Winter Journal looks at the long-term benefits of landscape in a short-term world
Looking up at the White Cliffs of Dover, could you answer the question: what does this landscape do for me? What’s more, could you put a price on it?
Against a backdrop of the public sector cuts announced with the Spending Review last October, which are likely to seriously affect the amount of investment in all publicly maintained landscape, our cover feature this issue sets out to make the business case for an assessment of landscape in terms of the economic benefits it delivers. Unlikely as it might seem, we find that a harsh fiscal environment may actually help landscape architects to define an approach to value that makes those aspects of life not easily reducible to a monetary value more tangible.
The long-term benefits of landscape come under the spotlight in an extended feature on the London 2012 Olympics. We speak to John Hopkins, landscape architect and ODA Parklands and Public Realm project sponsor about how landscape-led integrated design will deliver the leagcy for east London, and provide technical profiles of five Olympic landscape projects.
In our Essay, Writer Owen Hatherley takes a stroll along the walkways of some of Britain’s premier regeneration schemes, finding them a unique and uplifting vantage point from which to view the cityscape.
Elsewhere, we introduce a new regular section, Innovations, which brings together the latest in contemporary thinking on landscape architecture. This includes an abstract on the Roaming Forest project, which questions the relationship between the formal design code and informal, ‘bottom up’ approach to place making.
And finally, our honorary editor Tim Waterman pens his debut column, with his thoughts on an antidote to ‘cynicism’.