Quality of space is a great goal to work for. Architecture of the landscape and the spatial quality of the city have a profound impact on everyone’s life. Environmental quality is a sensitive issue because normally the topic of the day rules. Money and means are often the main driving ingredients. The results for architecture of the landscape and spatial quality of the city are of invaluable values for everyone. They are one of the essentials of our identity.
black marble/ NASA
If we look at the current social and economic forces we can conclude that many new developments have stopped. Europe has been hit by the economic decline not only here but which is also raging in the United States and Asia (Japan, India and China). The world economy needs to be cranked up again.
The qualities of Europe are its old cultures, interesting urban networks and unique regions with different landscapes and nature. Europe has a very interesting knowledge and an infrastructural network. The character of Europe remains a knowledge economy in combination with an urban network. The European urban network transforms while cities and regions are competing with each other. The network involves attracting knowledge, economic activity and quality of life. Some cities and regions will fall and others will flourish. 50 Years ago we were mainly interested in the networks at the level of national states. The interests of states fade and the regions become more important. In recent decades this is the development of a European city-network which becomes visible now.
For the development of this network we need interesting city centres, a good infrastructural network, nodes with new economy and attractive living and working environments. Future developments are focused on building a strong and attractive European urban network with all the elements that go with it. This means for each city and each region a different emphasis and approach. For example, in the Paris region, the centre of gravity in the transformation concentrates on the banlieu. The centre of the city has already enough quality and allure. Besides the urban fabric that is tackled, the infrastructural network plays a key role.
For the landscape the space needed for food production is becoming less and less important in Europe. The food is produced at the spots where production is the cheapest. The landscape becomes alongside being producer of food also producer of energy/ nature and a place for recreation. The European landscape is becoming less intensively cultivated because the area for production decreases. Changes in climate lead to a different approach to water and drought issues.
The landscape architect of the future is a specialist that can connect the impact of changes in society, economy and planning with the consequences for the landscape. It is a consultant who can translate the potential of the landscape into social and economic goals. It is such a specialized profession, depending on the economy, that can’t be organized in companies but is more successful in collaborative studios. There is collaboration together with: the journalist, the writer, the architect, the econometrician, the civil engineer, the botanist, the planting expert, the geologist, the urban sociologist, the psychologist, the mobility expert, the contractor, the urbanist, the politician, the director, the recreation expert, the historian, the communication expert or trend watcher.
The styles of architecture and products (brands) are influenced by up to date knowledge and global trends. They are eclectic and less regionally rooted. Brands remain attached to groups of people who are influenced by their background and new influences. The architecture already went through this development and landscape architecture will take the same direction.
Space is divided, sold, parceled or otherwise modified by and for people. This is the market for the designing, advisory spatial professions. Advice generates added value and income. Added value and income is the basis for the consultancy market. The added value has aesthetic, economic, organizational, ecological, social and psychological aspects. The landscape architect and urban planner focuses on providing added value.