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Our towns and cities are getting denser, hotter, and ever more congested. The rush to urbanisation has created pressing challenges. Liveability is at a premium. A recent report suggests that toxic air will shorten the life expectancy of children born today by 20 months*. Rising sea levels threaten coastal towns. Our natural systems are on the brink of collapse. Loneliness is now as big a threat to our health as obesity. Concerns around personal safety eat away at us.
A collective response needs to be bold, smart, joined-up. Protecting our connection to nature and boosting biodiversity are needed more than ever before. Shared spaces need to work harder – whether parks, plazas, streets or squares. They have the power to unify, to delight, to bring people together in unexpected ways. So at Battersea Power Station, we are designing the public realm to enhance the opportunities for chance encounters and exchange.
Land, old English, meaning ‘home territory’ or a place where people belonged.
Scape, from the old English scapan, meaning to ‘create’ or ‘make’
Landscape architecture is purposeful. It shapes the places that matter to us all.
At LDA Design, this means identifying the character for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park through rescuing the River Lea from a narrow polluted channel. Now people sunbathe along its wide banks. In Aberdeen, we are helping to reunite the city behind a sympathetic landscape design for the park at its heart, Union Terrace Gardens.
Our client St William is developing gasworks sites into new homes, and Clarendon Community Park will provide a welcome green retreat in north London. Our landscape-led approach protects heritage: the gasholders retain a strong presence in the park; a brook for paddling traces an underground river; and ancient woodlands are remembered with forest birch and timber play.
Our roots lie in the science and art of landscape architecture. It is what we bring to every project, whether it’s housing regeneration in Scotland, flood defences on the south coast, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park or a new Eden Project in China.
Landscape is about how people and place belong together.
At the heart of our landscape masterplan for a major new neighbourhood, Sighthill in Glasgow, is active travel. We are restoring lost connections for cyclists and walkers and making public spaces beautiful with working green infrastructure.
In Thamesmead, our quietly revolutionary approach will give a new green infrastructure strategy the teeth it needs to guide future development and put people at the heart of change.
The Eden Project in Cornwall is branching out. Qingdao, the first overseas Eden, is being created in China’s Shandong Province. The province recently experienced its worst drought in half a century, and our landscape masterplan will explore how water can be used more sparingly.
We believe that new infrastructure should always improve a place, not detract from it. In Littlehampton in West Sussex, our design enables tidal defences to both protect homes and provide better connections between town and beach and a lovely new waterfront promenade.
Contact John Simpson to discuss how we can help.
* State of Global Air (SOGA) 2019