Landscape Managers often require a strong understanding of the past, present and the future of their project sites and the variables surrounding them. The present and future impacts of climate change are well recognised such as increases is CO2, air temperature and changing rainfall conditions that lead to draughts or flooding. As many of us have experienced over recent years, these effects are impacting our urban and rural environments in an often unpredictable manner, placing our landscapes and the way they are managed under a multitude of pressures. Having an understanding of the potential impacts and effects of climate change are key considerations when developing our long-term landscape management plans and strategies for clients. This understanding enables us to prescribe management and maintenance tasks over a number of years into the future, ensuring we are creating adaptive and resilient landscapes. For example, higher temperatures will threaten a number of our native plant species, which will require further research into species suitability, to make informed decisions for future plant selection. The increased temperatures are also expected to increase periods of drought, so irrigation will need to be consideration in the future. This ties into the need to use more adaptive plant species and adopt more sustainable irrigation systems such as rain water harvesting.
To deliver this, TEP’s Landscape Managers embrace their multi-disciplinary working environment: our team has the ability to work closely with colleagues in arboriculture, ecology, landscape design and heritage as well as the client to implement a combined approach in alleviating and managing the effects of this contemporary issue.
As Chartered Landscape Architects, we have a professional obligation to ensure that we are completely up to date with legislation, policy and best practice so we advise our clients accordingly on current issues. Our team supports a number of Universities whose research is fundamental in developing adaptive strategies, this keeps TEP in close contact with academics whose works often influences industry change.
What remains obvious, is the significant role our landscapes play now and will in the future in combatting the impact of climate change, presenting a number of opportunities for our industry to work together to address this global issue. Green infrastructure is becoming equally, if not more, important as grey infrastructure in delivering climate resilience in our cities. As part of this, the role of effective land management is vital in ensuring our spaces are managed appropriately and efficiently.
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