How landscape is used is the ultimate test of a project. Do people love the spaces, sit in the gardens, keep it tidy, even use it at all times of year? To achieve this, good urban landscape design increasingly involves closer and lasting engagement with communities. Sometimes it begins with a community, sometimes it is run by the community, but it always ends with a community – otherwise the landscape will fail. Public places and spaces are where community happens, where communities thrive and people get to know their neighbours.
The public realm can be a controversial subject in urban life today as the debate continues about who owns and manages it. However, regardless of ownership, behind all major and many smaller landscape projects, communities are key and help drive some of the most innovative thinking in landscape.