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University of Rhode Island — Landscape Architecture
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The Field
What is Landscape Architecture?

The Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences at URI is a LEED Gold Certified building.

Landscape architecture encompasses the analysis, planning, design, management, and stewardship of the natural and built environments. People inherently enjoy attractively designed parks, gardens and playgrounds, communities, campuses, and streets, urban plazas, waterfronts, and residential developments. Landscape architects are responsible for planning and designing these so that they function properly, are beautiful and safe, and can be environmentally sustainable. While landscape architects certainly enhance the quality of our lives by adding beauty, they are also problem solvers who analyze the environmental impact of proposed development, plan for pedestrian and automobile traffic, and determine the best use of each site. As such, all landscape architects have a deep appreciation for the environment, a commitment to the highest standards of planning and design, and the reward of work that directly enhances the quality of people’s lives.

Important Topics and Issues

In today’s world, landscape architects may design parks, playgrounds, bike trails, zoos, skate parks, residential developments, campuses, new towns, shopping centers, gardens, golf courses, and recreation areas. However, they may also manage large wilderness areas or redesign and restore environments that have been disturbed or degraded by human activities, such as industrial areas, landfills, waterfronts, mined lands, and wetlands. Landscape architects are also involved in the design of green roofs, green streets, low impact stormwater developments, and other emerging sustainable landscape forms that integrate the principles of ecology.