30:30 Landscape Architecture by Meaghan Kombol

From the New York High Line by James Corner to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by George Hargreaves, landscape architecture is shaping the way we interact with the built and natural world. In 30:30 Landscape Architecture, published by Phaidon press in September, Meaghan Kombol provides a global overview of contemporary landscape design, as 30 internationally renowned landscape architects showcase their own work and nominate 30 influential and emerging designers. Established figures within the international scene such as Martin Rein-Cano and Andrew Grant have selected new talent including Kate Orff and Anouk Vogel.

Some of the best-known landscape architects in the world feature alongside the brightest of the next generation of designers in 30:30 Landscape Architecture, which takes us from an aquatic centre in Colombia (Luis Callejas) to a forest therapy trail in Japan (Toru Mitani). First used in the 19th century, the term ‘landscape architecture’ refers to the design of natural and built environments. Central Park in New York City is an early example of what landscape architecture would become, with its emphasis on creating a dedicated space for the benefit of the wider community while providing unobtrusive through-routes for people and traffic.

Today, landscape architecture stands at the forefront of design for social, cultural and environmental health worldwide, creating spaces within our natural and built environments that both respect and enhance our interaction with the landscape around us. Working with issues of conservation, reclamation and recovery, landscape architects have transformed parking lots into meadows and gardens, Turin’s largest industrial wasteland into a park, and an abandoned quarry yard in Shanghai into an iconic tourist destination.

Large urban spaces are revitalised, promoting inclusiveness, making connections and introducing sustainability, while smaller-scale, local neighborhoods are reinvigorated by community gardens such as Baisley Park in Queens, designed by Walter Hood and funded by rapper 50 Cent. Economic and social issues are addressed in a new housing project in Munich (Christian Henke) and new paradigms for healthcare are offered by a children’s hospital in Chicago (Mikyoung Kim).

Many important projects from UK and Ireland are featured, including Martha Schwartz and Partners’ Grand Canal Square in Dublin, James Corner’s South Park at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Andrew Grant’s unique university and public library in Worcester, Martin Knujit’s Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich and Günther Vogt’s athletes’ village for the 2012 Olympics.

Today, more than half the world’s population lives within an urban environment, making an understanding of landscape architecture all the more important. The 60 landscape architects in this global and influential group describe their inspirations and design processes as well as debate key issues for landscape architecture today and in the future. Illustrated with stunning photographs of groundbreaking projects from across the globe, 30:30 uncovers how landscape architects are shaping our environment and finding intelligent and beautiful ways of enhancing the modern world.