What is Landscape Architecture?

You don’t have to look very far in your neighborhood to see the work of Landscape Architects. From those picturesque trees, shrubs and colorful grasses planted along your street, your kids favorite skateboard park, the spiritually uplifting gardens where your grandparents live, to that really cool park where your family loves to hike and ski or balloon ride, landscape architecture touches our everyday lives.
Landscape architecture is a multi-faceted profession that encompasses the analysis, planning, management, stewardship, and artful design of our natural and cultural environments. Landscape Architects participate in public and private sector projects that include: residential; corporate and commercial; parks and recreation; transportation corridors and facilities; gardens and arboreta; security design; hospitality and resorts; institutional and academic campuses; streetscapes and public spaces; therapeutic gardens; historic preservation and restoration; reclamation; interpretation; conservation; landscape art and earth sculpture; interior landscapes; and much more. In other words, we bring people and their built environments into harmony with the natural world.
As our communities and cities prosper and grow so does the need for consideration of our precious resources. Landscape Architects work with architects, planners and engineers to create sustainable places for people to live, work and play.
These photos represent projects of other Landscape Architectural firms and are intended to excite the viewer about our profession. For more information about the profession see the website of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.

What is the difference between a Landscape Designer and a Landscape Architect?

Landscape designers typically provide design ideas and planting plans but do not provide any structural analyses or engineering specifications for how design elements are to be built.  Although many landscape designers are very talented, they may or may not have any significant formal training and are not licensed by the province. Be sure to conduct a thorough review of their portfolio before selecting a designer.

Landscape Architects, on the other hand, must qualify for this title.  Typically, they have either undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in Landscape Architecture and several years experience in a design firm. More importantly, they have passed a nationally standardized five-part licensure exam. The Alberta Association of Landscape Architects (AALA) has a title act in the province of Alberta. Only Full members of the AALA are eligible to refer to themselves as a ‘Landscape Architect’.