Mar 18 2024

    Cracknell at Future Landscape and Playspaces Conference

    Omar Aridi
    Senior Landscape Architect

    I represented Cracknell’s Dubai studio in a panel discussion at the Future Landscape and Playspaces Conference on 5th March 2024 in Dubai  The group discussed iconic landscape projects that have shaped Dubai. We looked at the impact of landmark green spaces on the city’s identity and tourism as well as the challenges for creating and maintaining them. 


    We identified the following principles that designers should consider in developing transformative landscapes: 


    • Ecological Sustainability – There is the need to strike a balance between aesthetic and ecological sustainability. Each design must not only please the eye but also nurture the regional and local environment.
    • Effective Resource Management Careful monitoring of water usage and energy consumption is essential for the project’s successMaterials should be assessed according to manufacturing process, transport, raw components and recyclability, to ensure reuse of materials and structures for the longevity of public realm spaces.
    • Climate Change Adaptation Landscape architects should design resilient landscapes and playspaces that respond to climate change.
    • Urban ConnectivityUrbanisation exerts significant pressure on our green areas, leading to encroachment and fragmentation. To combat this, designers need to prioritise building a network of green infrastructure within Dubai’s city and future development.
    • Sustainable Landscape Maintenance: One of the most critical challenges is enhancing the maintenance team’s skill level. Landscape architects should look to create management guidelines to prioritise value choices that impact commercial and ecological value of green spaces in the long termThis will equip maintenance teams to preserve the beauty and ecological integrity of green spaces. 

    To achieve this, landscape architects should have a holistic management approach. This includes integrating sustainable design principles, leveraging innovative irrigation technologies, developing maintenance guidelines, and fostering community engagement through education and involvement programmes. The collaboration of developers, municipalities, designers, stakeholders, and the community is vital. Together, we can create and maintain vibrant, resilient green spaces that enrich city identity.