My Future Speciality: Landscape Architecture, Town and Regional Planning
Landscape Architecture.In Ukraine the landscape has been influenced by human activity over last decades. There is now increasing realization that responsible management of the environment is necessary for the future benefit of mankind. With this realization has come the desire to reclaim land laid waste by industrial dereliction, to improve landscape and to improve the quality of the outdoor environment in general.
In these days of environmental concern, town and regional planning has an important part of play too. Its primary aim is to find the balance between the conflicting demands made on land, a limited resource. How do you reconcile the present and future demands of housing, recreation, industrial development, agriculture, the traffic network and the environment? Much planning and landscape designing activity is carried out by state institutions and a host of specialists – architects, planners, surveyors, geographers, designers, economists and many others.
The Work.Landscape architects or landscape designers are concerned with the design, planning and construction of the outdoor environment. While architects are responsible for designing buildings – the internal environment- landscape architects are responsible for designing the landscape around buildings- the external environment. They try to ensure that any changes made to the natural environment blend with what already exist to create an aesthetically pleasing whole.
They may work in urban areas and be involved in urban regeneration (including the layout of parks, gardens and housing estates) or in rural areas where emphasis is on minimizing the impact on the landscape of industrial buildings or the extraction industries. Landscape architects undertake projects, which can range in scale from designing a small garden to a complete inner city renewal plan. They collaborate closely with other professions, especially planners. The work of the planner varies to some extent with the type of employer. The key areas of work are understanding trends, analyzing data, and preparing reports and communication of ideas. Although much of the work is office-based, it also involves site visits and attendance at meetings and planning enquiries. Specialists oversee projects to ensure that the work meets financial and time specifications. They also concern with the long-term care and maintenance of the projects. These projects establish how best use can be made of the land within the authority, which areas should be allocated for housing, traffic schemes, recreation, industry and so on. A planner also needs to conduct research into the current features of the area – and then analyze how this will effect its future needs in terms of housing, employment, services, leisure industries, and transport. Your understanding of the social needs of a community is important, as is your understanding of the industrial and environmental issues. The following summaries the activities, which may fill your day of a planner:
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Designing with all its detailed sub-activities, meeting inside and outside the office and administration of projects, sites and buildings, managing yourself and your projects, your staff, your practice; advising either informally or as a consultant; supervising trainees and assistants and possibly teaching at a school of town and regional planning.
Follow-up Education. Professional development both of yourself and your colleagues may encompass reading, receiving visitors from building trades and construction professionalists and a social and formal professional activities which keep the information flow going and mean the in-service training of planners and architects.
Qualities Required. Lands cape architects must have good design sense linked with creative imagination. They must have a real desire to make the physical environment more attractive. Knowledge of plants, soils, geology and buildings gained during training. A talent for drawing and draughting is necessary, as proposals have to be presented in the form of plans, technical drawings and sketches.
Good communication, skills and the ability to work in a team are important as landscape architects work with other specialists such as planners. Planers have to be versatile, flexible and possess good judgment. You need to be able to analyze, criticize and think clearly and objectively even under pressure. You should be able to argue your point but also listen to others and be able to communicate your thoughts and arguments clearly and accurately both in paper and orally. You should enjoy with a wide range of people and know how to explain your decision to people who have little ideas of planning rules.
In other words both landscape architects and planners need to be something of a diplomat, good with words, able to reason, prepared to see both sides of an argument, able to feel content with the best conclusion – not necessarily the ideal one – and not mind too much if, in the end, your advice is not taken.
Education and Training. An engineer engaged in landscape architecture, town and regional planning deals with guidance of construction, designing of rural and urban areas, traffic networks, municipal engineering buildings, area improvement ought to be well trained in the branch of survey, design, production, exploitation, repairment and reconstruction, research, marketing, management.
The State technical university in Rivne trains future landscape architects and planners at the town planning & development faculty. The course of study includes general technical subjects (descriptive geometry and drawing, strength of materials, theoretical and building mechanics), special subjects (social, functional, economic, aesthetic and organizational essentials of city planning, architecture, landscape architecture, area improvement, municipal transport traffic schemes, reconstruction of urban structures), work-based courses (principles of engineering equipment; electric engineering, heat and water supply, sewerage systems, financing in towns and regional planning, economics of enterprise, economics of town and regional planning, essentials of law, ecology, environmental protection). All these courses now lead to diploma of higher school allowing some students to choose a postgraduate course leading to an alternative profession or occupation. It is very important that people enjoy their work as much as possible and enjoying work means choosing right career and placing.
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