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‘Landscape Is The Primary Infrastructure.’

Landscape is not just about creating spaces, but transforming them: about harmonising disparate elements in a way that creates value and addresses societal needs. A population that is both ageing and growing, human environmental impact, increased pressure on public services and deteriorating public health are among many areas in which society can benefit from landscape-led intervention. Our annual conference will be a lens through which we can scrutinise, promote and debate the issues central to the needs of the wider public, and share learning about how the landscape and built environment sectors can respond to these needs.

The Landscape Institute will explore the crucial theme of landscape as infrastructure at its annual conference on 22-23 June, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Find out about the key skills and new thinking that will enable landscape practitioners to make and transform places in a way that addresses societal needs and unprecedented challenges. For more information, visit

The conference will take place over two days. Day one will consist of a mix of hour-long plenary sessions and breakouts, the former of which will develop the theme of landscape as infrastructure throughout the day.

• From the Humber to the heart of China, the first session will examine where people and nature meet: large-scale regeneration, densification and urban parks, the building of flood defences, and the destruction of landscape character by urbanisation.

• The second session explores how turning infrastructures into ecological networks can lead to massive ecological restoration initiatives. The ever-changing definition of landscape and its role as infrastructure allows practitioners to address challenges of carbon creation, habitat destruction and deteriorating public health.

• The value of landscape is well known, but rarely understood. Natural capital accounting will be of immense importance to the profession in coming years, as by demonstrating the value of green infrastructure, we will be able to fully unlock its benefits. The third session discusses in detail the applications, and implications, of the natural capital initiative.

• The final session deals with social infrastructure; the places where we meet, eat, shop, relax, protest; the places where our communities form and thrive. It examines the changing face of our city centres and the part landscape practitioners can play in transforming our cities for the better, and looks at the role landscape can play in welcoming refugees and nurturing children.

Between the plenaries, three breakout sessions will feature simultaneous seminars or workshops that will allow delegates to explore in more depth a few of the many topics discussed, including:

• water management and resilient landscapes
• natural infrastructure
• urban parks
• inclusive design
• linear infrastructure
• Natural Capital Accounting

Following the first day, delegates are invited to attend a drinks and dinner reception at the Quays on Salford’s waterfront, in MediaCityUK – a once-derelict dockland that is now home to the BBC and ITV.

On day two, delegates will attend site visits, in the form of guided walks and jogs, to some of the most innovative and exciting infrastructure projects in Manchester and Salford.

The LI Conference 2017 will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University on 22 and 23 June. For more information about key themes, plenary sessions, speakers and other activities, visit the Landscape Institute website,

Published on June 5, 2017

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