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The Elements of Urban Landscape Design

By definition, an urban landscape is one which is complex and multidimensional, incorporating both natural and artificial elements. The landscape itself encompasses everything the eye can see from various stand points. This will include not only those features within close proximity, but also those in the far distance where the eye is naturally drawn.

From a design perspective, urban landscaping is about so much more. It is about creating a place where the landscape and our experience within it can become elevated – transforming the way we think, feel and move.

As more and more people across the UK are typically staying closer to home, they’re paying closer attention to their surroundings. This is true whether we’re talking about individual gardens, or a shared space used by the community. We take a closer look at some of the elements of urban landscape design that remain fundamentally important, regardless of the size of the project.

It’s all in the planning – where to start

Successful urban design projects require phenomenal planning. From the bare basics of colour, line, texture, form and scale to the complexities of the space, the materials and structures – and the people experiencing them.

It is also common for urban landscaping projects to require local authority permissions, and this is the best place to start. There are often guidelines to follow, particularly if the project involves some building work, such as in the development of open water areas or structures that will serve as cover for the people using them.

Having an idea of what is ‘allowed’ and knowing where the restrictions lie will be central in the overall design, planning and ultimately in setting a budget. Bear in mind that full permission may not be granted until the final design and specification is submitted.

Urban landscape features and working with them

Today, urban landscapes incorporate focus points where natural elements and resources are celebrated alongside the modern and artificial. They preserve the value of nature, providing places that invite both wildlife and humans to experience them in harmony.

These spaces can be created anywhere, on any piece of land, regardless of size. Whether working on a small roof terrace or abandoned city car park, the principles of using the urban landscape features are the same.

To create a viable project, it is vital to understand the importance of incorporating the physical features of the urban landscape. This may include, but will not be limited to:

  • Existing water source and drainage
  • Surrounding buildings
  • Existing walls and other (immovable) structures
  • Features that dominate the wider landscape (visible from, but not within the physical space)
  • Entry/exit points

Natural elements of landscape design

In addition to the physical features of the landscape, there are natural elements that must be considered:

  • Local weather patterns
  • Light availability and restrictions
  • Soil type and acidity
  • Existing planting
  • Other materials on-site
Landscaping Design
Working Within the Landscape

Existing elements can influence the design heavily. Some locations may only be suitable for native species of plants, trees or shrubs, for instance, while others may require a low-watering solution if there is a lack of available local water.

All these elements must be considered during the initial planning stages and throughout the urban landscape project. This is where a talented designer can come into their own, not only with creativity and horticultural knowledge, but with the experience, passion and expertise to bring the project to fruition – on time and on budget.

Can we help?

Locorum& sees every outdoor space as a natural canvas waiting to become a reflection of its’ custodians and surroundings. Through close consultation, expert knowledge and passionate creativity, let us help find a celebration of natural beauty in your urban landscaping project.

We are always excited to hear about your projects and would love to talk to you about them. Give us a call today.

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