Landscape architecture focused on planning for climate change

14 October 2021 | News

The discipline of landscape architecture is focusing more and more on planning for climate change, while building community resilience through cultural landscapes.

These were points made by Nada Toueir, of Lincoln University’s School of Landscape Architecture, when she shared her expertise at the recent New Zealand-India Sustainability Conclave 2021.

Hosted by Education NZ, the virtual event focused on the relevance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to the international education sector and living more sustainably in general.

Vice-Chancellors and academics from New Zealand and Indian educational institutions took part in a series of sessions on 5-6 October and shared their insights, emphasising the integral role sustainability plays in their educational frameworks.

Dr Toueir spoke as part of a roundtable discussion on conscious choices for sustainable living.
“The main issue coming about in landscape architecture is planning and designing for climate change,” she said. “This is challenging to work with because there are a lot of uncertainties, so how do we design with uncertainty? Students are very aware of the issues we are confronting.”

According to Dr Toueir, some of the key situations addressed by landscape architects in terms of climate change are floods and forest fires.

“We work closely with plants and vegetation and need a good understanding of native flora and fauna. To foster community resilience, we need to have a good knowledge of local and cultural values and the landscape itself – how the practices are embedded into the landscape.

“Conscious choices for sustainability include planting native vegetation as it helps to stabilise soil and prevent fires, with forest and bush fires becoming more of an issue.”

Dr Toueir said Lincoln University works closely with landscape architecture professionals in Christchurch and with the city council, building projects that fight climate change and foster community resilience.

Hear the entire discussion on YouTube.

Learn more about studying landscape architecture at Lincoln University.