A playground, however informal and temporary, is immediately put to good use.
A playground, however informal and temporary, is immediately put to good use.

The Foreground five: October’s most-read stories

October’s top stories take you on a journey of best practice: from this year’s landscape awards to humanitarian place-making in Syria, and from foreign aid put to good use in Vanuatu, to a reminder that urban biodiversity is as old as bird feeding. And that’s old…

1. Bravely embracing landscape architecture without borders

To engage with informal settlements landscape architects need to break down boundaries and embrace the temporary.

Today’s challenges and stressed environmental conditions demand a new way of intervening in the landscape, and of understanding the scales of effective practice.

2. Healthy cities are more-than-human

Bird feeding has brought humans and non-humans together for millenia. Image: Marcus Ward

Binary distinctions between natural and urban environments fail to account for the layered and interdependent ecologies that support both human and non-human well-being – something that healthy cities have known for centuries.

3. Expanding horizons: sampling the 2018 landscape architecture awards

Ian Potter Children's WILDPLAY Garden by Aspect Studios. Image: Brett Boardman.

The 2018 national awards is a celebration of what landscape architecture can do and be, demonstrating a diverse range of ideas, tools and approaches to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

4. Pacific place-making, where tourism benefits meet civic values

Port Vila seafront balances tourism benefits with access to the foreshore for local residents.  Image: Andrew R MacKenzie

Foreign aid can sometimes come with dubious strings attached. In the wake of cyclone Pam, however, a foreshore redevelopment in Vanuatu’s Port Vila, funded by New Zealand, is a case-study in win-win place-making.

5. The Sydney opera that nobody wants

The night view of the Sydney Opera House that 94 percent of Australians want to see. Image: Diliff

A petition against the proposed use of the Sydney Opera house as a billboard for a forthcoming horse race, has sparked a wave of opposition, in turn catalysing a debate about who owns the city.