What is Landscape Architecture?

Landscape Architecture is the design profession concerned with the design, planning, management and stewardship of the land. The work of landscape architects touches the design of outdoor public areas, landmarks and structures. The goal is to achieve environmental, social, or aesthetically pleasing spaces by investigating existing social, ecological, and geological conditions in the landscape. The work of landscape architects is all around us in the form and function of the land: the work often touches on urban design, site planning, storm water management, urban planning, restoration, parks and recreation planning, green infrastructure planning, and private or residential master planning and design.

Those who practice the profession of landscape architecture are called “landscape architects”.

Read the CSLA's Livable Communities brief, which illustrates how landscape architecture makes our communities more livable. 

What do landscape architects do?

Landscape architects shape the world around us through analysis, planning, design, and management of the natural and built environment. Their work involves conceptual and detailed design of environments ranging from streetscapes to parks and playgrounds, created wetlands and restored river systems, transit solutions and tourism strategies, private backyards to planning new suburbs and even cities. Landscape architecture attracts individuals with wide-ranging interests in the arts and sciences, many with backgrounds in design, visual arts, history, and the natural and social sciences. Landscape architects draw on their knowledge of landscape aesthetics, environmental design, analytical and problem solving skills, technical capabilities, as well as professional practice and management skills, to create spaces that improve amenities, add beauty, support the environment and the economy, and increase social health, safety, and welfare.

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How can I become a landscape architect?

A formal education is necessary to acquire these skills and knowledge. Professional education in landscape architecture can be obtained at the undergraduate or graduate level. You can find more information on accredited university programs here

Membership in the CSLA is obtained by joining a provincial or territorial component association. Advanced education, professional work experience and in some cases passing a professional entrance exam are the requirements to become a member of a component association. 

If you want to help mitigate climate change, design healthy and sustainable communities, we recommend you consider a career in landscape architecture!

OALARead the OALA's Engaging a Landscape Architect series

This series explains the practices and processes for engaging a landscape architect, presents the range of services provided, outlines the various procurement options, and offers guidance on how to determine reasonable budgets and fees. 

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