Landscape Architecture is an industry that should be at the forefront of tackling climate change

Student spotlight | Johanna Elvidge


Landscape Architecture Chatsworth
Postgraduate student, Johanna Elvidge, tells us about her experience on the MA Landscape Architecture course and why she thinks landscape architecture should be at the forefront of the climate emergency. 
Course: MA Landscape Architecture

Why did you choose to study Landscape Architecture at Leeds Beckett?

It’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant. The course is so varied! The staff have spent a great deal of time working in the industry and are really knowledgeable.

Also, just going to Amsterdam and experiencing the residential. Seeing the way that the public transport system works, how active travel is enabled and encouraged, learning about the parks and the urban greening was just fantastic!

I also firmly believe that landscape architecture should be at the forefront of the climate emergency. I think it’s almost an unknown profession. I don’t think there are enough people going into it, I don’t think there’s enough recognition of it in schools, and also there’s a huge skills shortage in this industry – so people should definitely get involved with it! 

How do you think Landscape Architecture can help with climate change?

In Landscape Architecture, we’re given a very good grounding in what to look at when you’re on a project, we have lots of valuable information about ecosystem services. Putting all those things in the public realm and thinking of them early in the design stage can really alter the climatic impact of a place. Also, we can shape projects so that they benefit the environment and the people using it. 

What was your favourite part of your course?

My favourite part of my course was the trip to Amsterdam. We all had to go on a bike ride, and being a slightly older student, I hadn’t ridden a bike in 20 years. I practiced for said bike ride by borrowing my child’s BMX and going for a little burn around the block! It’s actually made a difference because now I cycle to work and back every single day, so bringing back that confidence to my cycling has been great. Also, just going to Amsterdam and experiencing the residential, and seeing all those things was just fantastic.  

What support have you received while studying at university?

I’ve received loads of support from the tutors and the wider university. Again, being somewhat later in life than a lot of students, I was slightly concerned about whether I could do it and if I’d fit in. But the tutors really made me feel at home at Leeds Beckett, and I felt like ‘yes, I can do this’ which was great, they were very supportive. 

What’s next for you? 

I work for Marshalls, they’ve sponsored me throughout the course and I’m their Head of Design, working with house builders, working on various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects, and designing landscape architecture projects. I’m also on the Landscape Institute’s E2T50 (experienced route to technical membership/TMLI) so still studying!

What will your story be?

Studying at Leeds Beckett is a great choice, check out some of our courses to see for yourself!

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