Event focuses on creation of new eco code

The development of a code for sustainable landscapes was debated by landscape architects during the Ecobuild exhibition last week.

Although a code for sustainable homes was brought into force last year that rates new housing against performance in areas such as materials and energy efficiency, there is no similar rating for landscape.

Land Use Consultants principal Adrian Wikeley argued that a code could be developed in accordance with BREEAM methodology, covering elements encompassing health and well-being, ecology, land use and transport.

"Landscape architects occupy a pivotal position in the development process, taking the uniquely holistic approach needed to create environmentally sustainable places where people want to live and work," said Wikeley during the exhibition, which was held at Earls Court on 3-5 March.

Wikeley discussed case studies, including Woburn Square and Gordon Square in central London, and how they fitted into the process.

He added: "The skills of a landscape architect start at the site, integrating building and site-planning processes, and taking account of landscape characteristics such as topography, ecology, vegetation and soils."

A programme of seminars discussing the public realm included talks on green infrastructure and adapting the public realm for climate change. Speakers featured during the three-day exhibition were CABE Space head of research and futures Ed Hobson, Atkins senior urban designer Paul Fraser and Land Restoration Trust chief executive Euan Hall.

Trees & Design Action Group (TDAG) chairman Martin Kelly lobbied for urban trees during a presentation on their future.

The group's No Trees No Future Green Paper was launched in the House of Commons in November and is out for consultation until 30 April. Comments can be made at www.forestry.gov.uk through the TDAG homepage.

The needs of people in sustainable place-making was the key topic examined by the Prince's Foundation director of design Ben Bolgar and Space Syntax director Kayvan Karimi during the final day of the exhibition.

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