 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions; steel is responsible for approximately 7%. If these industries were countries, they would closely follow the USA and China in terms of their damaging global impact. Those who specify hard landscape materials need to have a technical understanding of the impact of their specifications upon embodied carbon, whole life CO2 emissions, resource use, ethical procurement, and other related aspects – all of which are important factors to consider when considering any potential product or material for a project. Lifecycle analysis – cradle to cradle – is vital to ensure a truly sustainable approach where all manufacturing impacts are assessed and fully considered. It’s important to ensure a holistic focus on every aspect of specification, since an imbalanced approach – for instance, a fixation only on embodied CO2 or recycled materials – can lead to damaging impacts in other, related, areas. This balanced approach is supported by a product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) or Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), as certified by bodies such as the Nordic Swan Ecolabel (http://www.nordic-ecolabel.org/). Vestre’s product demonstration session comprises a consideration of the key materials used in the production of our outdoor furniture, along with a review of physical samples including steel, aluminium, weathered steel, timber, powder coating etc. Detailed technical
• E normous amounts of data are available in the form of Shapefiles, ready for you to pull into your project, and with GIS they’ll literally fall into place without © Kellogg Park | Courtesy of Pacific Coast Land Design, Inc. complaint. • Your photos for verified views/LVIA have the camera coordinates registered – you then use GIS to precisely place a render camera inside Landmark to create views. Prior to June 2019, Katarina worked as Senior Designer for Ann-Marie Powell Studio for five years. During this time, she had the opportunity to develop the studio’s workflow and to introduce new ways of working with, and sharing, data in the design process. Her interest in systematic approaches to problems and workflows stems from an earlier life where she developed and wrote manuals for parachute equipment. Katarina is now the Landscape Industry Specialist at Vectorworks UK and in this role, on top of playing Vectorworks (she has been instrumental in product planning for Vectorworks Landmark), she’s involved in the continuous work on BIM implementation. The main focus is on collaboration and workflows – how can we exchange information in the most effective way with all parties involved, and how can we use all this when we communicate with clients? It’s all about people.
specification information on each is discussed, with an emphasis on the importance of understanding both CO2 and the broader EPD. Information about common manufacturing methods (including welding and hot dip galvanising) is also discussed, since these processes have environmental impacts that should be considered. Simple and efficient recyclability at end of life is also an important consideration. Finally, to support truly sustainable specification, a focus is needed on management or maintenance that will ensure a minimal impact through a whole life approach. Since some 70-80% of carbon emissions result from the operational phase of a project, an understanding of the importance of both embodied and in-use carbon is required: a focus only on embodied carbon alone can give a misleading result. Longevity, durability and minimal maintenance are key to minimising both the initial impact of any product and ongoing resource use. Since the Landscape Institute declared a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, it’s clear that many specifiers feel they’re lacking the detailed information they need to make informed choices around product specification. This demonstration will enable a more complete understanding of the questions to ask of suppliers of street furniture in particular, but the principles apply to any product. It’s time to demand more from the landscape supply chain if we’re to really make an impact on the current climate crisis. Get some tips about where to start from a company that has operated carbon-neutral production for ten years. Romy Rawlings is a Chartered Landscape Architect and UK Commercial Director for Vestre, a Norwegian designer and manufacturer of street furniture. Romy’s 25-year career has been based in the landscape sector, and she is passionate about the impact of good design upon those using outdoor space, believing that landscape architects are well placed to counter many of today’s global issues. Romy is a former trustee of the Landscape Institute and chair of the LI Diversity and Inclusion working group.
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Jupiter Play: The Active Landscape 6 April 2021, 11am Bespoke Playscapes 21 April 2021, 11am Kristina Causer, Head of Sales and Marketing, Jupiter Play The notion of play often brings about real feelings of nostalgia and memories, linking us to places, people and better days. Play is a complex arena that straddles creative art, philosophy, science, psychology, and so much more. This is a true test for anyone working in the world of play, where clients have a wide range of requirements: to engage children to be more active; to create a community hub; to design something beautiful; to provide a space without maintenance; to create an inclusive space; and to design out antisocial behaviour. The work of a playground designer and landscape architect is to answer social challenges while making it beautiful and cost effective – and that really is a challenge! At Jupiter Play, we have our own Innovation Hub of design and research, working with industry leaders, universities and creators to answer the challenges of the modern-day built environment to create a better place for the people living within it. During the first lockdown, we all identified with the need to nurture our health and wellbeing, and our greenspaces became a crucial part of that solution. The daily walks, bike rides and runs were a staple part of the daily routine. But what about those community members that do not, or cannot, engage in sport or physical activity? Jupiter Play has been working together with Coventry University’s department of sport and exercise science to understand more about activity levels, particularly throughout childhood. It may be of no surprise, but the UK faces the stark reality that children are not reaching the activity levels they should be or mastering their core physical skills. This has a long-term impact on whether children will continue to lead an active lifestyle. The science behind this relates to a model called Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) which is associated with physical literacy and is often referred to by Sport England.
© Jupiter Play
In our upcoming webinar, we explore the science of FMS and how we can design our landscapes to work harder to encourage more confidence and competence to engage in physical activity, even in spaces where there is little green space. We also explore the world of bespoke design, where we engage with some of our leading design experts of product design in play environments. Capturing the imagination of community members of all ages to become more playful and engaged in their public realm is more vital than ever. Kristina has been creating playful environments for over 16 years, working in partnership with Local Authorities and Landscape architects across the UK and for a while in Sweden too! Passionate about the right for all children to play, Kristina was one of the founding authors of the PiPA (Plan Inclusive Play Areas) toolkit; a publication to help guide better inclusive design, now widely used in the procurement process in the UK. Kristina now leads the Innovation Hub of research and creative development within Jupiter Play, tackling key issues such as sustainability in the supply chain as well as championing the Sustainable Shoots programme at Jupiter Play.
https://campus.landscapeinstitute.org/ https://li-webinar-the-active-landscape.eventbrite.co.uk https://li-webinar-bespoke-playscapes.eventbrite.co.uk
Hardscape: Green Infrastructure Exposed 11 April 2021, 11am Mathew Haslam, Managing Director, Hardscape The overwhelming public interest in environmentally conscious and sustainable solutions for materials we use each day has led designers and engineers to begin working on material that provides additional protection for the environment. From traditional permeable block solutions to the very latest innovative product selection for a sustainable landscaped environment, why not let Hardscape guide you through this specification conundrum? Hear first-hand with example projects and onsite discussions on why, what and how these products were chosen to satisfy the demands of water drainage on hard surfaces for public realm placemaking. You will be educated in all the aspects of permeable solutions by our very own team, whilst also learning from invited landscape architect guests who have specified some of the products they personally chose for their own schemes. In the Green Paving Exposed webinar, Hardscape will discuss some of the benefits associated with the use of green paving solutions which are durable, environmentally-friendly, and which reduce the likelihood of erosion and contamination challenges associated with typical runoff with standard paved areas. Mathew is a 1980s geology graduate who formed Hardscape Products Ltd in 1994. Mathew’s desire has always been to encourage the use of raw geological resources, whether in an organic state, or shaped by multiple production techniques to realise aesthetic demands and functions. He is a passionate advocate of creative design, especially in the landscape
© Courtesy of Gillespies and Hilary Barber
design sector. Mathew puts maximum energy into educating and informing others externally, whether a student at an early stage of understanding paving specification or professionals wanting to know more about hard landscaping material choice.
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GreenBlue Urban: Planning for long term urban resilience 27 April 2021, 11am Howard Gray, PR & Specification Consultant Looking beyond COVID-19, it is critical that we consider possible longerterm effects on our urban environment; this should include the decline of our natural capital and, of course, the impact of climate change. The Government’s pledge to increase green space and tree planting has certainly been welcomed across the industry, and following the recent response to the “Building Better, Building Beautiful” commission report, changes to the National Planning Policy Framework are to place greater emphasis on beauty and placemaking. This includes publishing a draft national design code that provides a checklist of design principles to consider for new developments, one of which is that all new streets are to be lined with trees. GreenBlue are of course delighted to see the MHCLG’s commitment to good quality design, and believe the anticipated innovative green infrastructure will no doubt be a much-needed boost towards the recovery of our towns and cities. However, our concerns remain regarding the practicality of implementing these proposals without a change in the hurdles that are erected by some of the engineering stakeholders – such as highway authorities and utility providers. The many initiatives supporting our sector include The High Streets Task Force (as supported by the LI), which is an invaluable asset for planners and specifiers: we are very excited to see how those towns and cities who have been nominated for additional funds will develop and detail their proposals. With previous webinar success discussing “our landscape below ground” and “MicroSuDS – saving you time and money”, our next offering will look into planning and collaboration, touching on; • R esilience planning – must be led by key stakeholders and decision-makers • S hared learning – a useful approach to resilience planning • C limate strategy – it’s not just a tree!
© Green Blue Urban
We will look at planning and design tools currently available and whether there are adequate resources to accommodate better outcomes. There are opportunities to rethink our urban space, creating inclusive design and innovative solutions as our towns and cities adapt post-pandemic, to return to some form of normality. GreenBlue Urban is the global leading solutions provider in assisting trees in their battle to establish in urban spaces. With more than 40 years’ experience in the landscaping industry, GreenBlue provide exceptional expertise in planning, design and the installation of trees in the hard landscape. Howard is an enthusiast for successful urban trees. He has been planting trees in urban areas for over 40 years and is passionate about making sure that every tree has the same opportunity of realising its species potential. Understanding the many conflicts, both financial and engineering, with planting in our congested towns and cities, he can work with designers and contractors to achieve the best result. Having worked on a number of SuDS schemes across Europe, with both local authorities and developers, he is uniquely positioned to present the vision – enabling sustainable cities through the use of green and blue infrastructure.
Marshalls: SUDS: Design and Myth-Busting 5 May 2021, 11am Chris Griffiths, Design & Engineering Marketing Manager, Marshalls This session has been developed over the past ten years by Chris Griffiths, Marshalls’ SuDS expert. The presentation aims to explain basic Sustainable Drainage principles and understand their position within a wider water management hierarchy, from Natural Flood Management techniques right through to heavily engineered underground storage systems. We will explore changes and improvements in SuDS guidance and legislation, and discuss what this means for both new developments and retrofit schemes in the UK. There will be a detailed guide to the specification of Concrete Block Permeable Paving (CBPP), as well as a walkthrough of how to design robust and long-lasting CBPP systems, which balance structural and hydraulic requirements. The opportunity to save time, cost and carbon by designing outside of the British Standards will also be explored during this session. The final section explores some of the most persistent myths which surround SuDS and permeable paving, including the most common excuses we hear from developers who are confused about the specification, design, installation or maintenance of these cost-effective and time-proven systems. We will present designers with the information and evidence they need to overcome these objections, allowing them to confidently design quality sustainable drainage systems into their projects.
Chris Griffiths is Marshalls’ Design & Engineering Marketing Manager. He has worked for Marshalls since 2011. He is primarily responsible for raising the profile of Marshalls’ Design and Engineering services through online content and CPD.
How do you stay up to date with landscape knowledge and learning? You can now watch anywhere, anytime and relive key sessions with the LI’s new on-demand CPD learning library: LI Campus. Subscribe today and unlock access to all of our current and future events. Watch live CPD session, interviews and demonstrations from the comfort of your home. Don’t miss out – every session will be uploaded to Campus for catch up later. Go to campus.landscapeinstitute.org for more information.