Ecosystem services by design

The garden at Eastern Curve, Hackney provides local people contact with nature (Credit: Rosie Whicheloe)

Ecosystem Services by Design

Ecosystem Services by Design was the topic of a recent conference held on the 18th November in Milton Keynes. It was jointly organised by the Landscape Institute East of England and South East of England Branches and Cranfield University. The conference explored the integration of ecosystem services into landscape design, planning, and management practice, stressing the role of science to facilitate this. The event was aimed at landscape architects, landscape managers and landscape scientists providing insight into the different ecosystem service methodologies, approaches and case studies with relevance to the profession.

There was a very interesting panel of speakers instigating critical thinking and presenting several ecosystem services approaches. It was very enriching to hear about several uses and frameworks of ecosystem services namely how they can be applied to rural and urban landscapes as well as their core importance when planning and landscape analysis. All the lectures were very informative and allowed the audience to understand the specifics of an ecosystem services approach, from where to find the information needed to characterise a certain landscape, to the type of language that should be used.

Photo credit (Author)

After a morning of lectures given by speakers from ialeUK, Natural England, Cranfield University, ADAS, LUC and MottMcdonald, the afternoon was structured by a series of practical workshops where the concepts could be applied to case-study examples. There were three options based around the three sub-disciplines of landscape architecture with each particpant able to engage in two of the options:

  • Landscape design – led by Tom Jonson, Jon Rooney and Steve Smith from AECOM;
  • Landscape planning – led by Javier Babí Almenar from Lanpro Services and Sally Parker from LUC
  • Landscape Science – led by Dr. Ron Corstanje and Joanna Zawadzka from Cranfield University

Overall it was a very dynamic and inspiring day. The ability to learn many different strategies of action was extremely important, and being able to apply some of those methods during the afternoon workshops was without a doubt a plus to this event.    

Calila Rodeiro da Ponte is a dynamic and enthusiastic Landscape student currently undertaking an MA in Landscape and Urbanism at Kingston University.