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The Landscape Institute (LI) is a British professional body for landscape architects. Founded in 1929 as the Institute of Landscape Architects, it was granted a Royal Charter in 1997. The Institute aims to promote landscape architecture, and to regulate the profession with a code of conduct that members must abide by. As of June 2013, it has 6,000 members, 3,300 of whom are chartered.
It publishes the professional journal Landscape (formerly Landscape Design), and is a member of the International Federation of Landscape Architects.
Development of the profession
The growth of landscape architecture has been led by government legislation since the 1940s, such as the New Towns Act (1946) which required landscape masterplans to be prepared, and the European Environmental Impact Assessment Directive EIA Directive (85/337/EEC) (1985) which has led to the increase in environmental impact assessments. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the public sector, particularly local authorities, were the largest employers of landscape architects, with a minority working in private practice. Today the private sector is the larger employer, although the largest single employer of landscape architects in the UK are the charitable Groundwork Trusts.
History of the Institute
Thomas Mawson was the first President of the Institute of Landscape Architects (ILA) in 1929, and also one of the first professionals in the UK (along with Patrick Geddes) to use 'landscape architect' as a professional title. Before becoming President of the ILA, Mawson had been a President of the Town Planning Institute. His own career had developed from garden design to urban design.
LI members include landscape designers, conservationists, plant scientists, urban designers, and environmental managers. These disciplines are divided between the three divisions of the Institute: Landscape Design, Landscape Science, and Landscape Management. Members have a duty under the Code of Conduct to create landscapes which are aesthetically pleasing, functional, economic to create and manage, and which embrace cultural and heritage aspects well as considerations associated with the natural environment and conservation.
Qualifying for membership
Membership of the LI is by examination. Candidates must be licentiate members of the LI before sitting the exam. The written exam and interview with senior members of the profession has recently been replaced by the Pathway to Chartership overseen by a mentor and LI appointed supervisor where the candidates pathway of learning is followed by an interview with senior members of the profession, once the candidate has attained an agreed level of competency. These exams were formerly known as 'Part IV' of the Landscape Institute's own design examination. Parts I to III were replaced by the system of accredited degree courses in the mid 1980s.
Only fully qualified members of the LI are permitted to use the protected title 'Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute' and the designation 'CMLI'. Chartered membership of the LI is accepted throughout Europe, The USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada . while many countries who lack their own chartered professional body for Landscape Architects recognised as a badge of excellence. In May 2009 there were just under 6,000 members of the institute of which 3,000 were chartered. It is therefore a small profession in the United Kingdom compared with architecture or town planning, but it is a growing profession.
In 2008, the LI, supported by CABE launched a campaign, projected to run for five years, to increase the number of Landscape Architects in the UK. Entitled I want to be a landscape architect, it has its own website, and focuses on increasing the number of postgraduate and undergraduate students taking LI accredited courses.
The LI is one of the steering group partners of Neighbourhoods Green a partnership initiative which works with social landlords and housing associations to highlight the importance of, and raise the overall quality of design and management for, open and green space in social housing.
- Landscape architecture
- Landscape planning
- Landscape manager
- Schools of landscape architecture
- Environmental impact assessment
- Garden designer
- History of gardening
- Geoffrey Jellicoe
- Construction Industry Council