Architecture论文模板 – Landscape Architecture Question


From the 19th century, the industrial revolution had a significant on the cities and urban expansion leading to a host of environmental problems. Later, various initiatives were attempted to improve the mess brought about by the industrial revolution in the cities. According to Johnson and Michael (1987), the industrial revolution brought social, economic, and environmental changes to most cities around the world. Many people began to move from the countryside to the cities to take advantage of the industrial revolution in one way or the other. Most of these people become workers and were greatly exploited by the few capitalist who existed then. However, these people later began to learn new ideas that enabled them to survive the tough working conditions in the factories. The increase in the number of people in the town highly disordered the nature and the potential landscape of these towns (Robert, 1992; Hayden, 1999; McLeod, 2012). Most of these people struggled to settle anywhere, leading to the mushrooming of slums and disorganizations of towns. However, modernization brought a new awakening since people were becoming more concerned about their environment and their surroundings (Szczygiel et al, 2000). People wanted their towns to be planned such that it looks beautiful and organized in accordance to social and economic set up. Despite the deplorable living conditions of workers, industrial revolution created professionals who were determined to make their living conditions better each and every day. According to Starke (2013), the fast growth of cities in industrialized societies led to improper planning of the cities and the subsequent horrible living conditions of these cities. The wealthy people wanted to live in the suburbs that are well planned and organized in accordance to their social class (Newcomb, 1979). Despite being dirty and poor, the workers in the factories also needed to live in organized environments that would increase their comfort and reduce the spread of epidemic diseases. The overcrowded homes made it filthy to live in the urban set up and the more people came to urban areas the more the living conditions become poor. In most cases, the municipal governments were less concerned with the cleanliness and the orderliness of their towns (Tyler, 2000). In addition, most of the place lacked waste disposal systems and the landscape was poorly organized and maintained. This paper will analyze how the 19th century landscape architecture helped to solve the social mess in urban cities and shaped the foundations of the present day urban planning.

Landscape architecture

Landscape architecture is a design practice that involves outdoor public areas, landmarks, and structures with the aim of obtaining social, behavioral, environmental, or aesthetic outcomes of the design process (Duanny & Talen, 2013). The profession of landscape architecture involves urban planning, water management, site planning, environmental restoration, recreation planning, and residential planning, among others (Von et al, 1995; Brandle, 2012; Holden, 2013). According to Frampton (2007), Fredrick Olmsted is highly regarded as the father of landscape architecture due to the huge impact that his project in redefining industrial cities. Central park in New York City and the Birkenhead Park are some of the magnificent works of the 19th century that provided great insights on the present day landscape architecture in urban places. These designs influenced the manner in which urban space, parkways, transportation system, and pedestrians are managed within the urban set up in a beautiful manner (Botton, 2008).  In addition, the driving force of these earlier designs was to urban challenges that results from the influx or urban population. An innovative approach was needed to solve the way in which urban set up would be managed in the most efficient way. In other words, landscape architects led the urban revolution by becoming the leaders of social reform in making the cities and urban places habitable for a large number of people who were trooping the towns to take advantage of the industrial revolution (Baldwin et al, 1993). In addition, these architects offered counterpoint ideas in town planning by emphasizing the need for parks, open spaces, and aesthetic beauty in urban places. It is also argued that the 19th century landscape architects brought a new twist in the urban planning by playing the leadership role in drafting and supporting legislations that established precedent for the preservation and management of natural resources within the urban set up (Duanny & Talen, 2013). The results of their immense creativity resulted into aesthetic, useful, safe, and an enjoyable and comfortable urban dwelling that is still seen in present day cities. According to Glassberg (2001), the 19th century urban architects applied creativity, technical skills, and scientific principles while arranging natural and constructed elements within their disposal. They carried out prior investigations so that land and water resources are portioned for appropriate use.

According to Starke (2013), landscape architecture has played a very significant role in shaping the image of social development and the quality level in the society, especially in the urban setting. Hayden (1999) argues that the field of landscape architecture has been advanced to the levels where it has become a science that is inconceivable for the urban dwellers. It has been established that a good management of open spaces within the urban setting has a positive impact on the mental and the physical health (Botton, 2008; McLeod, 2012; Holden, 2014). So far, landscape architectural designs have played a significant role in ensuring that urban spaces are properly managed. Since industrialization, the culture of valuing cities has been greatly based on the nature of the protection and enhancement done of the open spaces within those cities.

Urban planning and the ideologies in landscape architecture

According to Shackel (2001), urban planning becomes more important in the mid-19th century due to increase pressure in towns as a result of rural urban migration. A combination of city planning and traditional landscape gardening provided enough focus for landscape architects to utilize their abilities in providing comfort, beauty, and space in the cities. These landscape architects mostly, focused on city parks and came up with a huge influence that still dictates the nature of present day city parks (Holden, 2014).

Since industrialization, the overall attitude of a landscape has emerged as a social necessity, especially in urban areas. In the 19th century, a group of landscape architects founded the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) to help advance their course in landscape design (Holden, 2014). The landscape of the 19th century, played a major role in beautifying outdoor spaces, especially in the urban areas. Unlike the 18th century that was highly characterized by a patchwork of traditional gardening, the 19th century landscape architecture involved more planning, increased innovation and landscape on a larger scale (Page et al, 1998). Therefore, the 19th century saw the emergence and the establishment of landscape architecture as a profession that is still being studied to date. It was in the same period that actual literature on landscape gardening and design began to crop up and it greatly supported the individuals talented in this field (Frampton, 2007). People also found it unethical to picnic on cemeteries and this prompted the outcry in need of parks and public spaces. Unlike the previous year, the 19th century architecture embedded the idea that the benefits of landscape architecture can be enjoyed by both the rich and the poor by designing public spaces and parks. The smooth lawns of the urban placed were later embraced with ever growing working class population that needs relaxation after carrying out their commitments in their industries. The success of the 19th century landscape designers is that most of them had an intense appreciation for nature and the belief that everyone deserved to experience comfort in a beautifully designed environment (Aplin, 2002; Botton, 2008). The idea supported early landscape designers are that nature should be as uninterrupted as possible to connect the design with its immediate environment.

Case studies

Birkenhead Park

This was a 19th century park designed by Joseph Paxton to house and accommodate those who valued their surroundings. It began as a government initiative and the project as mainly financed by the profits realized from the surrounding houses. According to Brocklebank (2003), Birkenhead was designed to be a magnificent landscape design in the democratic America by incorporating several elements of design. This was evident after its completion since it combined several elements of landscape design that elevated the value of the whole surrounding. The landscape concept of this landscape design was to create an idealized countryside with open meadows, water views, bridges, and naturalistic woodlands that would make the areas very beautiful (Favretti & Joy, 1991). The houses in this environment were also designed in a naturalistic form to help them merge with their environment. One of the outstanding houses in this landscape is the Roman Boathouse that is perfectly designed with impressive features of mosaic pebbles in its floors.

According to Brocklebank (2003), the design to build Birkenhead park was to create a model town with advance designs and tastes for the enterprising citizens. After its completion, more people began to admire the beauty and the comfort of the landscape that could possibly be designed by a human being. By this time, the garden design could not be compared to any other design in other places in the world (Holden, 2014). The perfection of the parks gardening created more desire for people to start thinking of how they can make their town better places. The taste and skill applied by the designer created constant varying surfaces that made the place so good. The park was also designed with a variety of shrubs and flowers collected from various places of the world. These flowers created a natural grace in the borders and the paths and kept a sense of neatness in all corners of the park.

Despite being one of the most important landscapes in the UK, Birkenhead Park accommodated both the rich and the poor in equal measure (Hardesty & Barbara, 2000). This part established a pattern of landscape design that was later emulated in other parts of the world to help reorganize the cities and urban places in the wake of industrialization. It was designed to be the work of a great industrialist to signify a new social order and a great force of economic and political power. In addition, the landscape of Birkenhead Park signified the British government increased anxiety of better urban conditions in their rapidly growing urban settlement. According to Brocklebank (2003), one of the most outstanding features of this park, is, the open spaces coupled with naturalistic and artistic beauty to provide fresh air and a sense of laxity to people in the park. During this time, the open spaces created the top destination for people looking for leisure and recreation in England and other parts of the world.

Extensive drainage was properly done to ensure maximum utilization of available spaces. The ornamental landscape were surrounded by housing plots that were sold to fiancé the park, a practice that greatly inspired future landscape development in Britain and other parts of the world. A peaceful scroll of the stroll was created in this landscape by manipulating the topography to bring a bright contrast between the water bodies and the plants. Just like other design structures, planting in this part was highly varied such that indigenous tree provided the backbone of the whole planting design. According to Hosmer (1981), the plantings created a colorful and dramatic design in each and every corner of the landscape. Both the trees, shrubs, creepers, flowers, and others were properly arranged to create lavish ornamental bedding in all corners of the park. Since the route does not intrude on the views, the park retains a spacious sense of beauty that has existed for all this period. Both the pedestrians and the drive carried are designed differently to accommodate diverse groups of persons and a variety of users. The routing design also maximizes ease of movement along the park and improves the efficiency in moving around the park.

Central Park in New York

Frederick Law Olmsted is highly regarded as the grandfather of landscape architecture, especially after the design and completion of the central park. In the 19th century, it was unimaginable for someone to design such a huge, sophisticated landscape in an urban setting. Apart from the central park in New York, Fredrick Law is said to have designed hundreds of similar parks in other parts of the world. He is said to have received over 500 commissions to design urban parks, residential communities, parkways, government institutions, and college campuses. The present day generation of landscape architects is designing urban places with a lot of borrowed concepts from the works of Frederick Law Olmsted. Most of the landscape designs of Frederick Olmsted are trademarked and they are highly noticeable in most American urban settings.

This is one of the largest and the oldest parks in the American city of New York in 340 hectares of land. It is considered to be the first park in the American city to be designed and build utilizing advanced techniques of landscape architecture. The move to build this park was initiated by continued calls from people like William Bryant and Andrew Downing, who wanted a large park to be built within their city for relaxation purpose. This park as designed in the 19th century, to accommodate the pressures created in the town due to rural urban migration. The park was bought by the state legislature who immediately began preparations for this massive design. All the roaming livestock were removed and open drains repaired to lay the groundwork for this massive design. Initial construction of the park began by lifting millions of tons of topsoil to be the construction site to help in the field layout and to support the planting of various species of plants. After the end of the construction, more than 5 million trees and shrubs were planted in an area with perfectly designed water supply systems. In addition, many arches, bridges, and roads were constructed in the part to enhance the comfortability and the aesthetic beauty around the parks. After its grand opening in 1876, the central park became one of the greatest achievements of landscape architecture in the 19th century.

The vegetation and terrain are highly varied in gently slopes, rocky ravines, shady glens, and grassy swards (Rybczynski, 1999). The park is also characterized by ice-skating rink, small lakes, a zoo, open air theatre, playing fields, and several monuments that makes it very attractive to millions of visitors annually. The designer minimized on the use of flowers, but put a proper mix of other plantations that created a perfect match inside the park. The park is characterized by open meadows, rolling hills, patches of thick woodlands, and windings paths on most parts of the park. Frederick Olmsted designed the paths in the central park such that they never meet at right angles to create a beautiful meandering look and movements along the park. For every glance at the park, an individual is likely to encounter a great picturesque and vast green space that is punctuated with gothic architecture surrounded by water bodies. The design portrays a natural or organic element of design due to the manner in which it connects to the natural environment.

The water bodies in the park are visually separated from the city by the perimeter walls and plantings to provide a sense of distance from the edge (Rosenzweig & Elizabeth, 1992). The intersection of grade separated carriage, pedestrian routes, and equestrian promoted Frederick Olmsted to design a number of unique bridges that connect various sections of the park. In order to avoid class segregation among the visitors in the park, the most magnificent landscape along the park are only reachable by foot. When it comes to leisure, the central park currently hosts the largest merry-go-round in the world which attracts a lot of fun seekers in the United States.

Since New York City is a highly industrialized and business centre, there was need to provide a perfect relation place away from the hustle and bustle of the town. This was achieved by designing the central park since thousands of people who walk, play, and the rest on the park on a daily basis. Most of the city dwellers who are overworked and tired highly appreciate the mental and physical stability they receive after walking and relaxing in the park. Some writers argue that Olmsted set the bar of designing urban parks so high in his city park design to the extent some of the present day landscape architects finds it hard to match him (Beverdge & Paul, 1998).


From the 19th century, the industrial revolution had a significant on the cities and urban expansion leading to lack of space for nature view and relaxation. The industrial revolution brought social, economic, and environmental changes to most cities around the world. Many people began to move from the countryside to the cities to take advantage of the industrial revolution in one way or the other. This created a lot of strain in the cities since people were overlooking the beauty of nature in order to establish their dwelling places. Later, most of the open spaces were filled with house and waste disposal sites making the urban place unpleasant for human beings. However, this problem initiated a new wave of urban planning and design that was meant to solve the social and environmental mess created by the rural to urban migration. The landscape designs of 19th century are more relevant in the present day context just the same way they were in the two previous centuries. The landscape designers of this era were so visionary and innovative by focusing on the future of the urban settings. The more the present day architect tries to walk away from the 19th century landscape architecture, the more they resemble them. Today, the physical and spiritual heart of New York can easily be linked to the central park design by Frederick Olmsted in the 19th century. These architects were inspired by the ideas of creating a democratic space and social responsibility for the urban dwellers. The movement of the 19th century landscape architects enhanced the environmental sustainability in the urban settings by developing to challenges caused by overcrowding and destruction of the urban natural systems. Moreover, these architects promoted public health and wellbeing of the urban dwellers by providing favorable human conditions in the outdoor environment. This is because proper landscape design has a positive impact on the mental and physical health of humans in addition to long lasting therapeutic benefits.


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