Landscape design Print

Design Outcome

​​​​Design Checklist

  1. Occupants’ quality of life is improved through high quality landscape design
  2. Stormwater quality is improved and the quantity of water discharged off-site is reduced
  3. Landscaping contributes to an enhanced streetscape character and the amenity of the public domain


Landscape design covers the planning, design, construction and maintenance of all utility spaces, outdoor spaces and garden areas. It includes hard landscaping (paving, furniture, fences, walls, pools, etc.) and soft landscaping (vegetative material). It is an integral part of the design of a mixed use development, influencing usability, privacy, social cohesion, accessibility and stormwater management. Good landscaping should help to integrate a development into the existing natural and cultural features of the surrounding area.


Better Design Practice

Add value with high quality landscaping.

Good landscaping creates a pleasant environment for occupants and improves their quality of life through better privacy, outlook and views. It can greatly enhance a development’s image, thereby increasing its marketability and value. Mixed use development is often more intensive than single use development. Therefore, landscaping and outdoor spaces must be well planned and of a high quality. To ensure this, landscaping should be considered as an integral part of a project’s design, rather than an afterthought. Employing a landscape architect at the beginning of the project is the easiest way to ensure that this happens.​

Landscaping includes a wide range of elements such as:
  • trees / plants of an appropriate type and scale
  • public and private outdoor space
  • driveways and entrance areas
  • hard landscaping including paths and walkways
  • planting along streets.​

​Capitalise on existing site features.

One of the key principles of good landscape design is to work with landscape features present on the site. This includes considering and incorporating existing elements such as:
  • ​contours
  • plants and trees
  • linkages and routes within and through the development.
For example, large, older trees add character and a sense of establishment to a new development, just as existing contours will help the site retain its sense of place despite the changes that new buildings will bring.​

Consider the maintenance and long-term management of landscaping at the design stage.

Softscaping (i.e. plants, trees and grassed areas) often require regular ongoing maintenance. Consider these needs during the design phase and ensure necessary management and financing mechanisms are in place.

Consider designing landscaped areas that cater for children in the development.

Young families may be a significant proportion of the market in a mixed use development. Consider the provision of outdoor play areas for residents’ children and storage for their toys.​​​​

Consider car parking as an important landscape design component.

On-site car parking frequently covers a substantial portion of a new development’s site. As a result, well-planned, landscaped car parks will positively affect people’s perception of the development as a whole. Because of this, careful consideration should be given to choice of materials, treatment of surfaces, and selection and arrangement of planting in car park areas.

Consider incorporating quality artwork into common or public areas.
This can add a distinctive element to the development that raises its profile and helps create a unique sense of place. The incorporation of artwork should be considered early in the design process. This will allow the artist to work with the design team to create a cost-effective, site-specific design. Give consideration to how well an artwork will age and if it will require ongoing maintenance or cleaning.​

Contribute to streetscape character and the amenity of the public domain.

Methods can include:
  • ​Relating landscape design to the desired proportions and character of the streetscape.
  • Using planting and landscaping elements appropriate to the scale of the development – for example to visually soften or break up the bulk of larger blocks from the street.

Improve the energy and solar efficiency of dwellings and the microclimate of private outdoor spaces.

Methods include:
  • Using trees to shade low-angle eastern and western sun.
  • Selecting appropriately sized trees and locating trees to avoid unwanted shading of solar collectors.
  • Utilising deciduous trees for shading of windows and open space areas in summer.
  • Locating evergreen trees well away from windows to permit winter sun access.
  • Utilising pergolas to create shaded areas in summer.
  • Remembering to consider the size of plants at maturity when creating a planting plan.

Allow landscape design to contribute to water and stormwater management.

This can be achieved by:
  • Using plants with low water demand to reduce mains consumption.
  • Using plants with low fertiliser requirements to reduce nitrogen discharge into watercourses.
  • Using swales, wetland filter systems and vegetation for stormwater detention and pre-discharge treatment.

Rules of Thumb

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