Good quality landscape design is the key to long-term profitable developments says the Landscape Institute

Investing in good quality landscape design will yield numerous long-term benefits for developers and should be the first thing they consider when planning a scheme, says the Landscape Institute.

Launching ‘Profitable Places’ – a guide aimed at showing developers and house-builders how landscape professionals can help them achieve their business goals – the Landscape Institute highlights how investing in the public realm can pay dividends, not only in added sales values but in increased rates of sales, positive customer perceptions and long-term desirability.

Underpinned by informed research into the property industry ‘Profitable Places’ highlights a number of developments where investing in the landscape has successfully increased property prices*, as well as adding capital and community value by creating socially dynamic spaces and a sense of place.

Citing Cambridge’s Stirling Prize-winning Accordia housing scheme as a case study, the guide highlights the way in which its community landscape – which incorporates around three times the amount of green space of other housing developments – has enabled people and especially children, to thrive.

Landscape design can be used to create coherent streets and open spaces, that not only improve the quality of life of local residents, but pays profit dividends for the developer. Research present in ‘Profitable Places’ shows how, in parts of London, developers who invest in the public realm can expect to see a doubling of the average housing values, whilst property values in England rose by as much as 34 per cent for properties that had park views and were near parks.

Landscape professionals can also help new schemes avoid long and costly delays to the planning process by making new developments more palatable to existing communities. Well-considered landscape design and public realm improvements such as the enhancement or the introduction of cycling routes or open spaces, can all help to highlight the benefits of new schemes to local residents. The avoidance of potential planning disruptions is a significant incentive, with 61 per cent of councillors in England and Wales identifying public opposition as the most significant barrier to housing development.

In addition to its many benefits, good landscape design is also one of the least expensive construction elements. For only a modest investment, developers and house-builders that initiate a landscape-led approach – as encouraged by ‘Profitable Places’ – can expect to see a generous return on their investment.

Commenting on Profitable Places, President of the Landscape Institute, Noel Farrer said:

“The need for new housing has never been greater. But people want to live in desirable housing, not just any housing.”

Ultimately, good quality landscape design can make places more desirable and developing desirable housing delivers benefits for everyone – from residents to developers”

Profitable Places will be launched at New London Architecture (NLA) at a breakfast event on October 9th 2014. The guide will be available to download from the Landscape Institute’s website after the launch.

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