How can we work with the landscape to create liveable places? A new animation from the Landscape Institute

The Landscape Institute is pleased to launch a new animation by cartoonist and urbanist Rob Cowan, entitled: How can we work with the landscape to make liveable places?

This film brings the Institute’s current policy commitments on green infrastructure, water, public health and housing into a wider, global discussion about the liveability of our towns and cities.

Launched at a debate on the liveability of London, programmed in collaboration with the Campaign to Protect Rural England as part of the London Festival of Architecture, the six-minute animation shows how the liveability of our cities is contingent on designers working with the landscape rather than against it.

It is the latest in a series of information videos commissioned by the Landscape Institute, others of which are on the subjects of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD); why we should invest in green infrastructure; and the building of the Olympic Park. The film is the first collaboration between the Landscape Institute and Rob Cowan, who creates animations about cities and the people who design them.

More Landscape Institute videos can be found here.

Speaking about creating the animation, Rob Cowan said:

‘There are plenty of ways of assessing places: how the place’s economy is faring, what its buildings look like, how many houses are being constructed, or how easily the traffic moves. But too often we forget to ask: what is the place like to live in, and how can we make it better?’

The animation’s key messages:

  • Developers are learning the value of green infrastructure – the networks of green spaces that connect towns and cities. Green infrastructure is essential for public health, energy security, food security and biodiversity. It helps us to mitigate climate change and to adapt to it.
  • More and more designers are making good use of water. Experts in water-sensitive urban design show us how to minimise the risk of flood and drought, and how to pollute our watercourses less.
  • Many of the changes that will make better use of resources will make places that are better to live in: Places that are sociable, have more efficient economies and offer healthier lifestyles.
  • The best housebuilders take a long-term stake in the communities they are creating. Successful places are made by people with a long-term view of how a place can be sustainable and liveable. Designers think about three dimensions.
  • How can we work with the landscape to make liveable places? considers how, looking ahead, we need to make sure we think about time as well.