Cities Alive: a rethinking of green infrastructure

The project began as Arup's landscape architects recognised a need to look into the trends affecting the profession. The team approached Arup's foresight and innovation research specialists and asked them to take an objective look at global trends and how these would impact on landscape architecture and how we need to operate. Ultimately, the brief was to communicate that landscape architecture brings more than aesthetic qualities to projects; that it is pivotal in contributing to climate change resilience, whilst delivering social, environmental and economic benefits if it is given a more influential role in the integrated planning and design of our future cities.

The project has been led by Tom Armour, Leader of Landscape Architecture at Arup, with significant input from the wider team and other disciplines at Arup. Tom has sought to collaborate with landscape architects within the firm, other professionals and also key external collaborators. This manifested in a piece which has buy in from a wide range of disciplines, including engineers, urban designers, planners, climate change experts, engineers, economists, etc.


  • Project Name

    Cities Alive: a rethinking of green infrastructure

  • Location


  • Category

    Brownfield, commercial and industrial

  • Landscape Architect

    Ove Arup & Partners Ltd

  • Brief

    The brief was to produce a research report and associated communications campaign which looked at the future of landscape architecture, in order to position us as a more influential profession in tackling the challenges faced by a rapidly urbanising populations and the effects of climate change. The research was intended to show how landscape architects will need to work differently in the future to tackle challenges faced by cities. A key objective was to raise the profile of how landscape architects can play a fundamental role in delivering truly sustainable urban development, throughout the built environment industry. At a workshop, as the brief for the project was more clearly defined, the potential benefits delivered by bringing landscape architecture to the forefront of projects became powerfully clear. The research team were subsequently asked to examine projects, products and existing analysis which demonstrates how these benefits are being realised and delivered into urban environments today. They were also asked to tie this to economic benefits that would resonate across industry. A range of internal experts within Arup and a number of collaborators were asked to contribute case studies, guidance and review. This ensured the findings would be grounded in deliverable reality and the communication campaign would resonate with the wider built environment industry that Cities Alive aimed to influence. Arup’s landscape architects led, contributed and guided this brief through to the launch and beyond.

  • Awards

    Shortlisted for an LI Award 2015


  • Project Team

    Tom Armour, Director Landscape Architecture, ArupSally Armour, Senior Landscape Architect, ArupJosef Hargrave, Associate, Foresight + Innovation, Arup

  • Year Completed


  • Ove Arup & Partners Ltd

    Registered Practice - (21 + Employees)
  • Approximate Map Location



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