Jenna Blackwood | Landscape architects are critical in urban planning

On Sunday, April 9, 2023, an article submitted by Architect and Town Planner Neil Richards was published where he asked the question, “What’s the future character of Lady Musgrave Road?” He mentioned that the Landscape Architect (LA) on the project would be responsible for contributing to the final character of the roadway by deciding which natural features should remain and designing the final features of planting and site furniture, among others.

However, to my knowledge no LA has participated in the design and planning of the project. The local LA fraternity is just as curious as the general public to find out how thousands of trees will be accommodated along the corridors of Lady Musgrave and East King’s House roads.

Some queries include:

1. Who is the planting designer for the project?

To my knowledge, there is no LA or other landscape design professional employed to any government agency. TPDCo used to have a LA on staff and the UDC used to have an entire Landscape Department led by an LA when they developed the beautiful and successful tree-planting programmes along Tom Redcam Drive and Mandela Highway in the 1980s.

Planting design for agriculture and forestry have different objectives from planting for urban design in public spaces. Many of our government agencies (e.g., Forestry Department, NWA, UDC, TPDCo, NEPA, NHT) would benefit from having close relationships with LAs even if they are not on staff, not only for planting design, but for the broader perspective of Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) measures to combat climate change of which tree planting is one.

Headlines Delivered to Your Inbox

2. What is the classification of a tree that is being used?

In landscape practice, trees are generally classified according to height as small (4.5-6m/15-20 feet), medium (9-12m/30-40 feet) and large (12m/40 feet and above). It is therefore important to select the correct size tree to be used along the urban corridors where space is often limited and there is conflict with …


Leave a Reply