Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Urban Landscape Design Works


Urban Landscape Planning

Urban landscape planning starts with a base plan that is created using in-depth information about the site. The process generally incorporates six individual steps: [source: Sulis]

1. During the interview or needs assessment, you define budget, area use, maintenance, labor costs and tools needed to implement and maintain the landscape. You'll also define soil and drainage issues, utility placements, lighting, general types of foundation plantings and preferred horticulture, as well as rock and mulch preferences [source: UM].

2. The site survey is used to identify current buildings and structures, such as walls, sidewalks, fences and topographical elements, such as water, hills and woods. It can identify suitable or poor/non-drainage areas, soil conditions and needed corrections, current vegetation and turf/grasses, including whether or not they can be used, removed or resituated. Finally, it identifies how climate and sunlight will affect plant selection and any trouble spots that will need windbreaks, noise barriers or beautification [source: UM].

3. The site analysis incorporates all the information gathered in the interview and site survey. It's used for evaluating the area and specifying the problem areas and beneficial areas. The analysis visually depicts the area by sketch and incorporates all those notes participants have been adding in on the sly [source: UM].

4. The plot plan is a to-scale drawing that shows bearing, distance, structures, building property lines and ways originally located on the lot, drainage flow and elevations. The plot plan can generally be found at your local county courthouse [source: UM].

5. The site plan is an updated plot plan, incorporating any new buildings, structures or changes in the lay of the land, as well as the placement of utilities [source: UM].

6. The structure and utility blueprints are very important when creating the landscape design. They note utility placements and architectural layouts of any existing structures. You can find these blueprints at your city office, or from the original builder [source: UM].

After all this technical talk, isn't it time for a little fun? Read on to learn about the exciting features of urban landscape design.